25th June 2010
Hi there, I would like to say what a great job you are doing. I have recently joined a support group with Carrine, Karen and Jean, what a wonderful group of women. I am so sorry for your loss, what a beautiful girl.
I am 53 years old and a melanoma patient; my mother had melanoma in 1972 and passed away in the 80’s, no support back then. I did not think it would happen to me and I did take care in the sun.
My heart goes out to you and I would like to say keep up the wonderful work.
The girls said they had a great time in Melbourne – Regards Susan and God Bless.
29th January 2010
Resonating profoundly in the Guest Book of this remarkable website is a requirement for GP confidence approaching skin lesions, of course particularly potential melanomatous. Further, there is frequently a feeling of guilt with sun exposure. These may be ameliorated. In view of guilt, as a Primary Care Physician, I have a position of a counter-productivity extending to impaired healing. My office is a “guilt free and (mostly) pain free” zone. It is incumbent on our Community to pursue deficits in Medical Service provision, regrettably. My experience with Skin Cancer follows a post-graduate focus to Emergency/ Acute care medicine; this as an area where great positive impact is most possible. Skin Cancer is almost always detectable early and the most preventable cancer to progression. Beyond melanoma, I see Aged Care Residents with undetected locally invasive cancers, picked up with a typical annual presentation to Emergency; most often a winter pneumonia. It is a simple matter to biopsy a skin lesion. This is to take a thin section in the clinic room. A reliable aphorism being “If you look at the spot for more than 10 seconds, a biopsy is advised”. A biopsy is not a lesion removal and should not scar. Cutting out a spot typically scars and is unadvisable without a prior biopsy. Expensive imaging/photographic machines are available at some clinics; however the most definitive diagnosis is to send a sample to a laboratory. Watch and wait is unnecessary and, frankly dangerous. I then advocate, medical situations happen, whether it’s a smoking associated illness following a long period of smoking or a melanoma after sun tanning, a matter is at hand. People are already distressed and the matter is best considered as “drawing the short straw”. Support at all levels and for all people involved is critical. More of significance is for people to insist a GP biopsy a spot of concern. One is with one’s body 24/7, a GP 15 minutes at best. At the same time, GP’s will benefit with gentle encouragement to proceed and a rational approach to melanoma early detection. This and nutrition impacts all areas of health; “Eat your broccoli” like your Nan nagged. In the near time, we will see non-surgical definitive management of Melanoma. Research and our daily approach are having a tremendous impact.
To the team behind this website, an enormous Thank you. Dr Rob (Hawthorn/Geelong)
9th June 2009
Howdy from Austin, Texas! So sorry to read of Emily. Our 9yr old grandson has just been diagnosed with melanoma although the doc says it isn't from the sun. He is scheduled for sugery July 2, my birthday. He was diagnosed 3 days after I finished chemo for my squamous cell skin cancer, DEFINITELY caused by too much sun. My doctor told me she is alarmed at the number of (mostly) women in their 20s who she is seeing come in with skin cancers who just "don't think it will happen to them", so I applaud your outreach. Here in the US, they talk about it alot, hopefully people are listening. God Bless, Julie
29th January 2009
This story is to let you know that even when you are given the "all clear" for melanoma you should remain diligent in checking for any changes or lumps. We lost our lovely daughter Megan to melanoma cancer on the 19th April 2008. Megan was 36 years old, she had a husband and 2 children aged 10 and 6 years old. Megan's journey started when a mole on the left side of her face became more noticible she went of to the doctor and was told all was OK. The mole grew larger and she again went to the doctor, the result after being biopsied was a grade 4 melanoma, she immediately had extensive surgery to remove the mole and lymph nodes and a skin graft was done. After approxiametly 4 years she was given the "all clear". Life went along quite happily until Christmas 2006 when she discoverd a lump deep in her left thigh. This was removed and off course it was melanoma. This wound never healed. The melanoma spread rapidly, but Megan fought hard to stay with us she tried all sorts of treatments some experimental, meditation, diet anything to help boost her immune system to keep her with us. Unfortunately, none of them worked on a permanent basis. I think they gave her a bit more time with us and her children. Megan was aware of the Emily Tapp Melanoma foundation and supported it. Hopefully more people will become aware of this insidious disease and take more care in sunbaking and having moles checked regularly and if you are not happy with the result, please get a second opinion. If Megans first visit to the Dr had not been a response of "all is OK " and we had not accepted that response perhaps the story might have been different. - Pam
15th October 2008
Hi my name is Kay, I am writting this story about my beautiful daughter TAMMY. Born on 7/8/79 Tammy had a number of moles on her body which she had checked often, but one mole she left too long. It was on her stomach when she had it taken off in early november 2007 the doctor didn't think it was anything to worry about. The next afternoon came the call I never wanted to hear. Tammys mole was cancer a stage 4/5 MELANOMA. Within days she had surgery and was given the all clear. That was until January 2008 she found a lump in her groin test showed the cancer had spread to her spleen, liver, lungs ,back, ribs and bowel. They gave us 9 months she fought hard tried everything she could if it couldn't help her it might help someone else she said. The spread of MELANOMA is horrible something I wish nobody would ever have to go through. From June Tammys health went downhill fast but unlike most cancer patients Tammy got bigger her liver took over where ever it could in her going from a size 12 to 24 which in its self caused its own troubles her legs were swollen to the point she could not lift them and fluid would drip from them thus causing ulcers on her legs. Tammy had to be put into hospice care which broke our hearts but we knew it was for the best. Tammy got worse over the following weeks but was able to come home for her dads 50th the first week in August, our wish was for her to make her 29th on the 7th of August, she did but was so very weak. Then came the call to come quickly early on the morning of the 16th of August her father, brother and myself were with her, unfortunately her sister didn't make it before Tammy closed her eyes for the last time at 8.05am. We are glad her suffering is over but would have her here without question if we had the chance to. Please if you do anything keep a check on moles get them checked often it can all change too soon. TAMMY LEE BLAINE 7/8/79 to 16/8/08. When Tomorrow Starts Without ME, Don't Think We're Far Apart, For Everytime You Think Of Me, I'll Be Right There In Your Heart. - KAY
13th October 2008
I'm so happy to have found your website. It made me feel better to hear others stories of this cancer and the things I need to watch for. I was 37 years old when I noticed a spot on my upper right thigh. For a year, the dermatologist misdiagnosed it and said it was nothing but a sun spot. But, after that year God was still putting in my head to have it checked again, this time I went to a different doctor and she took a biopsy right away. Within 3 days, I had the phone call telling me it was Melanoma. I only accepted as much as I could handle, but I have those around me that truly understood the depth of it. Within a month, everything was done, including major surgery. I have a 7" scar on my thigh. I call it my "battle scar" and whenever someone wants to debate the reason for having something checked, I show them that. Maybe I was brought through this to make a point to others. I'm alive and that’s exactly what that scar means. I'm sorry for your loss, and I thank you for opening this page as it gave me more things to ask my own doctors about every time I go. May God Bless you in everything you do. I would very much like to be a part of your walk in March. - Kimmy
22nd August 2008
Thank you so much for sharing your story about Emily. My 27 year-old sister was diagnosed with Stage 2 Melanoma in May 2008. She noticed a new black, itchy mole on her abdomen and because I had an irregular mole removed a few years earlier that was pre-cancerous, she went in immediately. She had the mole removed and was told it was Stage 2 - the following week she went in and had a large incision to remove the cells surrounding the mole and two lymph nodes were removed and tested to see if the cancer had spread. Luckily the cancer had not spread but now we are trying to spread her story to educate people about this dangerous disease that can be avoided with proper sun care and skin checks. - Lindsey W.A.
5th July 2008
On 28/6/2008 my 50 year old husband lost his 9 month battle with melanoma. 350 people turned up to his funeral and all were made aware of the dangers of melanoma in my speech. We have used this foundation in leui of flowers and my husband just wanted people to be aware of their moles. The doctors could not find Kevin's primary, his only symptoms was blurred vision and a headache. A CT scan of his brain showed a 6cmx4cmx6cm melanoma, fortunately in the front right lobe which was removed and he was not affected mentally. The story just gets worse over the 9 months, enough said. - Carolyn
25th June 2008
I am a 35 year old female and am recovering from a clark 2 melanoma on my right forearm. I worked in a hairdressing salon 20 years ago, which had a faulty UV steralizing cabinet. As it was my job to clean this cabinet twice daily I feel this may have incresed my risk of melanoma. If there are any hairdressers in a similar spot I would be interested in hearing any stories. - Merryn
24th April 2008
At aged 27 and 32 weeks pregnant, I was diagnosed with a grade 2 Melanoma. My doctor did not believe the mole was anything too suspicious, but took it off as I was not happy with it. (I had a previous grade 1 Melanoma, so the doctor was not going to take chances). After a wider excision, I was deemed to be clear and remain so to this day. Apart from wearing a pretty impressive scar on my upper right arm, I have no lasting ill effects. I am lucky in so many ways, and I wish that when people look at my scar they would feel the same. I am scarred, but I am alive. I continue with my annual check ups and encourage everyone else to be checked regularly too. Four years on I would say to everyone, trust your own instincts. Get a second opinion if you need to. I thank my lucky stars that my GP trusted me. - Emma
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