27 Apr Patty McCready – Pittsburgh PA
It all started when I had my son who is 16 now! After his Birth, I noticed a white spot on my shoulder! (It looked like a TB test). I had my Doctor look at and he said it was pigment change after the birth of my son! Throughout the next couple years, I had it looked at when at a doctors and always the same.
Well I was going to the doctors for a strange thing happening to my big toes! (This was not melanoma it was an allergic reaction to latex – God works in mysteries ways!) While there I asked my Doctor to look at some spots since my Dad just had some skin cancer removed (not melanoma). He froze some off and said the spot on my shoulder was nothing! He left the room I got dressed and he came back in and said, “You know what? While you are here, let’s just biopsy that shoulder.” Thank God he did! It came back stage 4 Melanoma! To throw a wrench in it all, I was two months pregnant with my second child! I went and had it operated on under a local due to Pregnancy.
They did a wide incision and removed partial lymph nodes. My lymph nodes where clean. Medical miracle for how deep my melanoma was. I ended up losing the baby but still decided not to have aggressive treatment because I might want to get pregnant again. They told me I would have to wait 5 years to make sure it would be safe. Well after 5 years my son was 7 and decided not to try again!
Seven years after all this, I felt a lump in a lymph node beside my breast and had it checked and my Melanoma returned! Had surgery and it was just in 1 lymph node. This time found early. I did a year of interferon and have been clean for 6 years. I always get checked and have things cut, scraped, frozen, you name it – I have had it taken off. Went to my dermatologist recently and biopsied a spot on my neck that I thought was a pimple! Came back spindle cells so went yesterday to have a Mohs done on it and have to wait for biopsy results but hopefully it is benign!
As any survivor will tell you, that waiting for results is torturous! As a survivor, I feel really lucky because now when it is anything it is found so early. I usually sit back and read all the other stories but this time felt compelled to tell mine so people know even if they give you results that sound like you have no chance (stage 4) you do have a chance! Attitude is half the fight! I was not leaving this world with a two year old! I always said oh I will see my son graduate and next year he will graduate and you better believe I will be there!