Survivor Stories

Ruth White

Diagnosed 07/23/2009

My melanoma story isn’t a scary story about treatments of immunotherapy or radiation. I am extremely grateful for that, although I am cognizant one day my story may include those and odds are against me, so my story most likely will change. Preparing for the worst and hoping for the best is my new mantra. I consider myself a twice survivor so far…..

It was 2009, I was 39 years old, a wife and stay at home Mom to four beautiful children. 14 to 5 years old. In June I noticed something different about a freckle on my inner left calf. I was crossing my leg one day and noticed the tiniest line shooting outward of a minuscule freckle. Although its not like in anything you see in pamphlets, etc, describing melanomas. My regular full body check was scheduled for July anyway with my dermatologist. When I showed her she paused, then said, ok lets take it off. Later she told me she never thought it would come back early stage in-situ. Within two weeks I had a wide incision done and it came back clean.

At my follow up visit, there was conversation that odds were I would have another melanoma in my life. To remain vigilant etc. I did everything right. I came in every 3 months, then we moved to 6 and finally at 5 years to one year.
Fast forward to February 2, 2016 I had my second melanoma. I had a routine punch removal of a suspicious looking dark freckle in Jan. When I saw the caller ID from my dermatologist while sitting at my work desk I knew. This time is was Stage 1a. Opposite leg and upper thigh. Again, I had a wide incision. The clock now resets again it feels.

After my first melanoma diagnosis I discovered I had great inner power to not only help myself, but others too. I used life coaching and exercise to help me cope. That positive energy helped surround myself with a tribe of people I needed in my life to survive. I am adamant to this day that without it, my mental health would have gone in the wrong direction. Not much attention is given to the terrible anxiety that early stage cancer survivors suffer from, my hope is to share my story to them, to help them know they are NOT alone. Use my life coaching skills to fill their lives with a positivity and hope like it did for me.

Hope leads to faith in your power within.