My journey with Melanoma started in September 2020 right in the middle of the pandemic so accessing GP’s etc was more difficult and time consuming than previously.

One of the doctors I have met asked me a few months ago if I’d share my story to raise awareness. I wasn’t quite ready but today following my telephone consultation with my consultant I’ve decided to start writing!

In July 2020 I noticed a mole that was on my upper left thigh had changed colour and was red around the outside but other than that it was causing me no pain or discomfort of any kind so I left it for 2-3 months before contacting my GP. He Immediately showed concern and sent photographs to Dr Podmore the Dermatologist. Within 2 weeks I had been seen at her clinic and within 10 days was having the mole removed under local anaesthetic, a few stitches and away off home.

To be honest I wasn’t that concerned as it hadn’t been causing me any discomfort and I thought wasn’t there too long really. So when I was sitting in Costa a couple of weeks later having coffee with a friend and received the call I was absolutely shocked when the consultant said that the pathology report had shown that there was malignant cells and I would need further surgery, I could hardly take in what I was hearing!

By now we are in January 2021, Covid-19 is everywhere and the Health Service is struggling but I honestly was so lucky and grateful with the service I received. I was referred to Mr Diggin and had a Sentinel node biopsy done which detected that it had spread to a lymph gland close to the original site. So I had further surgery to remove the lymph gland plus further deeper surgery at the original site to ensure no malignant cells left. What originally was a small wound now becoming deep with internal stitches and 16cms long! Three months later I had a P.E.T scan and most recently a C.T scan in July.

So today just over 12 months from I first noticed the changes in the mole I received the news that there is no cancer present, my stage 2 melanoma has not spread anywhere else. I know I am very very lucky. Of course, I will be monitored regularly for a long time to come and that is a great reassurance. This all started with a small mole which as I said at the beginning of this story was causing me no problems, no pain or discomfort it had just changed somewhat but didn’t alarm me……. But it should have! A 2-3 month wait meant that my melanoma was stage 2 and malignant cells had spread to a lymph gland.

So my message to anyone is to contact a doctor if you notice any changes no matter how small you think they are, Melanoma is just as serious as any other form of cancer and early detection is most important.

As written by Catherine Magee (04.08.2021)