I noticed back in 2015 a new mole had arrived on my left knee.
I had no concern but after a few months I thought might as well get it checked out. Went to the doctors who told me you can still develop new moles in your 30’s. She said it’s perfectly round and looks normal, no concerns doctor said, so no worries.
1 yr later in 2016 the mole started to become itchy and sore it had also slightly grown in size. I have a golden retriever dog, he was only 2yrs old in 2016 what myself and my husband noticed was the dog would sniff and try and lick where the mole was, he seemed drawn to it every time he sat next to me, I went back to the doctors who referred me to the RVI in Newcastle upon Tyne, I attended my appointment and the mole was removed. I was told to make a new appointment at the hospital for a week’s time, but in the mean time they will only ring me if the results were negative, all week I waited for the phone call and even rang the hospital to make sure they had the right number on records for me, I thought this has to be a mistake.
I was told to bring someone with me to the appointment, Friday came and myself and my husband Stephen went and I was met by a lovely nurse who took me to a room and I was told by one of the senior members I had stage 1a malignant melanoma. I was given tonnes of advice had a full top to toe examination and was told I would need a further removal just to make sure all the cancer was gone. To be fair none of this sunk in, I left and I would say 24hrs later I felt my life had fallen apart, I couldn’t stop crying, I thought about my 2 children both under 5 at the time could lose their mammy, so many different emotions went through my head I was so scared, I was given a booklet which I trolled through. I could not believe the different stages of skin cancer and how it could easily spread into your blood stream, I went in for my 2nd procedure and thankfully no more cancer was found, I have no feeling in my left knee now but I don’t care about that, I was told I would have 3 month check-ups at the hospital.
Then early 2017 I noticed another new perfectly round mole had arrived on the same leg but this time on my thigh. I pointed this out on my 3 month check-up and the consultant said we will get it removed as a precaution, after the removal I got a letter telling me to come into hospital, I knew once again this was not good. I spoke to the consultant who told me it was malignant melanoma again same as my knee, and as a precaution I would have to have more removed, thankfully all was removed.
My life did change slightly in 2016 I would never let it rule me but there is times when i sit and overthink thing’s I’m extra vigilant now, check myself and thankfully I have amazing support from my husband, family and friends and I know I could contact #melanomaMe at any time.
I found the charity #melanomaMe through Facebook when I was reading Amanda’s story, it broke my heart; I contacted them and told them how I was feeling. I got to meet the lovely ladies and founders of the charity in November last yr at a charity melanoma fund raising ball, and sat on a table with some amazing people, they offer so much support for people going through it, been through it and people wanting to learn more about it.
I cannot turn back the clock but it’s all about making awareness and being vigilant. Xx
Thank you for sharing your story Caroline. This is living proof melanoma is not always obvious or stereotypical.