Melanoma at 44

I had a melanoma diagnosis a little over a year ago. I went in for my first head to toe check and a suspicious spot was found on the back of my left upper arm. The dermatologist took a biopsy, and it came back as melanoma. Ironically I was enjoying an afternoon at the beach with my boys when I received the news. We left immediately. My official diagnosis was staged at 1b because the cancer had pushed up through the skin. I had the widening incision and an elective lymph node biopsy. (The doctor was quite confident the cancer hadn’t spread, but the biopsy would tell for sure.) They were able to get all of the cancer- there wasn’t much left from the original biopsy and the lymph node came back clear. Praise God!
I have never been a “religious” sun worshiper, but did visit a tanning bed a couple of times in my 20’s. I tried my best to wear sunscreen, and skin cancer still got me. I am now very diligent about sunscreen and sun protective clothing. Although there is some resistance from my kids, they are slathered several times a day even in the winter.

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