Dad's terrifying find in tiny 'freckle'
When Ryan Glossop noticed a small spot on his neck he never thought it would lead to him losing an enormous part of his skin.
Despite thinking it was just a freckle, Mr Glossop made the life-changing decision to have his neck checked after a friend tragically died of skin cancer and as a result was diagnosed with melanoma in November 2018.
What started out so small turned into something that none of his family were prepared for.
Mr Glossop, of Perth, went on to have 40 biopsies of his neck and back and one of his lung after it was later revealed he had a skin condition called nevus spilus, a form of lesion which is relatively common.
However his had transitioned into melanoma and continued to cause areas tested surrounding the cancerous skin to come back abnormal.
"It just kept escalating - I spotted the mole, had it removed, it came back again and doctors said they still hadn't got the clear margins and had to take more," Mr Glossop told news.com.au
"I was anxious throughout the whole period waiting for the results."
His wife Fallon Glossop, who described the entire experience as "hugely challenging", took to social media to explain the family's ordeal.
"The thing is, with any skin cancer, not only do they remove the affected area of skin, but they also take a boundary around it," she wrote on the Facebook page A Little Beauty.
"Ryan's boundaries kept coming back abnormal, which was then found to be a skin condition called Nevus Spillus. It's very rare for it to transition into melanoma, but in his case it did."
Mr Glossop, 37, had his final surgery in May this year that involved a skin graft, removing skin from both legs to cover sections on his neck and back.
"It was almost like using a peeler," he said. The piece of skin they took was about 40cm long and 8cm wide.
"The strength that Ryan has had through this whole process amazes me. Not only has he managed his pain considerably well but he has kept it together," Ms Glossop said.
The family shared graphic images of Mr Glassop's neck following his final surgery to raise awareness, adding it had opened many people's eyes to how widespread the lasting physical implications of melanoma can be.
"This whole experience has been hugely challenging for all of us, but if anything good is to come out of this, it is that we now want to help raise more awareness of Skin Cancer," Ms Glossop wrote.
"Melanoma accounts for 10 per cent of all skin cancers, which is why it is so important that everyone has regular skin checks."
A health and safety adviser, Mr Glossop said while he never had freckles as a child, that started to change, particularly in his adult life, reiterating how important it is to have your skin checked.
"I was happy and fortunate it was gone. To be honest, I couldn't care less about the scars - I am proud to wear it because it is a reminder of what I survived," he told news.com.au
"I am mindful how lucky I was. Some people are in worse situations than me. Mine was in the skin and I didn't have to go through chemo, but others out there are fighting a lot harder."
Mr Glossop said he was also fortunate to have a supportive workplace that allowed him two months off work during the terrible ordeal. He returned to his job at the start of July this year.
"The scar tissue is tight - almost like you have put strapping tape on the back of your neck and that pulling feeling when you lean forward, but I am working through flexibility and a range of movement and also trying to mentality recover as well," he said.
Mr Glossop's two children aged eight and five are undergoing screenings to find out whether they too will be impacted by the disease.
The family's post has been shared nearly 3000 times with people leaving hundreds of comments thanking the family for their bravery in sharing Ms Glossop's story to raise awareness about melanoma.
"Oh Fallon. This is eye opening. Thank you for raising awareness. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your beautiful little family," one woman commented.
"OMG what a trooper your husband is Fallon, very inspiring and really puts it all into perspective. Wishing you a speedy recovery and cancer free future," added another.
Others weren't aware of the family's tough time.
"Oh my gosh I had know idea you guys were dealing with this. Your story certainly brings home the message that we need to be so very vigilant. We wish you all the very best for your recovery Ryan and hope that you are now cancer free," a commenter wrote.
Ms Glossop ended the post by saying: "Your life is too precious to just bake yourself in the sun and not worry about your skin."
Originally published as Dad's terrifying find in tiny 'freckle'
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