Tanya Lafontaine, Stage III

Diagnosed  07/25/2016

My melanoma was discovered by a participant attending a Group Fitness class I was teaching. She noticed a mole on my right scapula that looked a bit suspicious. I thought nothing of it. I had that mole pretty much all of my life. I had just gotten it checked the year prior and the Dr was not concerned. I was at a very low body fat percentage and I thought this might be why I was noticing it more. I had it removed and basically put it out of my head- until it came back as malignant melanoma.

In August of that same year I had my first surgery. I was told there nothing more to worry about.

Fast forward to March of 2017, a routine ultrasound revealed a suspicious node in my right axilla. The biopsy confirmed it was now metastatic melanoma- Stage 3B.  I had a radical lymph node dissection 3/30 were metastatic. 97% were clear!

In August of 2017, I started a double blind clinical trial. In December, I was unblinded from the study. The drug was deemed ineffective. I will be starting Nivolumab sometime soon.

Throughout my entire surgery & treatment, I have not only continued to work as a Group Fitness Instructor but I have managed to take more courses & added more certifications to my resume. I believe if you sit at home and wait to be sick, you will be sick. I refuse to give in and I absolutely will never give up. This disease is tough but I am tougher.