My Story.....

On March 14th 2008, it was my birthday i was turning 29. I had a mole on my leg for 5 years, but thought it was nothing. I am a support worker i clean homes for the sick and the elderly. 1 of my clients saw my mole and kept going on at me to get it checked i kept saying i would 1 day. Finally i decided i would to keep her happy, as i said It was the day of my birthday. I went in on the Friday at 12 noon and had a biopsy, i will never forget the look on my G.P.’s face when he saw it. I knew then that i was in trouble. He told me the test results would take a week, however 7:30 am Monday morning i got the call it was “a cancerous mole”. I thought well that’s not bad, but then 2 weeks later i was in the Specialists room at the hosp. I was with a friend of mine and we were both in good spirits, thinking it wasn’t that bad. He knew straight away we didn’t know the whole truth. Then he told us, i had a very deadly serious case of melanoma, and that they were going to have to take a area the size of a apple or giant plum out of my lower leg. He told me i had only up to 60% survival rate. I was devastated, i kept thinking why me? I’m only 29 this can’t happen I’m too young. 3 weeks later ( the junior doctors strike was on at this time) so i had to wait. They were the longest 3 weeks ever. I finally went in and had local injections (13 to be exact) in my lower leg and upper thigh as i had to have a skin graft. They went right down to my muscle and for weeks i was stuck on my couch as i wasn’t allowed to walk far, so picking up the kids from school and housework etc was out. My poor husband would go to work at 2 am (dairy farmer) be home by 7 am to get the kids ready for school take them to school, take me to the hosp for dressing changes, bring me home, then go back to work. Be home by 3 to look after the kids cook the meals, and put the kids to bed as we have a 2 story house and the bedrooms are all upstairs and with a skin graft you cant use stairs, so that is why i was stuck on the couch. It was 4 weeks before i was allowed to walk to the school, and then for a further 4 months after that i had nerve damage. So i couldn’t stand for longer then 15 mins without it hurting. I remember 1 day at the school, the kids were doing dancing and the parents had to join in, my miss 6 came running up to me all excited to dance with me, and i couldn’t join as my leg was playing up i was feeling so bad as she just really started crying so badly that i made myself get up. I have checks every 3 months on my leg and i will do for 1 more yr. Then it is every 6 - 12 mths after that for the next 3 yrs. i can never go outside without sunscreen on, even in winter. As my chances are high of getting another 1. I have a hole in my leg the size of a bottom of a drinking cup. People notice and stare and i hate that. They told me if i had left it for another 3 - 6 months i would have been in much more serious trouble thankfully i just managed to escape chemo. All this started from me being stupid and going to a sun bed. I bought a 12 session card for the first time And only used 3 -4 sessions it was enough to do the damage. Don’t ever do sun beds please i beg you.!!! I am not in the clear for the next 5 years so it is always in the back of my mind. I have a mole on my arm but the G.P. is keeping a close eye on it and so far it is good. What i put my family through i feel so foolish as all this could of been so avoidable. In 2 months it will be a yr ago and i am having a big 30th party to celebrate my 30th but also my success at beating my cancer. I am def more aware now and more careful. But that first 6 months was pure hell, not knowing what was going to happen and whether or not it would come back again. I have a reminder everyday when i am getting dressed, i see the hole and yes i do worry about it but then i make myself think how lucky i am to be alive. I have a wonderful husband and 2 beautiful daughters aged 6 and 8. I have a lot to live for. This was a really big wake up call for me and my family. I never want anyone to go through this. If only 1 person reads this then i will feel better knowing 1 person has realized the dangers of sun bedding and sun bathing. Please be careful it is not worth it trust me, take it from me.

MadkatD MadkatD
26-30, F
Feb 11, 2009