Survivor Stories

Barbara Koerth, Stage II

Diagnosed 02/01/2011

My mother-in-law was putting some cream on my back because I have petechia, and she noticed a brown spot on my back and thought nothing of it. She then put more cream on my back a few days later and noticed the spot had turned purple and black and was weirdly shaped. It called for immediate attention, so I called my doctor. This was in February 2011, and I had my moles on my body looked at and he found three he wanted biopsied. We awaited the results, and they came back melanoma Stage II; I had no idea what that meant, and he had to explain to me. My life took on an extensive change from that moment on.

I was the girl who was always in the sun and tanned very easily. I enjoy being in the sun but learned very quickly the dangers of the sun and what it had done to me or what I did to myself. Tanning beds, getting that perfect tan to go with that perfect dress, not anymore. Now I cover myself in sunscreen no matter where I’m going. I limit my time in the direct sunlight and I watch my kids in it as well.

I have learned a lot from having this, and I still live with it and will be getting tested for Stage III next month. I’m a little scared but I know that I’m going to be okay. I have a huge support team, and I know I can get through this. I will continue to fight with all of my might.

I try to get my story out there for all to hear so that maybe one person will adhere to the safety concerns and issues with tanning beds and being in the sun for extensive amounts of time. I know I have learned!