In the spring of 2009 I noticed I wasn’t myself. I was very lethargic, oftentimes too exhausted to get out of bed. My health rapidly deteriorated. Eventually, excruciating headaches led to an MRI and the discovery of a brain tumor. I was rushed to UCLA hospital where the tumor was removed on May 26, 2009 by Dr. Linda Liau, “my doctor with hands of gold.” But this was just the beginning of my recovery.
I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma that had metastasized to my brain, arm and lungs. Under the care of Dr. Stephen O’Day and Dr. Omid Hamid both incredible oncologists at The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute, I entered a double blind clinical trial. At first there were no changes, but then suddenly a miracle – the tumors began to shrink. My husband, Evan, sent periodic emails reporting on my progress. Everyone prayed for me, and I felt incredible love and support. In all the emails, Evan urged everyone to have positive thoughts, and ended with a tag line “Evan Think Positive Finkel.” That led to our family mantra being “Think Positive.”
On January 19, 2010, my scans showed no signs of disease, and I have been celebrating ever since.