24H To Live: Renae Williamson Thought She Had A Headache, But Doctors Revealed It Was Stage 4 Cancer

Date August 10, 2018

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that affects people when the cells that normally produce skin pigment undergo mutation and become cancerous. Some of the most visible signs and symptoms of this condition are moles with jagged edges, irregular sized patches on the skin, and patches that change size and color.

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Soreness, redness, and swelling, or even bleeding, may occur in some cases. Nevertheless, these signs are not conclusive and it is advisable to consult a doctor if any odd patches appear on the skin. They are in a better position to present a proper diagnosis.

READ ALSO: Melanoma: Statistics, Risk Factors, And How To Spot It

Renae Williamson grew up being conscious of the damage sunlight can cause to skin. Rubbing sun tan lotion came naturally to her. However, she received a shocking bit of information that changed her life forever.

Williams had a headache that got increasingly worse and after four days, she arranged an appointment with her GP. After describing her the pain she was feeling to Dr. Praba Selvendra, at the Park Medical Group, Williamson went through an MRI.

The shocking news was that her migraine was a much worse condition. Her husband, Jared, said she had two nodules in her brain:

I have to take you to Sir Charles Gardner Hospital emergency, as you have two things in your brain that shouldn’t be there, I think they called them nodules.

The second scan showed one tiny nodule, about 0.78 inches (2.2 cm) that was causing the build-up of pressure in her head. Doctors said she had Stage 4 cancer and only 24 hours to live unless they performed an emergency surgery to remove the nodule.

READ ALSO: Which Type Of Skin Cancer Is The Most Dangerous? How It Develops, And How To Lower Your Risk

Williamson spent five more days in the hospital, and doctors discovered tumors in her left lung and right groin lymph node. On July 24, 2017, the doctor removed the tiny tumor in her brain, but her ordeal was not over.

Williamson got 19 staples on her neck and 23 stitches because she was leaking cerebral fluid after the surgery. Due to the high cost of treatment, she sold her house and maxed out her credit card. Williamson and her husband were forced to open a GoFundMe page to pay for her treatment and upkeep.

One grueling year later, Williamson is in a better place and hopes that her story shared in MamaMia will motivate people to be more cautious about melanoma. If detected early, the side effects are minimal and require less aggressive treatment.

Cancer continues to claim millions of lives in America, and celebrities are not spared of the wrath. Ewan McGregor, Brooke Shields, Anderson Cooper, and Melanie Griffith to name a few have shared their cancer stories with the world. Thankfully, they all made full recoveries.

READ ALSO: Ewan McGregor And 5 Other Celebrities Who Survived Skin Cancer