The idea behind Tracie Fontenot’s story was to serve as a warning, a reminder to people about the damage the sun can cause your skin. That sometimes the decisions we make when we’re younger have a way of creeping back up and affecting us later in life.
In 2011 Tracie found a spot on her back, it didn’t seem like a big deal at first but after a few months the spot started to change colors. It was melanoma a form of cancer that is largely due to damage that is caused by the sun.
“I burned a few times real bad, I was a regular in the tanning bed. I knew there was a chance but I said this will never happen to me,” Tracie said looking back on her habits before the spot appeared.
The first surgery to remove the spot was a success, and it seemed as if her encounter with melanoma was over. Unfortunately that battle was just beginning.
“The oncologist said you’ve got a spot on your lung.”
Melanoma doesn’t just stay in the skin, it can spread rapidly through the bloodstream and moving on to other organs. This meant for Tracie that it had spread to one of her lungs. While the spots at first were small after a few years the spots started to grow, it was time for another surgery.
“Where the spot was it was right next to an artery and he was worried it was attached, but it wasn’t. He ended up removing three or four spots off my lung.”
Since then the cancer has moved to her liver, and Tracie is still working on becoming cancer free but insists that despite the diagnosis life continues.
“Seldom do I feel sorry for myself, even when the new spot appeared during the treatment. I said ok what are going to do. You just take it as you go.”