Melanoma at 17
(Erie, PA, USA)
Living on one of the Great Lakes, we spent our summers laying out at the beach. If we were not laying out at the beach, we were on our decks, or finding some other way to get that dark brown tan.
Naturally, this became addictive, and being "white as a ghost" or "pasty white" was not acceptable in the winter months.
Luckily, my best friend's parents owned a tanning salon, so I was able to keep my tan up all winter long.
I went to an all girls high school where we wore formal white gowns to graduate in. My gown was low cut in the back, and I had an ugly mole that I wanted gone because you could see it when I wore my gown.
My mom had a dermatology appointment and was able to sneak me in to see the doctor about 2 weeks before graduation.
He noticed another mole that he wanted to biopsy. I thought nothing about it until the phone call came.
I remember hearing my mom talking on the phone - she said, "Oh my gosh. Skin Cancer
?" I remember feeling devastated that my mom had cancer.
Then I heard her say "is this my fault - did I do something wrong with her?" Then it hit me. She was talking about me!
We rushed over to the doctor's office to discuss the severity and my options. I was very lucky that it was caught at an early stage, and that it was curable with surgery.
I now have to be very careful about how much sun I am exposed to, and I have to see my dermatologist faithfully.
While sometimes I still miss being tan, being alive is a much better option! Melanoma Skin CancerMalignant Melanoma Skin CancerSkin Cancer MelanomaSkin Cancer Moles