“I FIGHT ON as a melanoma cancer survivor.”
Carole Schuh along with her two daughters, Jamie and Caitlin, always chased after that sun-kissed tan as many women do these days. From utilizing tanning beds in the winter to laying out by the pool during the summer, the goal of getting that golden-brown skin was always what they aimed for.
One day Jamie noticed a suspicious spot on her mother’s back and insisted she get it looked at by her dermatologist. Carole made an appointment but never expected the results she received from her biopsy, the results that said she was diagnosed with Stage III B Melanoma Skin Cancer.
Carole’s melanoma required two separate surgeries leaving a 10-inch scar on her back and a complete lymph node dissection.
After surgery, Carole became a regular patient of Dr. Kurt Tauer at West Cancer Center where she received semiannual scans to keep an eye on her melanoma, ensuring it didn’t spread elsewhere.
Luckily, four years after her surgeries, Carole has not had any evidence of disease or abnormal scans and has been declared cancer free.
This time for Carole’s family was extremely difficult. It not only was a life lesson for Carole, but for her daughters as well. Caitlin says, “I see my friends all go to the tanning bed or lay in the sun for hours thinking “oh, it won’t happen to me” while knowing that it can happen to anyone, without warning, just like it happened to my mom.”
As much as Carole’s illness could be described as a curse, her family also likes to see it as a blessing. “It’s a constant reminder to live life to it’s fullest every day. To be slow to anger and quick to love. To realize just how precious and fragile life truly is. And most importantly to always do as your mother says and apply sunscreen!”
Carole wishes to help prevent others from making her same mistakes and to be a role model to the people around her just as she is a role model to her two girls. She advises everyone to get a skin check annually and to always be on the lookout for spots that appear to be abnormal. Wear your sunscreen and remember, “pale is the new tan!”
Join Carole today by registering or donating to her team!