Robyn's personal story
In February 2009, I noticed a mole on my back that had changed from brown to black. I got it checked out and biopsied.
Three days later my physician called and told me that I had melanoma. He scheduled me with the surgeon to do the excision.
At the time, I didn’t really know what melanoma was. The melanoma was stage 1. They told me during the procedure that it had clean margins and they had got it all. I followed the guidelines of skin checks and wearing sunscreen.
In September 2012, I noticed a lump in my left breast. My immediate thought was that I had breast cancer. After all kinds of additional testing, it came back as metastatic melanoma.
My stage IV diagnosis was Oct. 1, 2012. I met my oncologist, and we began treatment right away. I struggled with side effects and was taken off the immunotherapy. The cancer spread to my brain five times.
During this time in 2013, my brother found a lump under his left arm. On April 23, 2014, my only sibling was diagnosed with stage IV melanoma. My brother died on March 20, 2015, of melanoma.
Throughout my diagnosis and battle, I have had multiple surgeries, gamma-knife radiation, and chemotherapy and immunotherapy treatments. I am very thankful that I have celebrated five years of “no evidence of disease”! I know how lucky I am. I still see my oncologist every six months and get a brain MRI and PET scan as well.
I want to end melanoma! I’m very passionate about educating. I do presentations to middle school and high school health classes. I also speak to lifeguards and other employees that work outside. A lot of times they are given the tools to be sun safe, but not the education. It is my mission to educate. I do not want others to go through what I have had to endure.