Thanks so much for sharing. I am very lucky that my melanoma was diagnosed very early before it got deeper. I am 68, and I was on hormone replacement therapy. In England they did a study that shows there is a 20% increase in melanoma in women on hormone replacement therapy there. So I tapered off, and I am now off the hormones. My melanoma was weird, like a big flat back freckle on the back of my calf. It started out like a little black dot, then began to grow. It's hard to notice these moles when they are on your back or the back of your leg. So now I go for a mole check every 6 months at the dermatologist. I'm so sorry you are dealing with this at such a young age. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
You're speaking to the choir here as many of us have been diagnosed with melanoma (including me, amelanotic stage 1 level 2). Please do not lose hope, check out this blog of a woman in my town who has stage 4 melanoma that's currently in remission. She credits a fairly new treatment she's on (Yervoy). http://strongenough-christina.blogspot.com /2012/03/change-of-course.html She also recently spoke to the Idaho legislature about the dangers of tanning beds and established a foundation to start promoting awareness in local schools. I agree about not letting fear take over and about spreading the word. Thanks for sharing your story, and hang in there!
"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." ~Michael Pollan
Hey everyone, I just wanted to share my experience with skin cancer in hopes of saving someone's life who reads this, or just opening up someone's heart to talk about it. I was diagnosed with stagelll melanoma in March 2011 at the age of 29. I noticed a mole on my back in December 2010 that was raised, black, and alittle ichy. I'm not sure how long the mole was there because I never paid attention to my back and unfortunately melanoma grows so fast, dr's can not determine how long the melanoma was there either. I called and made an appointment with my dermatologist on March 10th, he was very concerned and he biopsied the mole, I got the results March 15th saying that it was melanoma 1.35mm and I needed to have surgery asap and a lymph node biopsy was needed also. I had surgery and a sentinal lymph node biopsy on March 24th, unfortunately 2 or the 3 lymph nodes they tested had melanoma, I was admitted for surgery again April 4th to remove all the lymph nodes in my neck (right side) and under my right arm. Thankfully, none of my other lymph nodes contained melanoma. I had pet/ct scans done that showed no evidence of diease so therefore I was left at a stage lll. There are limited treatments for stage lll melanoma and NONE of them are a cure. I battled with losing my quality of life for a year on one chemo with only a 10% that it will only post pone the cancer from coming back...not preventing it...I opted for a chemo therapy called Leukine..no, it's not FDA approved but it works similarly to the harsh one that is, but Leukine has minimal side effects compared to the harsh chemo. I travel to Mayo Clinic everyday for 14 days to get my chemo injection, then I have a 14 day break. I've been doing this since June 2011 and it may stop in June 2012 depending on the route my doctor wants to go. I continue to get pet/ct scans and dermatology visits every 3 months....for the rest of my life. Statistically the survival rate for stage lll melanoma is 40% of surviving 5 years...WOW, incredibly scarey, but I can't miss out on the beautiful blessngs in life because of fear! There is so much more to my story, but if this is all you read please just think about these things....Tanning beds are deadly! I used a tanning bed maybe 1 month out of the year. Wear sunscreen...especially in the summer, and see a dermatologist at least 1x a year for a skin check...it may save your life!
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