09 Jun Jade
Hi. My name is Jade and I am a melanoma survivor. That’s something I never thought I’d say, but I’m pretty damn happy that I get to. My story begins when I was a teenager. I LIVED in the sun! Hey, a tan makes you look better, right? Wrong. Then, when I was 17 I started going to tanning salons, sometimes twice in the same day. Looking back, I was such an idiot. Fast forward a few years. I was 23, a newlywed, and a soon-to-be-mommy. Life was perfect. I enjoyed my job, my husband and I had just bought a house, and we were prepping to be first time parents. But, there was this one thing…..this one little mole that completely changed my life. Like many other melanoma patients, I had a mole on my arm that I thought looked funny, but I never suspected melanoma. Besides, I had read that pregnancy could change the appearance of moles and your skin pigmentation. Still, this little, perfectly round red bump on my arm troubled me enough to make an appointment with a local derm. It was august 2, 2008 when i found out I had melanoma. My life was perfect. I was happily married, I was 8 months pregnant and with just a few words “you have melanoma ”.. my world…..just…..crumbled. Words can’t describe the fear, anxiety, saddness, anger….everything that you feel! And no matter how supportive your family and friends are, no one can truly understand what it feels like, unless they’ve been through it themselves. I had a wide excision biopsy done on my arm 2 weeks before I gave birth to my daughter. My cancer was originally diagnosed as Stage 1 and the results from wide excision biopsy came back clean. I was cancer free. Since then, i have had countless moles removed….one came back as a melanoma in situ…many came back abnormal…many normal. When I’m naked, you could probably play connect the dots from all the round scars on my body. I see a dermatologist at least every 3 months, sometimes more often. I have physical and emotional scars from melanoma. This is a disease you never really heal from. The fear is always in the back of my mind…if, or more like when, will it come back, but I try not to let it consume me. I am a melanoma survivor. That’s something I never thought I’d say, but I’m pretty damn happy that I get to.