Another in the series of positive stories and outcomes, we asked Maureen Rothery if she would tell her story:

After a lovely Christmas 2012, we eventually fell upstairs to bed. As I got in, my husband pointed out that I appeared to have chocolate chip on the side of my foot. We giggled a bit and tried to remove it. But after several attempts we realised it wasn’t going to come off, and we were scrubbing at something that was actually part of me! He asked me if it had always been there and I replied that it was just a mole. He had a good look and said it didn’t look right and that I should get it checked out.  

I laughed it off and went to sleep.

The next day he mentioned it several times. I wasn’t at all concerned. It was just a mole that had always been there. By that evening, he was really insistent that I got it looked at as soon as possible, so I promised I would make an appointment the next day.

The poor doctors were inundated after being closed for several days, but as soon as I mentioned to the receptionist why I needed an appointment, they got me straight in.  I saw a practice nurse, who asked a GP  for his advice. He had a good look using a special handheld device, and immediately said he would refer to our local dermatology clinic. By the time I got work, they had called with an appointment for a weeks time. At this point, I still just thought they were being over cautious, although I appreciated that they were being so thorough.

At the specialist appointment, they had a good look and explained the different types of skin cancer and how they would be treated. By this point I really thought they were being very over the top, and was feeling a little cross. I went home with an appointment for another weeks time to have a biopsy.

The biopsy was quite simple and really didn’t take long. I had the next day off work just because it was on an awkward place on my foot. 2 weeks later, I went back for what I thought was to have my stitches out. I had to wait ages as they wanted me to wait for the consultant, which yet again I thought was being completely over the top!

At the last minute, I decided to leave my 5 year old in the waiting room with a lady I happened to know. Thank goodness I did, because that was the moment I found out that I had Stage 1 Malignant Melanoma. I felt the world disappear around me as it became just me and him having the most surreal discussion. Although I didn’t say a word, I just let him do the talking.

Two weeks later, I had a wide dissection so they could take away the borders to be sure it had all gone, which it was.

I had a monthly check up for one year, and eventually got the all clear.

I owe my life to my husband for spotting it and insisting I go to get it checked, my GP for acting so promptly, and the clinic for treating it. So if you or someone else sees anything suspicious, get it followed up immediately!