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Dulce Michell’s story

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I was 48 when my husband first noticed a dark spot on my upper left shoulder. I didn't pay much attention to it because I thought it was just another sun spot related to all my years of sun exposure. Time went by, and the more the spot got bigger and darker, the more my husband kept insisting I get it checked out.

I kept ignoring him until the time came when I was forced to call Kim, my dermatologist, for a completely different reason. I had developed an allergic reaction on my face and needed treatment.

That morning before I left my house, my husband insisted once again I get my dark spot checked out. During my facial assessment, I showed Kim the spot on my left shoulder. I noticed the concern on her face as she immediately suggested a biopsy.

Two weeks later, I received a call from her with the results. She said my test had come back positive as a stage II melanoma and that I needed to go see an oncologist ASAP. I must say that was the first time I actually became concerned and started taking my situation seriously.

My oncologist, Dr. Legaspi, scheduled me for surgery on March 9, 2016, for a complete removal and resection of the area. More samples were sent to pathology to determine if I would need chemo or radiation, but fortunately all my post-surgery tests came back negative, so no additional treatment was needed. I do, however, have to follow up with my dermatologist and oncologist every six months for evaluation and detection as a preventive measure, since there is a chance that melanomas may redevelop.

I am very grateful to Kim, my dermatologist; Dr. Legaspi, my oncologist; and to my husband for his constant nagging and persistence in wanting me to get my dark spot checked out. I am definitely a very lucky girl!