My Fight with Skin Cancer This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   Inour teen years we don't think of the terrible things that can happen to us -things like cancer. I didn't think I would ever get cancer, or at least not untilI was much older.

It all started with a mole my mom noticed on my upperback. She was worried and had my doctor look at it. My family physician said weshould have a specialist check it. When the oncologist measured it, he found itwas bigger than six millimeters and dark colored. He explained the differenttypes of skin cancer and decided that to be safe the mole should be removed,though they didn't think it was cancerous.

The doctor decided to removethe mole that day, right in his office. It was sent to a lab, and two weeks laterwhen I got my stitches out, they still didn't have the results. That's when Istarted to worry. The next day I was told to come right home after school becausewe had to go back to the doctor. I could tell by the look on my father's facethat something was wrong. I asked him why we had to go back and he said,"Your results came back positive - it's melanoma." I didn't know whatto think, and just started to cry.

The doctor explained to us moreabout skin cancer and the steps we would need to take. We decided to go toSyracuse for treatment, since that's where most of my father's doctors were.There, they looked me over and said I needed surgery. On my second visit, theydid some tests, and took blood and x-rays. The major test they did was to injectdye in my back to determine where the cancer had spread.

Two weeks later Iwent for the surgery. I had to be at the hospital at 8 a.m. for them to injectthe dye into me one more time, and then I waited until late in the

afternoon for the procedure. I went home the same night, and missed threedays of school.When I returned to the doctor two weeks later to get my stitchesremoved, he told me everything had gone well.

The thickness of my melanomameans it will stay in my body for nine years. I can't go into tanning beds ever,and if I am out in the sun I have to wear sunscreen. I have doctor's visits forthem to take x-rays and do blood work. If everything goes well, then I will onlyhave to go once a year.

Cancer is a terrible disease to have, especiallyif you're young. I was fortunate that mine was caught early. Some less fortunatepeople understand what I went through. Others are finding out they have some typeof cancer and have to go through more treatments than I did. I hope none of youever have this experience.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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