Tamsin is a Melanoma Patient at Leeds Cancer Centre

I’ve always had lots of moles, and I’ve always made sure I wear sunscreen and kept an eye on them. But then I noticed a mole on
my right arm had changed, so I got it checked out just to be safe.

I never expected to have an operation to remove it on that very same day, that’s when I knew something wasn’t right.

But it took weeks and weeks to get my biopsy results back. Night after night, I’d lay in bed wondering "do I have cancer?" "am I going to die?" and then I’d wake up thinking it was all a dream. It was constantly on my mind; the wait was agonising.

And then I finally got the news I’d been dreading, It was cancer, and I had to go into hospital for another biospy to check if it had spread to my lymph nodes. More weeks of waiting followed, before I finally found out it was Stage 3 cancer, and even worse it had spread to the lymph nodes under my arm pit.

I’m a single mum of three, I work hard to provide for my family and after a long shift at work I spend the evenings caring for my elderly parents. They need me.

I didn’t let my family know how bad it was for a while. I’m supposed to be the mum, the daughter, it’s my job to look after them, not the other way around. But when I was on my own, sometimes I would break down and cry. I was surrounded by loved ones, but I felt so alone, no one truly understood how I was feeling. I stayed strong for everyone around me, but inside I was terrified.

Every few months, for the rest of my life, I have to go back into hospital for a check-up. And every time I walk into the clinic, I’m hit with a wave of anxiety that my cancer might have spread.

Even though I had an operation to remove some of my lymph nodes, because they found my cancer after it spread, there’s a high risk that it will come back one day.

Your donation will help fund a new ultrasound scanner making it as quick and easy as possible for melanoma patients like me to be checked at follow up appointments.

Donate to our Skin Cancer Appeal today

We know that some people reading this might be affected by cancer and going through a difficult time.

Leeds Cancer Support teams offer a comprehensive range of support services, from information and advice to health and wellbeing therapies to anyone affected by cancer; patients, those supporting them and their families.

Call 0113 206 6498 or email [email protected] to find out more.