Grace’s personal story
I was diagnosed with stage IIIa melanoma cancer when I was 20 years old.
I had a wart-looking mole on my left foot and really never thought much of it. I noticed it started growing so I went to my dermatologist (who thought it was a wart) to have it removed. She asked if I wanted it frozen off or removed and I opted for removed, which then led to a biopsy.
A week later I found out that I had melanoma and was very scared. I never knew how serious it was. Two weeks later I was in surgery at UPenn to have the cancer removed and then a sentinel node biopsy.
That biopsy came back positive and I had to have surgery again to remove 13 lymph nodes from my left groin. I had a skin graft from my groin to my foot and after the second surgery I was "cancer free."
I then went through interferon for my treatment for a full month everyday and then for the next 11 months I had treatment 3 times a week. It was rough but I made it through!
I lost a good bit of my hair and lost a lot of weight and was always in pain but it was worth it for not having cancer anymore! I have PET scans every six months and go to the dermatologist every three. No more tanning for me and now I wear sunscreen everyday!