I was diagnosed with stage 2 melanoma in January of 2003. I had a small, asymmetrical mole removed from the front of my shin in December. I was shocked and frightened when I got the news that it was cancer. I had the area removed a few weeks later and completed a year of Interferon treatments. The treatments gave me flu-like symptoms and I lost about 75% of my hair. I continued to work as a second grade teacher through my treatments and kept a positive attitude. The students helped me to keep my mind off melanoma.
As a child I spent a lot of time outside, not always with sunscreen or appropriate cover. I had frequent sunburns. Now, I try to educate the students in my classroom about the dangers of too much sun and how they can protect themselves.