Return after Melanoma

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  • #38972

    I am currently a week out from surgery to have melanoma excised from my right shin. Still struggling to walk but feel like I’m incrementally improving.

    My larger concern is long-term, and while my medical prognosis is good, I worry about losing my identity as an outdoor athlete (previously rock climbed, hiked, and ran marathons and ultramarathons) as I’ll have to be mindful of my UV light exposure.

    At 35, I don’t want to completely give up my previous activities, but I definitely want to avoid a recurrence, if possible.

    I want to see if anyone had experience returning to outdoor activities after skin cancer, and if they had any tips to help in the progress, physically or mentally.


Posted In: Injury & Rehab

  • Moderator
    Luke Nelson on #39044

    Hey crw5074,
    I can certainly understand how you are feeling. Last July I discovered a lesion on my scalp that was melanoma. It required a wide incision and some down time after. I struggled quite a lot in the time immediately after the procedure as I ruminated over the worst case scenario. Fortunately my margins are came back clear and at 39, the prognosis is excellent. I imagine your situation is also similar. I’ve done an extensive amount of research and had multiple consults with my board certified dermatologist and the long term outlook is very good. Of course we both need to be cognizant of sun exposure, but with proper protection I am confident that both of us can continue to have long lives full of outdoor adventure. I’ll certainly be using good physical sunscreen, like the products made by AllGood, and avoiding getting sunburnt whenever possible. At the end of the day, regardless of a small chance of recurrence, I’ll be choosing to live a life fulfilled by time in the mountains and hope you are able to do the same. As a matter of fact I am replying to your thread from a tea house in Nepal! I wish you a speedy recovery and hope to see you on the trails!

    crw5074 on #39087

    Thanks Luke, I really appreciate your response. It really gives gives me hope that it is possible to go on adventures in the future.

    Thanks again,


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