When I was 17 my life changed. I found out I had Stage 2 melanoma.
I used to try and tan all the time not realizing I'm a pale girl with freckles, and laying out in the sun for hours is probably not the best idea. I then noticed a small bump on my upper left shoulder, and thought nothing of it because I was a teenager who knew nothing about melanoma or skin cancer in general. So it got bigger a lot faster, to the point I could see the lump through my shirt. My mom saw it and made a appointment with my doctor who removed it as soon as she saw it.
It only took a week to get a phone call that I had cancer. I'll never forget coming home from school with my whole family sitting on the couch waiting for me to get home. It happend so fast after that. I went into surgery at UCLA hospital where they removed a huge part of my shoulder and some lymph nodes. My family was of course very worried about me and my friends as well. I'm 28 years old now, and still have surgeries to this day (had one 6 months ago). But because of them I have been cancer free! It definatly has changed my life. I used to be very upset about all my scars, but I think now that I'm older I realize that I shouldnt be ashamed I should be proud because I am a Survivor! These scars are a reminder of how strong I am. Same with anyone going through the same thing I did. I regret not knowing the dangers of it when I was younger, but I wouldnt be who I am today without having that experience.
Now I bug everyone to always wear their sunscreen! =)