HEMET MAYOR OPENS UP ABOUT Stage 4 MELANOMA

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Karlee's doctor visit | Courtesy Photo of Rusty Strait

Mayor Karlee Meyer of Hemet, in an exclusive interview, allowed me to conduct an interview with her about the recent discovery of two small brain tumors and how she is dealing with the situation. I was edgy about how to approach the subject but she immediately set me at ease.

First of all, she is no weeping willow feeling sorry for herself, far from it. Karlee is a leader in the truest sense of the word and people love her for it.

“It is what it is,” she says..“God has a plan for us all and I’m sure he knows what he’s doing in my case.”

She explained that her entire life is about God’s will and she is not about to challenge that. “My faith in God has brought me the good things in my life; my parents, my family, friends, opportunities, and my pathway to a Christian existence and I’m not going to abandon that.”

How did she discover her condition since there was no visible sign of anything wrong?

“I went to a doctor for a checkup. I’ve had a mole under my arm for as far back as I can remember. It has never been anything but an insignificant mark. However, recently it had started to grow slowly, but getting larger. The doctor cut it off and did a biopsy and one thing led to another and discovered two melanoma’s on my brain. One .3 cms and another much larger one.”

Of course, there was the initial shock and adjustment. Did she suddenly try to deny the existence of such an unexpected malady? Absolutely not.

“My first thoughts were thankful ones that it was discovered before it got out of hand. I am a rational person and my faith helps me react sensibly to any kind of situation. I thought of my family, of course and sat down with them and discussed how I would deal with it. They were shocked as you can imagine, but I assured them life would go on and I’d be getting proper treatment.” She has the kind of family that sticks together like glue – one for all and all for one.

Karlee is a woman with a strong constitution and solid religious grounding. “I know that God has a plan for me, and I know my future is in his hands. I have my obligations to my family, friends and constituents. Nothing changes that.”

She has her ducks in order. In the rotation of her existence she feels obligated to family, friends and work. But first and foremost, she emphatically declares her devotion and dedication to God.

She hasn’t stopped her work as Mayor of the city and doesn’t intend to. She has begun Immunology treatments, which has a different approach than Chemotherapy. “It works to support the immune system and bolster it in reducing and destroying the lesions.”

She is a very independent lady; some say stubborn as a mule. She tries to avoid seeming to need help.

“Someone is always asking, ‘can I help you?’ I appreciate the thought, but I am quite capable of taking care of myself.”

Although as a forethought, she quit her hospital job early this year. Does she believe that was God’s will? She just smiles like the Mona Lisa and leaves you wondering what’s going on behind those glistening eyes.

“I want to continue working for and helping others. When something like this comes into your life, you can’t help but take stock and wonder if you’re doing all you can – not just for yourself – but to serve others.”

Karlee can be said to put her beliefs in front as she lives her life and truly serves others.

“I believe that Jesus Christ is my Savior and died on the cross for the redemption of my sins.”

That’s not just lip service. She invited me to church next Sunday. I’ve known Karlee from her early days as a Hemet City Council Member and have watched how much time she spends out in the community helping where help is needed. You can call her any time and she will make time for you and your problem.

Since her diagnosis, she has continued with her daily tasks the same as always, although she admits to having a bit more appreciation of things we generally take for granted.

“Appreciate everything,” she says. Her belief is that you often don’t appreciate what you have until you don’t have it anymore.

I’m sure we all subscribe to that thought.

I’d say don’t write this brave lady off. She is looking ahead toward every new morning as a renewal of life and she says she appreciates all the prayers and helping hands in her behalf and hope for a complete survival. Ask if you can help with anything and you’re likely to get, “Thanks for the offer, but I can handle this one myself.” That we all should have such optimism about life and tomorrow would be an undisguised blessing. You go girl!

Just sayin’ rustystrait@gmail.com

Rusty Strait | Senior Reporter

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