Canadian influencer Sarah DeMelo says 'cancer really does change your life' as she marks 1 year since diagnosis

A year after her cancer diagnosis, Sarah DeMelo has a "whole new outlook" on life, she says.

Canadian influencer Sarah DeMelo marked one year since her cancer diagnosis. (Submitted)
Canadian influencer Sarah DeMelo marked one year since her cancer diagnosis. (Submitted)

Canadian influencer Sarah DeMelo reflected on a milestone in her battle against cancer.

Earlier this week, the Oakville, Ont. content creator took to social media to commemorate one year since doctors discovered a cancerous tumour in her salivary gland. The 36-year-old mother of two gave a glimpse into her medical journey over the past year, sharing footage from her time in the hospital and documenting the aftermath of her surgery. She included on-screen text that reads: "POV: It's been a year since the surgery that confirmed your cancer diagnosis."

In the caption, DeMelo reflected on the emotional toll of her diagnosis, emphasizing the importance of healing emotionally, physically and spiritually.

"It's been a year since my neck dissection removing two saliva glands and over 25 lymph nodes," DeMelo wrote. "At the time of this surgery, we had a pretty good idea it would be cancerous, but I held out hope for that 10 per cent chance it wasn't, until four weeks later, I got the call confirming my diagnosis of adenoid cystic carcinoma."

Adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) is a rare form of cancer that typically arises in the salivary glands, although it can also occur in other areas such as the breast, trachea, or lungs. It's most common in women and has a tendency to invade nerves and surrounding tissues. Treatment often involves surgery to remove the tumour, followed by radiation therapy or, in some cases, chemotherapy.

Despite the challenges she has faced, DeMelo expressed gratitude for the support she has received from followers and loved ones.

"Cancer really does change your life," she penned. "I have a whole new outlook on what's important. Kiss your loved ones and tell them you love them every chance you get … make it weird, life is short!"

Fans met DeMelo's post with supportive messages wishing her well in the comments. Canadian TV host Meredith Shaw wrote: "You’re just so strong, kind and wonderful."

"Love you, Sarah. You are just such an amazing human," Canadian influencer Sarah Nicole Landry shared.

"You're such an amazing voice and advocate for others. Thank you for sharing this. You are helping so many. I am so happy to be part of your community and to know you," someone commented.

"You are so strong, Sarah. And such an inspiration," penned another.

DeMelo's journey began in July 2022 when she first noticed something unusual under her chin. Although she initially chose to "brush it off," a series of tests revealed swollen lymph nodes and ultimately led to the discovery of a tumour in her salivary gland.

Recalling the moment she received the news, DeMelo described it as "awful."

"I opened up the report and... the words 'highly concerning' were everywhere," she shared. Plunged into fear and uncertainty, she underwent a neck dissection to remove glands and lymph nodes on the left side. Despite her doctors' suspicions, DeMelo maintained hope for a positive outcome, acknowledging the overwhelming weight of the unknown.

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