Teddi Mellencamp Is Focused On Being 'The Strongest Version Of Myself' Amid Melanoma Battle

teddi mellencamp
Teddi Mellencamp's Melanoma JourneyRiver Callaway - Getty Images

Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave keeps it 100-percent real with her social media followers, even when that means taking them through some difficult life moments. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills alum was diagnosed with melanoma in 2022 and has been sharing the ups and downs of her treatment with fans. In being so candid about her health journey, Teddi has raised awareness about melanomas and skin cancer, and advocated for getting your skin checked.

Ahead, here are all the health updates Teddi has shared while navigating melanoma:

October 2022: Teddi was diagnosed with stage 2 melanoma.

In an Instagram post, the Two Ts In A Pod host shared that she was diagnosed with stage II melanoma during a routine skin check three months after a previous melanoma spot appointment. While Teddi said she was anxious to get checked again, she was grateful that she listened to her doctors because it may have changed her life.

“Moral of this story: if a doctor says, ‘come in every 3 months’ please go in every 3 months. I so badly wanted to blow this off. ‘What could happen in 3 months?’ I thought. Apparently a lot,” Teddi wrote in the caption. “I continue to share this journey because I was a 90s teen, putting baby oil and iodine on my skin to tan it. Never wearing sunscreen or getting my moles checked until I was 40 years old. This has been such a wakeup call for me, and I hope to all of you, to love and protect the skin you’re in.”

A week later, Teddi shared in a follow-up Instagram that doctors removed a few suspicious spots on her skin and found more melanomas. She then went for a PET scan, which can help detect early signs of cancer and other conditions, per Cleveland Clinic. It also helps doctors see how far the cancer has spread in diagnoses cases, Teddi shared in her post.

Her PET scan showed she was predisposed to melanomas, Teddi explained, sharing a photo of her back after the removal of her spots.

“Spots 3 & 4 in the pic near my shoulder are the ones they are concerned could go to lymph nodes and will be a large connected removal. Then will meet with a geneticist to see if I could possibly have the BRCA2 mutation. Thank you for the outpouring of love,” she wrote.

December 2022: She shared her surgical scars.

A few months later, Teddi popped back on Instagram to give her followers an update on her health and show off her surgical scars. “Finally here with another melanoma update, and it’s one I’m happy to share. Pathology is back— the surgeries were successful and the margins are clear. I also got genetic testing results and there are no mutations we need to worry about,” she wrote.

Teddi also shared that she had 11 melanomas and three lymph nodes removed. “It’s been eye-opening how quickly things can change and it’s a lesson I will never forget, nor quit speaking up about. I want nothing more than for all of you to be proactive so you do not have to experience this," she continued in the caption. "Let my scars be your inspiration to get preventative care.”

Teddi also said that, despite being in the clear, she would continue to get checked every four to six weeks. “My doc says this may be a record number in one area. You guys know I’m competitive but this is one record I’m not looking to beat,” she wrote.

January 2023: Teddi revealed that new areas need to be biopsied.

Just one month later, during her next check, Teddi learned she had three new spots her doctors said required a biopsy. She also had an ultrasound that showed a bump on her neck was irregular. Teddi explained in an Instagram post that she had the option of a needle biopsy or cutting out the bump completely, and her doctor recommended doing the biopsy to start. If the biopsy came back inconclusive, Teddi said, they would then have to remove the bump.

“As someone who is a controlled person, I’m dealing as best I can with something out of my control. Things I can control: staying on top of my appointments, self-checks, and asking my doctors questions,” Teddi shared, before ending her caption on an inspirational note. “I’m trying my best to stay positive and will fill you in when I get the results. If this saves even one person from going through what I’m going through, it’s worth it.”

May 2023: She partnered with a melanoma foundation to raise awareness.

Teddi posed naked for a partnership with the Melanoma Research Foundation. The foundation’s #GetNaked campaign encouraged people with melanoma to show off their scars, and Teddi was even featured on a billboard in Times Square.

September 2023: Teddi's doctors found more melanoma.

In September, Teddi shared a teary selfie, with a message that her doctors found more melanoma.

“I found out late yesterday afternoon that the most recent spot biopsied is another melanoma. I can’t even remember if this is the 12th or 13th one. At this point, I am starting to black-out these memories like a portion of my childhood,” she wrote in the caption. Teddi added that her life keeps moving, regardless of these health setbacks.

“As I lay here with tears in my eyes and worry, I know my kids will be up soon. I have a podcast at 10. Life goes on,” Teddi wrote. “I am also reminded of my faith and the reminder I keep telling myself, ‘We can do hard things.’ We have so many beautiful things to look forward to, so if you woke up today feeling lost or scared, I encourage you to make a list of some of the things you are truly grateful for and what you are most excited about.”

December 2023: She shared that the immunotherapy treatment wasn’t working.

In another vulnerable post, Teddi shared that the immunotherapy treatment she was receiving did not work.

Her doctors presented her with a few new options and, with their guidance, she opted to have surgery to "remove a larger portion of problematic area" on December 26th. "In the meantime, I am so looking forward to spending Christmas with my loved ones and hope this is a reminder to book your skin checks for the new year," Teddi said.

A few days after her surgery, Teddi showed her scar and shared that she was in good spirits. "Someone just messaged me that my scar looks like a whale swallowing bubbles. It made me laugh," she captioned the Instagram photo.

January 2024: Teddi declared her word for 2024 is “strength.”

After a year of highs and lows, Teddi shared that her most recent surgery was a success and that she was adopting a new mindset for 2024. “Every year I like to choose my word for the year. From the start of 2024, people have asked what my word is and I have consistently joked that my word would be 'cope,'” she began her Instagram caption. "...But the truth is, EFF THAT. I have decided my word for 2024 is going to be STRENGTH."

Teddi then explained that it had been six weeks since her last surgery and she was cleared to do whatever she wanted. "And I want to be strong," she wrote. "I will be strong."

After her difficult health experiences of the past few years, Teddi shared that she was inspired to reevaluate her priorities for the new year. “I am now focusing on how I can be the strongest version of myself possible. I am committing to being in the best mental and physical shape I can be in. This year my primary focus (in addition to my fam) will be becoming my STRONGEST self yet,” she wrote.

You go, Teddi! Your story is seriously inspiring!

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