Life is like a rollercoaster after melanoma. I say thanks for all the days I have had since the most aggressive skin cancer.
I never forget the day of the diagnosis. I was 25 years old in 2004, full of plans, surrounded by bright people, happy and satisfied with everything I had. It was shocking to hear from my doctor after 2 weeks of the little black mole removal surgery: „There are some problems with the skin examined, it’s a melanoma”. I asked my dermatologist if I’ve skin cancer? I was totally down when she said YES. This is something that I was not ready for, as a 25 years old young adult.
I felt everything fall apart. I had to be prepared for several medical examinations, controls with the risk of spreading malignant cells in my body. My diagnosis was pretty promising, as all the data showed the removal happened in an early stage. I had the worst 5 years of my life after the melanoma with dozens of meetings with doctors, worried to go too soon, never have a child, never have a full life. I had 10+ surgeries after the melanoma because of preventive reasons. I haven’t had a sunbath since 2004. Since that time my life is about skin protection between April and September. I am a lucky one: melanoma has gone without any metastasis, only marks of the surgeries remind me that I am someone, who once had skin cancer.
But at the end of the day melanoma has completely changed my life. I’m an enthusiast who wants to educate people around me about sun safety and skin protection. I’m already a mommy of two boys and take care of their skin since their birth to be sure they’ll never have melanoma. I’m going to schools to talk to kids about the importance of checking our skin. I never ever want to hear that any of my friends have skin cancer.
I remember summers of my childhood. Playing in the riverside, in the middle of the day, 30 degrees, hard sun, at that time we didn’t hear about skin cancer. Sun safe was not a topic in our life at all. With my pale skin, I always had horrible sunburns. If only we knew that it’s crucial to stay inside at noon! Now I know, skin never forgets but remembers all sunburns and these have long-term effects, such as melanoma.
Protect your skin, regularly check your skin, whatever your skin type is. Early detection saves lives!