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Melanoma Survivor Stories

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Lessons That Cancer Taught Me

by Heather Hall

This year I celebrate a special anniversary – 20 years as a cancer survivor. While it’s an anniversary that my family and friends celebrate too, it’s a milestone that only I can fully feel. And, yes, I celebrate it! Because every morning that we wake up to a new day should be cause for celebration.

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Making Sure the Kids Are All Right

by Crystal Zelman, LCSW, CCLS, RPT

Children are super resilient. They are amazing beings with their own thoughts, feelings, experi­ences, ways of coping, and support systems. With that said, however, most parents have a strong and instinctive desire to protect their children, espe­cially from hearing the words, “I have cancer.”

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When Life Gives You Cancer,
Find the Celebration

by Shannon Doan-Duff

Only 11 weeks after my dad was diagnosed with advanced colon cancer, I too became a member of the cancer club. I had melanoma. My family went from being a “normal” family (normal being relative for those who know us) to a family living with cancer. Living, though, took on an entirely different meaning after cancer entered the picture.

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Fighting Back Against Melanoma

by Debra Black

About 10 years ago, I was diagnosed with melanoma in situ, which is a very early stage of this type of skin cancer. Luckily, it was something that could be addressed with a routine procedure. However, because of that diagnosis, I knew I remained at risk for skin cancer and was advised to see a dermatologist at least every three months for a full body exam, which I did.

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The Road From Grief to Grace

by Nicole Zechella

One week after my 30th birthday, I was told I had a large melanoma in the center of my back. The dermatologist informed me that I had an appointment for that afternoon with a surgeon to discuss the next step. My denial started as soon as I hung up the phone. Like in the movie of the week, I found myself in front of a very impressive, degreed doctor nodding on autopilot as he told me directly, clearly, quietly, “Nicole, you have cancer.”

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