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Lucky Two Times!

I will be 46 this year. I had my first primary malignant melanoma at the age of 21, in March of 1994.

I always got sunburns and like an idiot, I went to tanning beds for almost 1 year prior to my being diagnosed with melanoma. I had a mole on my upper right shoulder blade, it had all the ABC’s of a melanoma. I was in the shower and I loofahed my back, I got out, dried off, there was blood on the towel.

I made an appointment to see a dermatologist and the biopsy came back end of stage 2 melanoma. I had surgery to remove it and was lucky it did not spread any further.

Fast forward to March of 2017, 23 years to the month since my first melanoma.

I had noticed a new spot forming on my back in 2015. I was living in FL at the time and went to see a dermatologist. She told me “it is a skin tag.” I kept an eye on it and it went through changes and it was itchy mostly when the water beat down on it in the shower.

After moving out of FL, I decided it was time to do my 6 month skin checkup (I was a year overdue). The dermatologist did a biopsy and this time I had my second primary melanoma, stage 1B. He did a wide excision. A very wide and deep excision. Was not pretty. My surgery in 1994 was wide and deep but I was able to get stitches. This second melanoma was not far from the first melanoma (2nd was in middle of mid back).
It took months for it to heal!

Fast forward to July 2017.

I had a very bad UTI. I skipped primary after I went to ER for UTI and went to a Urologist. I had a CT and found out, that I had a tumor on my right kidney.

I had a partial nephrectomy in August of 2017. The tumor was benign, however I had a differential diagnosis in my renal parenchyma of T1 renal cell carcinoma or some other thing (I am sorry I am forgetting right now. I do not have my pathology report in front of me).

I am unsure if any connection between melanoma and renal cell, but I do know with melanoma and any cancer, secondary cancers are common.

I just feel lucky that both melanomas were caught early enough.

In 1994, I remember asking the surgeon, “how serious is melanoma?” He said, “if that spot never bled and you did not get biopsy, the rate your melanoma was at, you’d have been dead within a year”!!

At 21 that is scary to hear. At any age that is scary to hear 🙁

Melanoma sucks. I realize I may get it again and again and again. I am hoping it does not kill me one day 🙁

This is my story.


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  • Moonmomma
    3 weeks ago

    Oh my goodness you are so strong. Look at all you’ve been through. Melanoma IS SCARY! I am curious did they ever check your lymph nodes? I will hope and pray you are cancer free!

  • LizL moderator
    1 year ago

    Thank you Christine, for sharing your journey with us.
    Your words are encouraging for our readers and everyone to learn to be as proactive as you have been.
    Your story is very much worth the read!
    Please continue to educate and advocate for skin cancer awareness and prevention.
    Healing hugs to you,
    Liz – – Site Moderator

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