I was diagnosed with stage III melanoma when I was 20 years old. I had a warty-looking mole on my left foot and really never thought much of it. I noticed it started growing so I went to my dermatologist (who thought it was a wart) to have it removed. She asked if I wanted it frozen off or removed and I opted for removed. A week later I found out that I had melanoma and was very scared. I never knew how serious it was.
No more tanning for me, and now I wear sunscreen every day!
Two weeks later I was in surgery at the University of Pennsylvania to have the cancer removed and then have a sentinel node biopsy. That biopsy came back positive and I had to have surgery again to remove 13 lymph nodes from my left groin. I had a skin graft from my groin to my foot, but after the second surgery I was cancer free. I then went through interferon treatment every day for a full month, and then for the next 11 months I had treatment three times a week. It was rough but I made it through! I lost a good bit of my hair and lost a lot of weight and was always in pain, but it was worth it for not having cancer anymore! I have PET scans every six months and go to the dermatologist every three months. No more tanning for me, and now I wear sunscreen every day!