Melanoma-Me Foundation

Supporting Patients and Their Families Affected by Melanoma and Skin Cancer

Tel: 0191 4922211 or email melanomame17@gmail.com

Supporting Patients and Their Families Affected by Melanoma and Skin Cancer Tel: 0191 4922211 or email melanomame17@gmail.com

Your Stories

Sandra’s Story

Years ago I would let the sun burn my skin, using baby oil as sun lotion and vinegar and lemon for my blonde hair – to lighten in the sun.

I got burned one day in 2004 sitting round the pool in Las Vegas didn’t think I was was getting a tan, so didn’t bother with sun lotion but I burnt real bad. I was like a lobster. A few days later I noticed a little light freckle on my chest and never bothered with it after that.

2010 was on holiday again and noticed it a tiny bit more but still choose to ignore it, by 2013 it seemed darker but I still thought it’s normal.

Then came my honeymoon in September 2016 in Cyprus, I was only using factor 10, 8, 6. Yeah I got a lovely tan, but I noticed my freckles had changed quite a bit. My husband Richie said I should get that checked out. But I thought ‘yeah yeah,’ not bothering about it but I did keep looking at it.

Then again in May 2017 – walking along the sea front, I caught the sun quite bad. I had no sun lotion on again and this time it started to hurt. I felt like it had a spot under it. Again I choose to ignore it. A friend at work kept telling me to get it checked. I just said yeah I will.

That year in June I had an accident at work and fell. I was back and forth to the doctors for checks on my healing. In till one doctor, while examining me said “what is that? how long you had it for?” I said it’s nothing – just a freckle which I think turned into a mole. She examined it a bit more, shook her head then asked if I had anyone in the waiting room for me, or could i ring anyone. I said no, my husband is at work – what is it? I’m strong, I’ll be fine. She then said I am sorry, I can’t let you leave the surgery until I get you hospital appointment. It looks like you have cancer. CANCER, No! It’s just a freckle. I remember going home and ringing Richie at work – telling him they made a mistake and that everything will be fine.

Within 24 hrs I was at the hospital been operated on – having my freckle removed. They said we will give you an appointment for next Friday for results. But I got a phone call on the Wednesday – asking if I’d go in the next day to see them, they don’t have my results but just want to have a chat.

Then I knew something wasn’t right, but still kept a brave face – trying to tell myself different. From what I can remember that morning, I was walking into the doctors office, then sitting holding Richie’s hand and him saying again “I’m here for you – no matter what, we will get through this together. I am not letting anything happen to you,” then the doctor came into the room. She said “I have a nurse who is going to come out and talk you through some stuff” and then she said we got your results. My stomach dropped I knew what she was going to say. I had cancer. I squeezed Richie’s hand and the words were – spreading malignant melanoma. Then my ears started buzzing, feeling like I was going to be sick and faint. I couldn’t hear a word she was saying apart from my own words. it felt like a life time to say I’m going be sick, faint! I went into shock and things were blurred.

I remember seeing a nurse coming running through. They got me onto a bed and started rubbing my arms and legs to get the blood flowing. it was like pains and needles going right through my body. I saw Richie getting pulled away from me, behind the curtain. They were asking who in my family had had a history of cancer. He couldn’t answer her bless him, he just didn’t wanna leave go of my hand.

She asked about family members – I just couldn’t think. then she went through some booklets, telling us about all the support and help we were going to need. She even showed me her own scar. I was told I would need another operation.
That day was my worse day ever. I was thinking – am I going to die? I’ve just not long got married, what am I going to say to people? How can I tell my family. Everything was just such a rush.

I tried many times to pick booklets up and read them – I couldn’t! I broke down, pushed people away. I didn’t wanna have people around me. I wanted to let them remember me how I was and not how I am now.

Then my letter came through for my next op 2 weeks after my first one. This one was the worst one. The day I left the hospital I had a high temperature and already had an infection still from my last op. I ended up back in hospital the day after my op. They found another infection and I also have allergies towards the dressings they use. They gave me plenty of painkillers and penicillin. I can’t remember how many courses I had. I remember having to sleep with a tight fitted bra on 24 hours a day -because of where it was and my skin was stretching.

I haven’t had an easy time healing and have returned to hospital for help with it – but I have learned my lesson. I am so scared incase it happens again. For now I feel like I am living on the edge and waiting for it to happen again. I try to tell people so they don’t make the same mistake as me, but they don’t bother. So all I can say to them is – walk a day in my shoes and you will see how hard it has been and if it wasn’t for support from my family friends, most of all my husband Richie – I wouldn’t be where I am today.

I still cry but that’s normal and I now have my fighters scar. I got the news that there was no more cancer left in the area still hard to accept I had cancer.

Thank you for sharing your story Sandra. Showing how important it is to protect yourself in the sun and being vigilant with any changes.

Online Training

Melanoma-Me Foundation’s ‘Skin-cancer Prevention in Families (SPF) 5* Awards’ is an online course designed to educate people in the beauty, health and wellbeing industry on how to recognise the signs of skin cancer.

Just before you go...

If everyone reading this message donated £2 today, then we would be able to fund the further care and support of 44 patients who have Malignant Melanoma and other skin cancers.

Please give what you can today. Thank you.

CAN YOU HELP?

If everyone reading this message donated £2 today, then we would be able to fund the further care and support of 44 patients who have Malignant Melanoma and other skin cancers.

Please give what you can today. Thank you.