MISDIAGNOSIS ENDS IN HEARTACHE FOR MUM
A MOUNT Isa mother’s dying mission is to encourage others to have their skin checked regularly.
Months after a GP misdiagnosed Terri Grosser’s mole as non-cancerous, it started to bleed and itch.
“It was very irritating, and I just decided I wanted to get it off,” Ms Grosser said.
A few days later, the GP called her back to say it was melanoma.
While her GP hoped it was caught early, with a small procedure on the cards to take a small “ice cream scoop” out of her legs, it became much worse for the mother of three.
“Post-surgery, I woke up with a 20cm long scar that went 8cm deep. Part of the surgery also included testing my closest lymph nodes to see if the melanoma had spread,” she said.
“Unfortunately, for me, it had spread to my first two lymph nodes.”
Ms Grosser was diagnosed with terminal stage four melanoma. With no treatment or cure there were only options to prolong her life
“So they cut everything out; it was another massive surgery, and I ended up with over 100 staples and stitches. At the time, the kids were 3, 3 and 4, and after the surgery, I was actually clear of cancer for a year,” she said.
“But the cancer came back in 14 new places, some on my skin and some under my skin.”
Ms Grosser then completed two years of immunotherapy to prolong her time.
It gave her two years but in August she was admitted to hospital with stomach pains.
She had emergency hernia repair surgery, but the surgeon found three large cancerous tumours obstructing her bowel.
Ms Grosser went back on treatment but it failed.
She is due to have another operation this month to remove her tumours.
“It’s not very positive at the moment, but we always have hope,” she said.
The North West Hospital and Health Service and Ms Grosser are urging Australians to snap a photo of themselves and use the hashtag #skincheckforterri when they get their skin checked.
“I didn’t tell my story for the first 2½ years because I didn’t want people’s pity,” Ms Grosser said.
“But I have completely changed my focus now.
“Get a skin check every 12 months, and if something changes, go immediately to your GP or skin specialist.”