Survivor Stories

Karissa Weaver, Stage IV

I was diagnosed with high-risk melanoma in 2017. For the record, I never used a tanning bed, always used suntan lotion, and never really had bad sunburns. Within a week of diagnosis, I underwent a wide local excision a week later. The melanoma was on my left lower leg. In 2014, my nephew found it and I asked my primary doctor to look at it. She said she thought it looked ok and I went about living life for three years…until a nail salon artist asked me about it and I got annoyed and made an appointment to remove it. Well, the doctor biopsied it. After my surgery I was on bed rest for a while and then went back to work as a nurse, it did get infected, and I had to spend a few days in the hospital for antibiotics. I underwent skin checks every couple of months and saw the oncologist. My staging was 2b. The adjustment was hard, I would get anxious when the sun hit me. I developed psoriasis, although genetic it was also my nerves.  On September 15, 2021, I had a small spot below my original scar I was waiting to turn into psoriasis, it never did, so the dermatologist biopsied it. Then I got the dreaded call, you have METASTATIC MELANOMA. Everything happened so fast again, I underwent another wide local excision, with graft, and this time wound vac to decrease the chance of infection because the legs are hard to heal. My cancer staging increased from II to IV. I underwent an MRI brain and PET scan, both came back negative for new metastasis. Since I am now 33 years old with stage IV cancer I will be doing a year of Keytruda. That will be my next chapter.

Karissa Weaver
Age 33
Stage IV Melanoma Survivor
Denver, PA