Victoria Carrubba, Stage III

Diagnosed 03/09/2016

I went in for a random physical because I had gained some weight and could not loose it. My PCP said he didn’t like the look of a mole on my breast so he scheduled me to come back 2 weeks later to have it removed. That day he removed the mole and another one on my back. Two weeks later when I went back for my results, the one on my breast was benign and the one on my back was melanoma. Found so randomly I thank God every day! I had a wide excision surgery that removed the mole which was only at stage T1a, so no other testing was needed. I was cancer free!!! (Or so we thought)

A little over a year later, I went in for my yearly PAP, and my OBGYN sent me to have a mammogram because I had just turned 40! My results came back that I had an enlarged lymph-node. So the next month I had Ultrasounds, Biopsy’s, tests and more tests and it turned out the melanoma I had on my back had spread to my lymph nodes and I now was stage 3. I had surgery on August 2, 2017 to remove the lymph nodes in my axillary and now I have no evidence of disease. I began adjuvant treatment with Opdivo on October 10. I was going to have a different treatment, but since the melanoma research is advancing so rapidly, a new treatment was found and I have no side effects at all! Thank goodness for all these new revelations with immunotherapy.

Has been a roller coaster ride but I have an amazing family and I love life!