I noticed a very innocuous small bump on my upper arm. It looked slightly pink, sort of like a bug bite. I was not at all concerned about it but was about to leave my home for a church mission so I decided I should get it checked before I left. I was so sure that it was nothing that I didn’t get it checked until the day I left for my mission! My doctor was concerned enough to do a biopsy.
One week into my travel, my dermatologist called to say I had a rare melanoma that needed to be removed immediately. I have desmoplastic melanoma. I returned back to my dermatologist, he called in his entire staff to look at my tumor. He had never seen this type of melanoma before. He referred me to a surgical oncologist who removed the tumor one week later.
The tumor was 7mm. They did a test to see which lymph node the tumor was draining to. Then a biopsy of that lymph node was done. Luckily the cancer had not spread into the lymph nodes.
After a few weeks of recovery from the surgery, I resumed my mission. I consulted an oncologist here in Virginia and had a PET scan and MRI. I will be retested 6 months from now.
I have not met anyone else with this form of melanoma. I have read it is 2 people per million that are diagnosed with it. It is for this reason I decided to write my story. I had no pain, no real symptoms except a small “innocuous” bump! You know your body. If there is anything irregular or different, get it checked!