Tory’s personal story
I was diagnosed with stage 3b melanoma at 24 years old. It was my first time visiting a dermatologist, and the biopsy from my upper left arm came back with a melanoma that was 0.76 mm deep.
My team at University of California San Diego advised me to do a sentinel lymph node biopsy. Out of the three lymph nodes that were removed, one had a small spot of cancer. I did not want to remove more lymph nodes, so we decided that I would see a dermatologist every three months and get CT scans on my chest every six months. I also had a PET scan early on to see if the melanoma had spread elsewhere.
Since my first diagnosis in 2014, my dermatologist has found four more melanomas (on my chest, breast and leg), but all have been shallow. I am grateful for this experience because I truly cherish my life and loved ones. It was a blessing in disguise.
Our bodies may be scarred, but those scars represent strength, hope, and perseverance.