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Bakersfield cancer patient shares journey on TikTok to inspire others

"Just move forward.”
Melissa Rand
Posted at 10:37 AM, May 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-18 13:42:06-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Kern's Kindness brings you positive stories about people doing good in our community. 23ABC’s Kallyn Hobmann introduces us to a Bakersfield woman using digital platforms to share her battle with cancer and inspire others.

Melissa Rand was shocked when she was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer in February.

“At first I was pretty upset about it and depressed.”

But she quickly chose a new mindset.

“Then I decided not to look at it that way.”

She has four more rounds of chemotherapy. Then the doctors will decide on a type of surgery. After that, she’ll do radiation.

When Melissa began treatment she joined support groups on Facebook.

“Most of the posts, a lot of them talk about the negative side effects and how bad chemo is and stuff like that.”

So she decided to make uplifting content.

“I thought by making the TikTok, it lets other people who are possibly in the same situation or they’re starting their journey with breast cancer, they can see it’s not necessarily all bad.”

Melissa says her daughter motivates her to stay positive.

“I have the cutest six-year-old girl in the whole world. I’m her primary caregiver. It’s just she and I so I don’t really have a choice. I can’t lose.”

Her daughter is seen in several TikToks.

“She loves to rub mommy’s bald head. She definitely enjoyed cutting mommy’s hair. I make sure she participates and you know I want to keep everything positive.”

Melissa has about 11,000 followers on TikTok now. Her videos share her personal journey with chemotherapy and free resources for cancer patients.

Melissa hopes her videos make others feel less alone. Whether they’re battling cancer or something else she wants them to be inspired.

“Try your best not to be negative and think about the negative things. Just move forward.”

Melissa is confident she’ll kick cancer to the curb and she can’t wait for what’s ahead.

“Once this is over and I get through it, I just want to have a happy lifestyle, take care of my little girl, and move forward.”