Adriana Cooper

I have friends tell me all the time how strong I am but it's hard sometimes when faced with this diagnosis. Two years ago I was Stage IIb and thought I was going to be good for a while...

I will admit, I have not always been playing it safe in the sun. I grew up in southern Ohio, lots of sun and swimming. We laid out with baby oil back then. I did do tanning beds as well. I am pale, freckled and blonde (well my hair is pink right now). So without further ado here is my melanoma story:

At the age of 36, I was diagnosed with Stage IIb on my upper left forearm. Had two nodes removed negative. Had a wide excision done removed a 2cm area. So thought, OK, get back to life. Guess cancer had other plans. I was almost 2yrs cancer free when I noticed a bump just above my elbow not too far from my primary. I went in for a check with my primary doctor and asked him to look.  He removed my first melanoma. He said it was most likely a fatty tissue and would remove it for peace of mind - great, one less thing. I then get the call to call him back ASAP. I knew. The dreaded M word. It was .8cm (the largest fragment). Next step: scans at Seattle Cancer Care and seeing my oncologist. Now I get the results from the scans: 15 spots in my lungs and the largest being 8mm. And 2 small spots in my liver. Meet with a pulmonary physician at University of Washington to do a lung biopsy on one spot, which came back melanoma. Now I was given the diagnosis no one wants - Stage IV metastatic melanoma. I was prepared for it. I have accepted it. I was more reaked out with the first diagnosis. 

It's a scary world to live in when cancer is involved. I have goals set for myself that I wish to accomplish before my time here is finished. I have a wonderful fiance who, without him, I would be going crazy. He is my rock. I have two wonderful children whom I adore. My life's goal is to see them graduate college. I plan on reaching that goal. I will fight to the end. And educate others as I go along. My story is not over.... 

There is no toe tag on my foot.....

Mon, 2014-06-02


holy moly melanomy - (9/22/2014 - 4:13pm)

This is completely random - I haven't been on this page for a good year or so.  I came on today to see if anyone knows of a support group in the OC where I am.  For some reason, I decided to go to patient stories and I see yours and click on it.  And then I see your story...

I wanted a support group because my latest freak out is a mass that is about an inch or so under my wide excusion scar.  The doctor also suspects that it's a lipoma/fatty tissue - but I am completely terrified for obvious reasons.  Also, in the last two months I have been having sciatic issues on the same left side as the scar/mass and I've never had those issues before in my life.  Not to mention the left leg seems to fall asleep quicker/more often than it has as well.  I have an appointment with a surgeon this Thursday and will insist on removal

So, completely random that I decided to pick your story out.  Did your feel like 'fat'?  Did you ever suspect otherwise?

I hope all is well with you!

"Everything happens for a reason"


Carlos P - (10/25/2014 - 10:48am)

Hi Adriana, I am so sorry to learn about your current conditions, keep up faith! I just found out that I am at stage IIb and waiting to see the plastic surgeon to remove more tissue from the side of my neck.

I am worried, and was wondering if you could offer some advise for when I see the surgeon, questions to ask, treatment etc...