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I have had skin cancer since my 20’s and have always kept it under control by having them frozen or removed.  Never did I think that skin cancer can go inward. Because of skin cancer, I moved from Florida to Wyoming so I could stay covered up more.  While in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, I discovered that when trying to get insurance my skin cancer was a pre-existing condition.  I told the insurance company, “do you think it is going to get inside me or something?”  Come to find out, 25 years later, this turned out to be true. 

Six years ago I began to have extreme pain in the back of my arm.  After going to several doctors, I ended up going to a specialist who ordered a MRI which showed a mass under my arm.  A biopsy was done and when we went back for the results we were told I had stage 4 non-small cell carcinoma (lung cancer).  We were devastated! 

In the meantime the pain in my arm was unbelievable because the mass was pushing on all of the nerves.  I fought to keep my arm as long as I could stand it – at the point I decided to have the four quarter amputation.  I had to know just what was in there because no one seemed to know.  Then, we found out it was basal cell carcinoma skin cancer.  I have fought for 2 years now and put up with phantom pain and trying to adapt to being left handed and trying to keep a sense of humor about it. 

Next we had to address the nodules still in the lungs.  I wanted to prove it was the same thing so the surgeon took a nodule out of my lungs and biopsied it and again it was advanced skin cancer.  Telling people I had skin cancer in my lungs was pretty hard for people to believe. 

You can also read Marlene’s story, who is Robert’s wife.

Update: Robert lost his battle with cancer. Our hearts and thoughts are with his family.