A girlfriends Story of Melanoma…

to see the latest news story (dated 2/22/13) shared by Ashley…
My dear friend Ashley is fighting her war on Melanoma by sharing her story with others.  Her hope is to save just on person so that they do not go through what she has had to endure!  Please share this story with others by putting it on your side bar – awareness is key! Thank you for taking the time to read this (dated 2/16/2011)!
by Ashley Trenner on Monday, May 2, 2011 at 4:58pm
I was warned about tanning and tanning beds. I had some knowledge of skin cancer but thought I was invincible and that I would never get cancer. I am 38 and began tanning in high school until I was diagnosed with Melanoma at age 33. In 2003, a tiny lesion appeared on my right buttock. A dermatologist removed the lesion and the result of the pathology was negative. Within a year the lesion reappeared and I neglected to go to the dermatologist. I didn't have insurance and didn't want to pay the money to have it removed again. I allowed the lesion to get a little larger than a quarter and it became very painful. I finally went to a dermatologist in 2006 to have it removed again. Two days after the removal the doctor said it was malignant melanoma. I was scared and a complete wreck to say the very least. Immediately I was referred to an oncologist and surgeon at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance for a larger biopsy of my buttock and a lymph node dissection in the right groin. This was a crucial surgery because if the cancer had spread internally the survival rate is less than 50% in 5 years and difficult to treat. If the melanoma is caught in the beginning stages and hasn’t metastasized the survival rate is over 95% and highly treatable. The sentinel node which is the lymph node closest to the original lesion on my buttock tested positive. This time I was more scared and I had no idea what I was about to endure. One month later I had another surgery to remove more tissue and lymph nodes in the groin in order to remove as much of the cancer as possible, removing more tissue and lymph nodes in the groin. The treatment at the time was Interferon which I started 2 months following the last surgery. It was brutal and I was miserable for 2 months. My regular 6 month checkups for 3 years were negative for melanoma. However, 2 months after my last checkup in 2009, I felt a lump inside my right hip which tested positive for melanoma. I was completely devastated because I had hoped the cancer was gone for good. In 2010, I was in clinical trial studies of the drugs MDX & Yervoy (recently approved by FDA). Neither one was effective in treating my melanoma. Currently, I am in another clinical trial study of OncoVex which I started 3 months ago. My scans in January, 2011 showed cancer in my lymph nodes in both sides of my groin and upper back, my liver and my lungs. I am trying everything so I am also utilizing eastern medicine.
I want to help people to be knowledgeable about Melanoma. It’s a cancer that’s not taken seriously. The majority of people say, "Oh, it's just skin cancer, your lucky." If not detected early skin cancer is deadly. It’s so important to get regular skin checkups by a dermatologist. Also don’t procrastinate if you see something suspicious. I didn't listen when I was warned about the dangers of tanning beds and not using sunscreen. I can't take back my poor decisions but I HOPE to help others make better decisions about not using tanning beds. Nothing good comes out of tanning and cancer sucks!!
Ashley R. Trenner

Watch this video & share with your loved ones.....


BECKY said…
I am so thankful for this post, gal, and Ashley's commitment to help others understand how dangerous tanning is. I have a 25 yo daughter that tans regularly. I have been telling her how bad it is, but maybe this will help her make better choices. I just told my 22 yo daughter. Thank you for sharing this.

I am praying for healing for Ashley.
Unknown said…
oh tracie...this story just breaks my heart. Your friend is so courageous and such an inspiration. I will keep her in my prayers and hope that she is able to beat this. I already added her picture and a link to this post on my blogs sidebar. I hope it helps to spread this story to many, many people. Please let her know that i am sending healing thoughts her way.
Thanks for sharing. I hope all goes well with Ashley's treatment. I have used tanning beds in the past for a very shot time. I think they can become addicting just like other things. I wish more young people would understand the dangers. They will stay younger looking too without all of the sun damage of baking. Everything in moderation.
Victoria said…
Oh how very sad:( Living in So Cal, during my teen years we used to take the bus to the beach then slather ourselves with baby oil and bake for hours. I cringe just thinking about it now! I stay out of the sun as much as possible but I know much of the damage gets done in our carefree youth!

I pray for a miracle for your friend and thank you to her for sharing her story with us!
stefanie said…
that is awful...I tell my kids all the time, to use there sunblock!!! my dad had a skin cancer on top of his head, luckly he caught it in time, people forget to check there heads.
Ricki Treleaven said…
Ashley, I will lift you up in prayer. You have been through so much! I appreciate your efforts to educate us about melanoma. Tracie, thanks for sharing Ashley's story with us. Do you have a sidebar button?
Shannon said…
Thank you for sharing Ashley's story. I too used to use tanning beds regularly when I was younger. I always ignored my mom telling me how bad they were for me but now that I have 2 young little girls I get check ups yearly and pray that the damage I have already done to my skin never infact actually turns into cancer. Having a great tan is definitely not worth it in the long run!
Oh, my heart just breaks for Ashley! I know a few girls I will forward your story to and I will be praying for you Ashley! Tracie, thanks so much for sharing! I'm sure you are such a blessing to Ashley!!!
This is just so sad, Tracie. Ashley has gone through so much. I take this as a definite warning about the dangers of tanning beds. I have gone myself for treatment of a very serious rash, but keep it to the minimum. To do it just for cosmetic purposes is foolish. I wish Ashley all the best.

Donna Reyne' said…
I just forward this to my adult kids who still go to tanning beds!
It breaks my heart that we all have probably done it at one time or another. Just setting ourselves up for such a dangerous condition!
Thank you so much for sharing her story!
Have a blessed day!
HolleyGarden said…
So sad - so young. I've heard this type of cancer is horrible. I will pray for her. Very noble of her to tell her story.
Gatsbys Gardens said…
My friend was also diagnosed with this at 32, and has been clear for the past eight years. She is very light skinned and used to spend a lot of time in the sun as a teenager. My best to Ashley.
Thanks so much for sharing your friends story~I will add it to my sidebar.
I just went to a tanning salon yesterday to check out their packages even though I know the risk..now Im just going to spray tan! Your friend is in my prayers~ Please keep us updated on her journey~ Hugs,Rachel
Tara said…
Ashley is so courageous and my wish for her is health and happiness.My husband had a melonoma removed from behind his ear.Thank god it was caught in time..My prayers are for Ashley today..xx
Bravo to Ashley for speaking out about her melanoma. My daughter recently told me about a friend that had a spot on her back as a teen that was removed with no treatment required. Well, this cancer can be a sleeper and it was still in her body, slowly reaching her lymph nodes and organs and of course too late, when it was caught.
I'll pray for your friend too Tracie because miracles can happen.
AntiqueChase said…
This is so very important and I'm glad you posted this on your blog. You may never know that you helped saved someone's life! xxoo
My Grama's Soul said…
Oh....this story really touched me. This young woman is much too young to be fighting this dreaded disease.

Living in AZ...I know all about the danger of the sun...when i see people come here from all over the country and watch them laying out by the pool...I shutter!!


Unknown said…
My lovely, young niece Audrey is fighting this at this time..She has 3 small children and trying to make it on her own. She has always had very white ghostly looking skin and not fond of the sun or tanning. And she still became a victim of Melanoma..my good friend Katie died in her 40's of the same cancer...I'm so scared for my Audrey! My other nieces have all stopped tanning even though Audrey never did. She could not be in the sun as she would burn so quickly!
Oh what a sad story. My daughter's best friend also had a mm on her buttocks from the tanning bed. Her story was better than your friends. I will be praying for her.
Leontien said…

I found your blog true verde farms and i saw this post right away. I am also a Melanoma survivor and i have shared my story true my blog aswell. If your friend maybe wanted to read it you can find it at www.fourleafcloverdairy.blogspot.com and the very first post is my story about one year after my diagnoses.
I really hope you hear from you or your friend.

Sandi said…
wow I am speechless...I worry about people that I know tanning too , but what do you do. So very sad and Ashley is in my prayers!!
Nancy said…
Thank~You for this courageous Story, I am placing this on my sidebar too. I was a Sun & Tanning bed worshiper for years until I had a Basel Cell removed from my face and 40 stitches for such a tiny thing to remove it all. Keeping Ashley close in my Prayers, as we know Prayer is very Powerful too!!

Will keep Ashley in my thought and prayers. My Mom has melanoma and treatment options are more limited when you are older. Early detection is key, don't tan and use sunscreen.
Ubu! said…
My father's melanoma story was much like this one. His melanoma reappeared 13 years after the initial diagnosis/treatment and had spread like wildfire before there were any outside indications. Ashley-I feel your pain and I'm truly sorry you are going through this.
bj said…
I pray your friend is doing better and that all the treatments work for her. I KNOW God can do anything so I pray for a full recovery for Ashley.
All things are possible with God.
xoxo bj
Cynthia said…

This story really hit me. I am not a tanner at all and have never worshipped the sun for tanning and I am glad after reading this. Ashley sounds like a very brave person, she will be in my thoughts and parayers.


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