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Updated on August 5, 2012

Previously, I published three hubs where Lee discussed her fight with cancer, her seven surgeries, and her decision not to go through radiation or chemo treatment after surgery. Some months after surgery she encountered new health problems, the flue which would not go away, and later her skin dried up and she peeled down to raw flesh all over her body. The doctors could not solve the mystery. Here in two parts is Lee's account of this Immune System breadkdown and how she got through it. This story is mezermizaing and gives the reader great insight into Lee's health problems, her faith and her successful effort to find a cure.

Lee, you have been through so much pain and stress since first being diagnosed with cancer, tell us about this Immune System problem and how you survived it.

Immune System Breakdown after Cancer (Part One)

I had recovered from all the cancer surgery. The season of autumn had begun when I caught the flu. At first it looked none too serious, but it just would not go away. My body was just not coping, five weeks of antibiotics before the infection cleared away. Two months later, all of a sudden something was happening to my body that had never happened before. It started off with a rash on my arms, I went to the doctor, and he gave me some Cortisone cream to use. At first it started to get better, then I noticed the rash was spreading to other parts of my body. I was sent to a Specialist; he took scrapings from my skin and did a biopsy for testing and prescribed more Cortisone cream, different than the one my doctor gave me. I was to come back in two weeks time to see if the rash improved and to get the results from the tests.

Two weeks passed and my skin became worse, clearly the Cortisone cream was not doing what it was suppose to. Now the rash had covered my whole body and it was changing, my skin was becoming very dry and peeling off instead of red like before. The tests showed nothing they could put a name to, so it was given a name, some form of dermatitis. He gave me more of the Cortisone cream and told me to come back in two weeks time. He told me if it does not work we will try something else. Cortisone medication, he suggested. Sorry, I was not about to use Cortisone medication seeing what the cream was doing to my skin.

I ascertained it must have something to do with my immune system. My skin started peeling, ten minutes out of bed and I was crispy bacon, it peeled from head to toe until all you could see was raw flesh. I had every test to find the answer as to what could be causing this and nothing could be identified as the problem. Everything the doctors and specialist tried made the condition worse. Nothing could put the moisture back into my skin; all of their treatments that were tried could not heal my body. I was in terrible pain, bleeding from the raw flesh.

This problem lasted 16 months; I tried different ointments but nothing helped. I was sent for varies tests, no resolution could be found. All I kept thinking was I chose not to have Chemotherapy or Radiation because I did not want to be sick all the time and have my sons watching me die a slow death. Yet here I was in this horrific situation that was no better. I was starting to question, was my life destined to be like this, die a painful death due to some infection? I am a diabetic you see, having open flesh wounds over your body, you risk picking up an infection very easily.

To be continued

By Leokadia Durmaj

Copyright © 7th October 2011



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    • profile image

      Leokadia Durmaj 6 years ago

      Thank you Joseph for your friendship and support. Take care always, Lee

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      Joseph S. Spence, Sr. 6 years ago

      This is quite an interesting story.

      Blessings always,


    • profile image

      Leokadia Durmaj 6 years ago

      Thank you Sue Ellen, your kind words bring me comfort. I know my faith helped me to overcome these adversities. I hope that I can help someone through reading my story. Sending blessings and love, Lee

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      sueellen11 6 years ago

      Lee, you are such an inspiration to us all, your faith, courage and strength, i know how you dealt with your cancer, but i was not aware you have suffered such a horrid skin complaint, but we know GOD was with you and his hands are upon you, Praise GOD for your healing, and bless you always, great interview, and i am sure someone going through a bad illness will draw comfort from your strength and courage, hugs and blessings sueellen11

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      Leokadia Durmaj 6 years ago

      Thank you Daveda, part two has been posted. I appreciated you stopping by. Take care always, Lee

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      Leokadia Durmaj 6 years ago

      Thank you Lynne, I have to say that faith, hope and prayer were my guiding light. You can overcome adversities in life, nothing worthwhile is easy. Having a loving and caring family and wonderful friends does help :) Sending blessings and love Lee

    • Daveda Gruber profile image

      Daveda Gruber 6 years ago from Hermitage PA USA

      Oh my Lee, that must have been very scary. I'd like to read the next part to see what this was and why it affected your body this way. Love from, Daveda

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      Lynne M. Cullen 6 years ago

      No wonder Lee's faith is so strong after going through all this.....Lee this is so helpful and interesting...Glad you are much better now.....thanks for the share......warmly, Lynne :)

    • profile image

      Leokadia Durmaj 6 years ago

      Nothing prepares us when we are given a serious illness to over come. We live in faith, hope and all the prayers offered up for us. We lay our trust in the doctors and specialists that care for us, but what if they too do not have the answers, scary thought!

      Thank you my dear friends, I am so blessed to have all of you people in my life, the reason being is that although you too have your life struggles and yet you are always there to support me in prayers and encouragement. Your generosity is overwhelming and I am grateful for all your kindness. Sending Blessings and love, Lee

    • profile image

      Gillian 6 years ago

      How wonderful that your experience's, as bad as they were, will be the means of providing assistance, to people who are in desperate need of both help and hope in their journey to health.

    • MAFLongfellow1 profile image

      MAFLongfellow1 6 years ago from BYESVILLE

      wow, my sister has something just like this, she is going to go to cleveland clinic and is still on high doses of cortisone can't wait to read the rest of your story....thanks lee, marilyn

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      Erich J Goller 6 years ago

      Wow,what a terrible thing to go through and not knowing whatwas wrong, it is hard for one to imagine what you went true Lee.You are a fighter. I thank you Lee for all the encouragment you have given me to fight my cancer.

      God bless you. Hugs!Erich

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      Karen O'Leary 6 years ago

      Dear Lee,

      Thank you for sharing your courageous journey with us. I really have come to admire you in the short time I have known you. Blessings to you my friend.


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      Ruth Thomas 6 years ago

      What a fascinating account of your experiences following your decision to forego chemotherapy and radiation! I am anxious to read more. Hopefully, your experiences can help others who may encounter this problem. Thank you so much for this brave aocounting of your struggles to regain your health.

    • ROBERTHEWETTSR profile image

      rOBERT hEWETT SR. 6 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

      Thanks for publishing this account of your major health problem and how you dealt with it. You are a very courageous and intelligent lady. Bob