I was 23 when I was diagnosed with superficial spreading melanoma. Not something I expected to be enduring at that age, but me being me I took it in my stride and got on with it. 
At the time I was working at the Royal Marsden hospital doing nursing. I was working in the rapid diagnostic assessment centre (RDAC) at the time. This is where people came at the beginning of their journey. We take new referrals, run one stop clinics for women with lumps in the breast, run outpatient clinics and there was a radiology department upstairs for ultra sounds mammogram etc. Also private clinics where ran there as well. 
I remember one lunch time I was sitting down with my colleague Monique who is now one of my best friends and we was looking at the moles on my arms (I have an untold amount!) and we came across a funny looking mole at the top of my left arm. She advised me to ask the dermatologist that we work with to have a look at it as it didn’t look like a normal mole. It had a few different shades of brown in and was kind of merging into one another.
That year I had gone to turkey twice with my mum and me being me I thought I didn’t need to wear sun cream. This was because I was a typical girl that wanted to come back to England with a tan. Instead I came home with blisters, looking like a lobster and was in agony the whole journey back to England. Silly Zoe. The next morning I woke up red raw and have blisters the size of pebbles. It was scary. 
Cutting a long story short the Dermatologist looked at it and she advised me to get a GP referral to the hospital where she would have to do a WLE (wide local excision) to remove it and then it would need to be sent to be examined by pathology.  I did not think much of it at the time I think It was my way of remaining positive. 
I had it removed just before Christmas 2018 and had to wait until the festive season was over to get my results. It was in Jan 2019 when I found out it was cancerous. I remember my dermatologist telling me and I just said “oh okay” she said “Zoe are you okay I have just told you that you have cancer” but I did not feel any emotion too it. I got up and carried on my day as normal.