Navigating My Melanoma Journey: Understanding Diagnosis and Treatment

Earlier this year I shared a post about how to stay healthy when life gets busy. Sharing that last year I was so busy that I put off many of my health appointments. This year I have pushed busy aside and I am looking after ME!  I did a full health check with my new GP in February (she is amazing BTW, really thorough and making me book follow-up appointments) and have booked in for my Pap Smear, TMI.  I also booked in for a skin check, which was a little overdue. I have lived on the glorious Gold Coast all my life, the sun is quite fierce, and I have fair skin and freckles, I burn just putting washing on the line, so it’s important I get checked.  I saw my skin dr last week, the result was unexpected.


this is Main Beach, Gold Coast, Qld, Australia

I usually see my skin doctor every year, but keeping it real and honest, this appointment was overdue, I should have gone when I was moving house late last year but as I was busy packing so I cancelled the appointment. The Doctor usually asks if I have any worries or concerns.  There wasn’t anything I was worried about but did want to point out to him something on the back on my leg.

Mid last year I was a little concerned about a spot on the back of my leg and whilst I was visiting a GP I asked him to check the spot, he said it was fine, it was like a beauty spot and not to be concerned.

Although, I had noticed in the last month that it had changed, got a little lumpier. So a second opinion is worthwhile for my own piece of mind.  My Skin Doctor didn’t like the look of it, so he scraped it to send to pathology.  This was the first mole I have ever had scraped, usually I have a few spot on my face and hands frozen, never a scrape.  I wasn’t too concerned as the GP said it was nothing to be concerned about.

However, the Skin Doctor called me with the results. It’s a melanoma.

Cancer Council says “Melanoma is a type of skin cancer which usually occurs on the parts of the body that have been overexposed to the sun. Rare melanomas can occur in parts of the skin or body that have never been exposed to the sun.

Melanoma is the fourth most common cancer diagnosed in Australia, which along with New Zealand has the world’s highest incidence rate for melanoma. Melanoma is more commonly diagnosed in men than women. The risk of being diagnosed with melanoma by age 85 is 1 in 14 for men compared to 1 in 24 for women. “

Far out, this blew me away, I don’t spend a lot of time in the sun if I can help it and I lather myself with sunscreen.  He said this was a rapid growing Melanoma, in the early stages and if I didn’t come in and get it diagnosed now, it could be a completely different situation in a few months time.


Today I am going into his surgery to get it removed. Get it out of me!!!  I just have to rest my leg for 2 days, so I had to cancel our Good Friday celebrations with the extended family and I declare it a weekend of Netflix!!  All I need to do from here is get my skin checked every 3 months for the next 2 years and ensure my siblings and children also get checked.

I am so grateful that I took the time to look after myself and that I also knew that something on my body wasn’t quite right.

Please I urge you, don’t be too busy to get your skin checked.  If you haven’t had your skin checked recently to please visit your GP if they specialise in skin checks, or see a skin clinic.  You don’t need a referral for skin clinics and most will bulk bill.

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