May is Melanoma Awareness Month – My Story, Part 1

May is Melanoma Awareness Month – My Story, Part 1


During May I will tell my melanoma story. I mentioned it here first.

In my opinion this kind of cancer is still very underestimated. Once melanoma has metastasizesed, the prognosis is very bad. Melanoma is agressive, and it spreads early. The survival rate of over 90% leads to ignorance, and precautions are not taken as they should be.

I am not the typical melanoma patient myself. One, I was 29 and quite young when I was diagnosed. Two, until today every dermatologist points out that my skin has little sun damage. As a child, I preferred the shadows to sunlight, and we didn’t always got to southern Europe on vacation, we often stayed in Germany.

The first sign things weren’t right appeared in winter 1999/200. I lost weight, but I thought this was an effect of me going to the gym three times a week.

In February 2000 I had a middle ear infection, the first since my childhood. It was in the right ear, where I am wearing my hearing aid. Antibiotics, hot water bottle, everything alright within a matter of days. Sh*it happens.

In Spring 2000 I had a really nasty infection in my ear canal. Antibiotics and antifungals didn’t work. Finally very drastic measures helped – not wearing the hearing aid for one week and having a piece of bandage with antibiotic ointment in my ear all the time. But we really had much stress at work.

Summer came, and I was so tired I fell asleep while working – more than once. I really was in need of a vacation. We were supposed to go to Malta in August. We never made it.

Then there was this thought in my head, and I couldn’t get rid of it: A nagging feeling that something was not right with the birthmark on the inside of my left ankle. For some weeks I was unsure if I should see a doctor just because of a feeling. The birthmark did not itch, ooze or bother me. It wasn’t that big either, like the rubber on a pencil. But then came a feeling of urgency. I called dermatologist after dermatologist, until I was squeezed in because of a cancallation.

~ To be continued ~


10 thoughts on “May is Melanoma Awareness Month – My Story, Part 1

  1. Such an important topic to cover, especially when you’re not the ‘typical’ case, ie. you were younger, had a mark that didn’t cause problems etc. Well done (hope that doesn’t sound patronising, I can’t think of another expression!) on putting yourself out there in recounting the first part of your journey for awareness month. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is going to be very interesting and informative. Living here where too much exposure to the sun causes all kinds of skin problems, melanoma is a serious issue, and an easy one to ignore until it is too late. I will be following along as you tell us how this has impacted your life. I also agree that our bodies try to tell us when something is wrong. I am so glad you listened to yours!

    And now I am all caught up to date with your posts, it has been an enjoyable afternoon of reading and commenting on them! 🙂


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