READER REPORT:

Cancer 'niggle' was nearly missed

SARAH GREENSLADE
Last updated 13:00 28/07/2014
Cancer treatment IV chemotherapy melanoma
Reuters
SERIOUS: Melanoma is one of the most deadly cancers.

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Has a health scare changed your life?

'My retina didn't detach, it was ripped off' Cancer 'niggle' was nearly missed 'I thought I was indestructible' 'I did the worst thing, I used Dr Google' Living through lymphoma No stroke, no tumour, no diagnosis Doctors told me it was terminal - they were wrong Tumour discovery scares woman into life

In August of 2012, at the age of 38, I asked my doctor to remove an unusual small bump that wasn't healing from my left cheek.

The doctor said it appeared fine and freezing it off would be simple.

A niggle in the back of my mind made me say: "No, could it be cut off and tested?" As it was classed as cosmetic, it took another two months to have it done at my local hospital.

The doctor removing it was not concerned either.

After two weeks of waiting for a result, I phoned to chase them up. The return call was: "You need to come in urgently, tomorrow."

Much to the shock of the doctor, I had a rare form of melanoma called spindle cell melanoma, which has a one in five chance of spreading.

Five weeks later I had a two-hour surgery on my face and tests to check for any further cancer.

Thankfully, I was given the all clear another five weeks later. I now have a scar running from my ear to my eye and down to nearly my jaw.

Every time I look in the mirror I am reminded that if I hadn't listened to my gut instinct I may not have reached my recent 40th birthday milestone.

I do feel as if I am living on borrowed time as a serious melanoma such as mine can recur and be a death sentence at any time.

I live for each day and make the most of it, especially with my three beautiful children. I am closer to some people in my life now and I feel so thankful to still be here.

Every day I wake to the world is a good day. My goal is to reach 50.

I share my story often with the hope that I can make an impact and even change someone's life. Listen to your body, love your life because you only get one.


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