Catharina’s Story

Catharina’s Story

Surrey, B.C.

In late spring 2010 I went to my family doctor to have a mole looked at that had started to itch and bleed. My doctor referred me to a dermatologist but I could not get an appointment until September of that year. My family doctor performed a punch biopsy on my mole, which came back negative for melanoma. There was still part of the mole remaining so my doctor cut out the remaining mole and again sent it for biopsy.

In July 2010, the results came back as invasive melanoma; the mole was 3.5 mm deep. I was then promptly sent to a dermatologist in Surrey, to a surgical oncologist in Richmond, and to a plastic surgeon, as surgery was necessary to perform a 2cm excision around the mole. A sentinel node biopsy was also done to check for existence of melanoma in my lymph nodes.

A microscopic amount of cancer was found in one of 3 lymph nodes that were removed, so I had a second surgery to remove further lymph nodes. Then, in October 2010 I started my year-long treatment with Interferon. The treatment was intense and I was very ill for most of the year, with severe weight loss. With the amazing support from my husband and my two girls, who were 15 and 12 at the time, as well as my family and friends I was able to complete my year of Interferon treatment. I am happy to report I am doing well and have had no recurrences!

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