"In September 2013, I participated in the Avon Breast Cancer Walk. One mom in my daughter’s class was a survivor, and we all decided to walk with her in support. After the first day, I was in the shower and rubbing my legs and felt a lump under a scar on my thigh from a mole I had removed years prior. Because of the environment I was in, I had cancer on my mind. So I went to the doctor a few weeks later. I was assured it was scar tissue, but because I am so fair and my family history, they decided to remove it. It came back irregular, so they decided to take a little more—15 stitches more—and that time, it came back early stage melanoma."
"I was stunned. The next thing I knew I had to find a surgical oncologist and be rushed into surgery three days later, and there were a lot more than 15 stitches in order to get clear margins. At this point, it had been four months since I felt it and they didn’t want to waste any more time. Because of where it was located, the doctors all said they would have not found it. They also said that because I was aware enough of my own body, I saved my own life.
"As for my kids, I told them that the sun kissed me too hard and that's why I had such a big boo-boo. I explained that sunscreen protects against the sun kissing you too hard. They bought it. Sometimes they will remind me to put sunscreen on them before I have had a moment to even think about it. It's just become part of our routine."