Survivor Stories

Tina Cruz, Stage I

Diagnosed  6/22/15

I have had my skin checked every 6 months for years due to atypical moles. My long time Doctor did my skin check in April 2015 and sent me on my way. BUT, he had been trying to help me get rid of a wart on my ankle for a year with no success.
I talked to my primary Doctor about the wart and she suggested I try her dermatology group and I did.
I scheduled an appt and showed up to possibly have a wart removed from my ankle. The new dermatologist asked if she could do a skin check and I told her no because I just had it done 6 weeks prior. Something made me change my mind in a split second and I said, you know. What would it hurt?
The new dermatologist, Dr. Chelsy Marty, decided she needed to do two biopsies, so we did and she said she would call in a week with results. Within in 5 days one of the bx sites appeared to be infected, so I called the office and they said to come in so they could see the site. I was blindsided!! Dr. Marty did an examination and then told me the results from that area/bx were malignant melanoma .. I was blindsided!
Unfortunately, my uncle is stage 4 metastatic melanoma, so melanoma was not a foreign term to me and I knew this was not good. I was in the surgeon’s office the next day and surgery was scheduled.I was treated with a wide incision surgery and sentinel node biopsy. My follow up is skin and lymph node checks every 3 months.

As I approach the one year anniversary of being diagnosed. I feel good! It’s been a roller coaster between me and my uncle, but we are both in a good place and take one day at a time.
I’m also very thankful for my new dermatologist, Dr. Chelsy Marty.