I am a 31-year-old wife and mother of 2 daughters, 12 and 5 years old. One day, when my husband was playing with my hair, he noticed a mole on top of my head that I have had my whole life was changing colors. He took a picture to show me, and it was an ugly purple color and bigger than I remembered. I didn’t think anything of it.
Three months later, I decided to see a dermatologist about it because it was still growing. It took a month to see him. On my 31st birthday, July 9th, 2015, I had the mole removed “just in case.” I remember sitting in the office, looking at the information posters and thinking, “Happy Birthday, you have cancer.” I got the call 4 days later that I had stage 2b melanoma.
I had to have 3 surgeries in one month. First was the wide excision of the original spot, then reconstructive surgery to fix the hole from the first surgery. Then I had to have 34 lymph nodes removed from my neck because it had spread. Currently, I am stage 3a, and I am going through treatment to prevent a recurrence. Every day I am thankful for my husband seeing that mole. I will not give up this fight, and I always encourage people to have suspicious marks on the skin checked and to always wear sunscreen.
This story is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.