I am a survivor of advanced melanoma: skin cancer which spread to my lymphatic system. I was able to receive eight powerful - and expensive - immunotherapy treatments which quite possibly saved my life. It never occurred to me that, should the disease come back, that I might not receive further treatment.
Natalie Richardson is a mother to identical twins, writer and melanoma survivor. When diagnosed in 2014, her initial reaction was that it’s “just skin cancer.” Today, after going through multiple surgeries, a clinical trial and experiencing the devastating impact the condition can have, she regrets this misperception. She now advocates to raise awareness about this deadly disease and has been sharing her journey on her blog, The Impatient Patient.
I am consoled by having the ability to share my story in the hopes that it can help others. Whether or not a fellow melanoma warrior speaks openly about their own diagnosis, I can give my perspective, and my new-found optimism, to those who may feel as isolated as I did when I found out I have stage 3b skin cancer.
10/03/2016 02:35 EDT
Growing up, we never talked about the importance of sun protection. We ran and played outside, without even thinking about applying sunscreen. Had I known that ignorance would lead to a stage 3b metastatic melanoma diagnosis in my mid-30s, I would've done things a lot differently.
04/08/2016 09:00 EDT
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