Michael West, Stage 0 (“In Situ)

Date of Diagnosis: 08/01/2011

I am just a little confused. I have had two melanomas removed from my cheek and shoulder, each about the size of a golf ball. My wife found these spots and insisted I go to the doctor. When I went to the dermatologist on the spot on my face, he said he didn’t think it was anything at all. I came home that evening, and my wife said, “absolutely not; you’re going back to the dermatologist tomorrow”. I went, and before I left the office, I had this gaping hole in my cheek. The other one on my shoulder was a similar situation. My confusion is because I caught these so early on, so I feel that I am abusing the term “survivor” when I actually never got to the stage of being in a crisis… I don’t like to think that at the point that I caught them, these were life-critical issues, and I don’t want to minimize the term “Survivor” by any stretch of the imagination. I’m thankful that I was able to catch things in the early stages. I try to follow your news articles so that I can stay abreast of what’s going on, but I just feel like I will never cross that threshold.

Michael West
Stage 0 “In Situ” Survivor
Age 70
Cabot, Arkansas