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My Story - by Hannah Persaud

My Story - by Hannah Persaud

In 2001 I was diagnosed with Malignant Melanoma - the most deadly and aggressive form of skin cancer. I was 24 years old and having recently graduated was just getting into my London lifestyle – my focus was on developing my career, enjoying my social life and getting onto the property ladder. If it hadn’t been for a very good friend (who fortunately for me was a bit of a hypochondriac) I would never have got the mole on my shoulder looked at.

As it was, it was removed immediately for testing, and 6 weeks later I was given the news that it was indeed Melanoma, and my best chances of living beyond 2 years were if it hadn’t spread.

I felt as if my career and social life were stopped in their tracks – facing my own mortality was something I had to that stage never even considered, let alone prepared for. CancerBACUP were endlessly helpful in providing information leaflets, but I desperately needed someone to talk to who could have helped me face my uncertain future, someone who could bear to talk about it with me without thinking about how it affected them.

Within 8 weeks I underwent surgery to remove further tissue and a lymph node was taken out for testing. After an agonising wait I was told that as far as they could tell, the Melanoma had not spread.

Over the following months I went back to work, and re-integrated back into the world I felt that I had left, temporarily – there were days when I could not fathom what had happened, and what I should do with that experience.

Now, 9 years later, I am thankful every day for the opportunity to be here, sharing my life with my family and friends. I was amazingly lucky, and I feel honoured to work for a charity that is helping to fund a Cancer Centre that will help people like me into the future.