I will never forget the sick feeling of being told " it's cancer" with the first one. I have also had a few squamous removed as well. I spent way too much of my youth involved in outdoor sports and then used a tanning booth to be tan year round. The first one on my face was a real eye opener - you don't think of yourself as vain until someone wants to cut on your face. I am proud to have the palest legs in the neighborhood and am amazed that you can't talk sense into people even if you show them the scars as proof.
I was diagnosed with Stage III melanoma back in Sept 2006 just after I got married to the love of my life. My mole was on my stomach and was small considering most of the pictures I've seen for melanoma. Never would have thought that would have happened to me, especially since there was no family history. I'm the first. The cancer spread to the lymph nodes in my right arm. I went through 12 months in Interferon treatment. I've had regular skin checks and CT scans ever since... It's almost been 4 years now and I've had no sign of re-occurrence. I encourage everyone to get checked at least one a year. I thank God, my husband and my dermatologist for finding it and saving my life. Continue fighting and never give up. You CAN win!
I had Stage II melanoma, when I was 23 yrs old. I caught it with regular checkups to the dermatologist. It was a new pink mole that popped up on my stomach. Since then, I have been melanoma free. But I go every few months when new ones appear. The key is catching the atypical ones early before they can turn into anything and being AWARE of what to look for. Even the derm didnt recognize it as melanoma. So I tell my friends, when in doubt, have them check it out. It can save your life.
I was never a sunworshiping kind of girl, but I did have free access to a tanning bed at a job. That's how I spent my lunch hours. At the age of 33, I was diagnosed with melanoma. It was a mole that appeared on my abdomen that my gynecologist suggested I have checked. The dermatologist didn't think it was anything but removed it and sent it off for biopsy. Needless to say, I am a big advocate for NO TANNING in TANNING BEDS.
I was diagnosed in May with malignant melonoma and had a tumor removed from my leg. I have a nasty big scar from a little spot that was under my skin. Although I never went to a tanning salon; I had a couple of bad sunburns when I was a kid, but I grew up in the day where we never heard the term "SPF" I don't even like the sun! Even though I was blessed enough to catch it in the early stages, the more I read about melonoma the scarier it is. Even though my margins were clear, I hope I don't have to deal with this again. I lost a really young husband to a different form of cancer at a young age when our kids were soo young and I can't get the visions of his last days out of my mind. My poor kids were devastated when I had to talk to them about cancer again. I didn't want to tell them, but I had to because we live in Florida and they need to know to protect themselves.
I felt a lump in my collar bone area, six years ago. There was no mole. On my 50th birthday, I was told that I had 14 tumors of Stage IV melanoma. It was not a good week. But I found a terrific place with great doctors whose unofficial motto is "Don't Stop Believin.'" Dr. Curti said we can try IL-2. It's a pretty intense in-patient treatment. I was able to do six cycles, had some ups and downs with one minor recurrence but I am now a SIX year survivor of stage IV 4 1/2 years NED. Everyday is a gift, never sunburn, and don't think it can't happen to you!