Very, very lucky!!

In Dec. 2008, I went to a dermatologist to have a spot checked on my upper back. A week after having it removed, it was diagnosed as melanoma. Luckily, it hadn't gone deeper that it had. The spot had been there for at least five years. I kept thinking, "I'll get it checked someday." I also had a spot on my shoulder that was itchy and odd shaped. When I got my stitches out, the dermatologist biopsied the shoulder spot and determined that it was squamous cell cancer. Again it had been there a long time and didn't go deep. At that time, he sent me to get blood work done, a chest x-ray, and get my mammogram current (hadn't had one in five years). Since breast cancer doesn't run in our family, I almost put it off. I did go and there was an abnormality on the mammo. I went back for a follow-up mammogram and then was sent for a needle biopsy. The results came back as early stage breast cancer! A lumpectomy was scheduled right away and I was fortunate to have all the cancer removed. My sentinel nodes were negative, thank goodness. I have the most common form of breast cancer (invasive ductal carcinoma). I didn't have to go through chemo, but am finishing up my radiation therapy. After fighting through a week of fatigue, I am feelling great, and have been able to work through all of this. My advice to everyone, don't put off getting checked. Who knows if I would have waited longer, what the outcome would have been. My outlook on life has changed. I really get irritated at people that put things off. Something could happen and there won't be a second chance to get it done.
kim calderon
carson, WA