Last December I was diagnosed with a 1 mm melanoma on my upper right back, just where you can't scratch. In early December it was removed via a wide excision and a sentinel node biopsy was performed on the bunch in the right armpit. The results of the sentinel node biospy were negative. So I believe I'm stage 1.
From the onset of learning of my dilemna I have been a fairly nervous wreck, but not so much due to the realities of the disease but to the lack of information my medical community gave me concerning it. Bascially I was told to go home and come back in 6 months for a checkup or sooner if I developed a cold that I couldn't get rid of. That didn't sit too well with me. Especially after I found out that they should have done an RT-PCR on the blood surrounding the lymph node, which they didn't do.
I immediately started researching melanoma and bugging my "point of contact" doctor with a flood of evidently bothersome questions. I found a test called a Thormahlen's test that my doctor and the lab had no knowledge about (and this is a great big east coast health organization, with not such a good batting average). My results from that test were positive and because of the results I was finally referred to an oncologist. A very non-specific kind of oncologist, one who says very little (obviously from fear of litigation). The oncologist, while downplaying the effectiveness of the Thormahlen's test recommended a CT scan to look for tumors. He bascially said he was trying to run me out of fears.
The results were fairly encouraging, the Thormahlen's test normally indicates liver or kidney tumors (my add to this is saliva also), the CT scans showed no "noticeable" tumors in those areas. However, two very very small nodules were found in my right lung, too small for a biopsy yet ( my hopes are that they are just trying to pay for their new CT scanner). So the saga continues and we wait, watch and scan in 3 months again.
Basically, doctors are like cops, they can't predict when or where trouble will start, they and we, just have to wait and constantly look for it and then wait for it to get big enough to be correctly identified and then maybe handled.
Every day I try to put this out of my head, but every day a little creeps back in. I have what I term "panic" attacks at the strangest times. I'll be sitting, intently focused on my profession, when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, I get a feeling as though I'm about to die, I get tunnel vision, lightheaded and all thought escapes me. It lasts from 1 to 20 minutes until I finally pull myself out of it. My general health is good, except for the constant "slight" lightheadedness or "fuzziness" if you will, (maybe I need new glasses) and slight constant anxiety. I eat very very healthy these days, no artifical anything (especially artificial sweeteners), no white bread, no caffeine, no sugar, no pharmaceuticals, low fat, regular protein (before 1:00 pm) and regular
carbohydrates. If nothing else my cholesterol has dropped 40 points, but then again, if I had a choice, I'd rather go face down in the mashed potatoes. The only other problem I seem to have developed and I don't know if this was with me before the melanoma , is a low core body temperature. My body temperature these days is running between 96 and 97.7. Again my point of contact doctor says this "can be" normal and a TSH test came back normal.
And in my effort to search for answers, clues or insights into my future I have arrived here, to share, to listen, to talk and to grow, no matter what the outcome.