A YOUNG woman has just weeks to live after doctors found a tiny birthmark on her foot.
Natalie Fornasier, 28, has spent the last four weeks in end-of-life care after being told her skin cancer was terminal in July.
The writer from Sydney, Australia was diagnosed with melanoma at the age of 20 when a mole on her toe suddenly changed shape.
Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that can spread to other organs in the body.
It’s the deadliest form of skin cancer, killing around 2,300 people every year, according to the charity Cancer Research UK.
The disease can be triggered by too much sun exposure and is currently killing more people than ever before.
Since 1973, death rates from melanoma have increased by 219 percent in men and 76 percent in women, the Cancer Aid found.
Natalie has shared her cancer journey with her 29,000 Instagram followers and has received a flood of support from around the world.
In her most recent post, the author shared a “heartfelt thank you to everyone for your messages of love, support, kindness” and their “generous donations.”
What symptoms of melanoma do you need to know about?
The most common sign of melanoma is the appearance of a new mole or a change in an existing mole.
Most experts recommend using the simple “ABCDE” rule to look for symptoms of melanoma skin cancer, which can appear anywhere on the body.
- Symmetrical – melanomas usually have two very distinct halves and an irregular shape
- Edge – Melanomas usually have a nicked or ragged edge
- Colors – Melanomas are usually a mixture of two or more colors
- Diameter – most melanomas are usually more than 6mm in diameter
- Enlargement or bump – a mole that changes in size over time is more likely to be a melanoma
In women, the legs are the most common specific site for melanoma skin cancer in the UK.
Men are more likely to see melanoma on their torso—the back or upper body.
She continued: “Today is four weeks in palliative care. It’s absurd that it’s been so long – time is so fluid, it feels like none has passed, but the calendar says otherwise.
“I miss my home incredibly – I miss my jewelry on the fireplace that sits nicely and my couch that basically swallows you up. i miss my kitchen I even miss the possums on the roof.
“But I can no longer walk unaided, my legs are filled with fluid, my whole body hurts 24/7 and the tumor burden is enormous,” she said.
“My pain is slowly increasing, day by day I can feel my body slowing down a little bit more, which is so bizarre to watch – especially when you can also feel it physically.”
“But those yellowed walls with creaking old doors are the best place for me — it’s safe (and fully stocked with all the medicines I need!),” she added.
In a post on Facebook, Natalie said the word “terminal” startled her, as her initial diagnosis that dying was always a possibility was always a possibility.
“The last four months have been brutal,” she said.
“At the end of July I received word that my cancer was now incurable and that I had months to live,” she said.
“I cried myself hoarse from fear of death. I cried out for the children I would never have, growing old, my friends, the life I was meant to live.”
The young author has spent years raising awareness about the dangers of skin cancer, but admits she never thought she would end up in the state of “dying.”
Natalie’s friends have put together a GoFundMe to help cover funeral expenses, living expenses for Alexander and his mother, and to ease the pain being experienced by Natalie and her family.
“Whatever is given is indescribably appreciated, from the bottom of my heart,” the page reads.
GoFundMe has almost reached A$10,000 (£90,322) of its A$100,000 (£82,858) Goa;
https://www.the-sun.com/health/6978895/skin-cancer-weeks-mole/ I’ve been given just weeks to live after a tiny mark on my foot turned out to be deadly – I’m terrified