By Kai Dunbar
Seven years ago, I was diagnosed with stage III melanoma.
I didn't spend a lot of time in the sun before my malignant melanoma diagnosis. And I wasn't someone you'd consider at high risk for melanoma. I was only 9 years old.
I was actually born with a small penpoint-sized mole on my right cheek. Over time, it grew, and when I was 8 years old, it became raised and had irregular borders. When I told my pediatrician that it was starting to bleed and itch, he sent us to a dermatologist, who removed the mole and sent it to be biopsied.
Three days later, the dermatologist called. She said I had pediatric melanoma and that we needed to go to MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital.
My parents looked devastated. I was scared and nervous. I worried about my little sister and brother. Did they understand? Were they scared, too?