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Kelly’s personal story

Kelly Kinard
After three years of annual visits to my dermatologist, I had a spot show-up on my calf three to four months after the 2009 visit. I attempted to get on a cancellation list numerous times and apparently, got "lost in the shuffle." As soon as the doctor saw the spot, he yelled at me about why I didn't come to him sooner. Had I been able to see him sooner, this might not have been such a lengthy journey! 

The spot was more than 2 mm deep, so I a sentinel node biopsy and wide excision was performed, removing a large chunk from my calf. What a painful procedure the biopsy was, but necessary! It indicated that the cancer had, indeed, gone into my lymph nodes. The results led to another surgery—node dissection from my left groin. Three of those nodes were positive. 

No treatment was done, as I also have MS, and there were concerns about how it would effect this auto-immune disease! I had two years of "scanxiety!" That is the anxiety experienced every time a scan is performed, waiting for results, then waiting for the next scan! Then the nightmare started all over again. 

It came back. This time in my abdomen! That lead to another surgery, treatment and radiation! They insisted on interferon treatment this time, as it was my second occurrence. 

I have my second Melanoma Awareness Benefit scheduled for May 24! I made it through two battles, but the war rages on. My mission now, is to educate, bring awareness and raise funds for much-need research to find a cure for the Black Beast!