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I CAN'T SEEM TO GO FORWARD WITH MY LIFE AFTER 2 YEARS OF BEING DIAGNOSED WITH MELANOMA

SUNNY2
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2003

HI, I AM A NEW MEMBER AND WOULD LOVE TO HAVE ANY OF YOU TO HELP ME WITH LIFE IN GENERAL. AS OF TOMORROW (GOOD FRIDAY) I HAD DISCOVERED A NEW BLACK MOLE THAT POPPED UP OUT OF NOWHERE. THE FOLLOWING WEEK I RAN TO MY DOCTOR HAD A BIOPOSY DONE WAITED FOR 10 DAYS AND IT TURNED OUT TO BE .7 MM ON MY RIGHT TRAPEZE. HAD SURGRY AND ALL OF IT WAS REMOVED. MENTALLY I FROZED. I HAD A CASE HISTORY DONE AND FOUND OUT THAT IT IS GENETIC NOT TO MENTION THAT I PERSONALLY LIVED IN THE SUN BECAUSE SPRING AND SUMMER ARE MY FAVORITE SEASONS. I NEVER GOT OVER THIS. THE FIRST SUMMER CAME AND I DIDN'T GO OUTSIDE UNTIL AFTER 4;30 PM. LAST SUMMER I ACCEPTED MY FIRST INVITATION TO A POOL PARTY. I STAYED INSIDE THE HOSTS HOUSE UNTIL AFTER 4;30 TO START MY FIRST SWIM. IT WAS TERRIABLE FOR ME BECUASE I WAS ALONE IN THEIR HOUSE INSIDE LOOKING OUT. DEPRESSION SET IN AND BY THIS PAST NOVEMEBER I HAD SO MUCH FEAR AND ANXIETY THAT IT IMOBLIZED ME. I AM SEEING A PSYCOLOGIST WHO INFORMED ME TO GO ON THIS SITE TO BE WITH PEOPLE LIKE ME. I AM TRYING TO BE NORMAL AND REALIZE I AM NOW DIFFERENT FROM OTHER PEOPLE. I AM MARRIED AND WE FIND IT HARD WHEN AN ACQUAINTENCE OF MY HUSBANDS INVITES US TO THEIR POOL OR GO ON A BOAT AND THE TIMES THEY ARE INVITING US ARE THE TIME TABLES THAT I CAN'T BE OUT. AND THEN I NEED TO EXPLAIN WHY. AND THEN THATS HARD TOO.I AM A SKIN CARE SPECIALIST AND AT THE TIME I TOOK ON A MANAGER POSITION WHEN I WAS NEWLY DIAGONSED WITH MY SKIN CANCER. SURE I REALLY HAD A CHANCE NOW TO HELP OTHER PEOPLE HOW TO PUT ON SUNSCREEN AND HOW REALLY IMPORTANT IT WAS. BUT AS I HAD WOMEN COME TO ME ABOUT HOW WORRIED THEY WERE ABOUT THEIR WRINKLES I SAID UNDER MY BREATH IF ONLY YOU KNEW WHAT I AM GOING THROUGH WITH MELANOMA. I SEE SO MANY DOCTORS NOW AND THATS FINE WITH ME, BUT HARD. BECAUSE ITS A REMINDER OF WHO I AM NOW. A CANCER PT. OR SHALL I SAY A SURVIOR.I AM BEING TOLD CHECK YOUR BODY ONCE A MONTH, I CHECK IT EVERY NIGHT. NOW THE ARM THAT I HAD THE SURGRY IN 2 YRS AGO I HAVE A FROZEN SHOULDER IN WHICH I AM TOLD THAT THERE ARE NO RELATIONS TO THE 2 I AM ON TEMPORARY DISABILITY FOR THIS AND DEPRESSION. I'VE BEEN TOLD BY MY DOCTOR THAT I WON'T HAVE A NORMAL ARM WHETHER ITS PHYSICAL THEARPY OR SHOULDER MANIPULATION WHICH I DON'T WANT BECAUSE ITS VERY AGGRESSIVE AND I FEAR TRAUMA TO MY BODY OF WHERE MY MELANOMA WAS. ANYBODY WHO CAN BE ABLE TO HELP ME WITH FRAZZLED NERVES PLEASE JUMP IN. FOR THOSE WHO I HAVE READ THAT THEY NEED FURTHER TREATMENT STAY STRONG THAT I TRULY BELIEVE IN. THANKS.

KelliB
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2003

I am sorry to hear about your situation. I think you should be happy that you are not terminally ill at this time. Enjoy everyday you have with your family. My daughter's father was diagnosed with melanoma cancer 8 years ago and tried to treat it with natural herbs and vitamins. He went on a strick diet and still got diabetes on top of his melanoma. Just this past month, he was diagnosed with liver cancer, a brain tumor and kidney failure. He is in the hospital today, still trying to get his kidney to start working at a semi-normal capacity. He is on Radiation and Chemo treatments. One little mole that he didn't take care of or listen to his doctor's has taken him to the situation he is in now. Take care of yourself and do what the doctor's tell you too. Hopefully nothing tragic will happen to you, like it has hit my daughter's father. He now has less than a year to live. If you are a religious person, go talk to your pastor or the head of your congregation. That really helps deal with your emotions and they are a good support team to have. I will pray for you. God Bless.
KelliB

Tomsan
Posts: 3
Joined: May 2003

Hi Sunny2,
All people are different from each other. Some loose their hair, some get fat, some like myself get cancer. That doesn't mean your life needs to change very much at all. For me after two surgeries and interferon, I looked at it as an inconvenience. Depression is something that everyone has for a time. You can't let it run your life. Your life doesn't change unless you let it. I'm taking my family to the Bahamas next month because the kids want to do all the water sports. We like to snorkle, swim, etc. The only inconvenience for me is I wear a long sleeve tee, Broad brimmed tennis hat, and sun screen and hit the shade as often as possible. I'll still go skiing, ride my bike 50 miles a week, and go camping with the boy scouts each month. Not to be rude but you can either sit home worrying about everything you can't do and be miserable about it or you go out and do it! IF you look around most everyone from where I come from are starting to realize it's best to cover up with outdoor sports anyway. Go have fun and don't let a little inconveince get in the way. You are really no different now than before melanoma unless you see yourself that way. Ther are many treatments for clinical depression ask your regular physician if he or she has any further suggested options.
The best to you

Tomsan
Posts: 3
Joined: May 2003

Hi Sunny2,
All people are different from each other. Some loose their hair, some get fat, some like myself get cancer. That doesn't mean your life needs to change very much at all. For me after two surgeries and interferon, I looked at it as an inconvenience. Depression is something that everyone has for a time. You can't let it run your life. Your life doesn't change unless you let it. I'm taking my family to the Bahamas next month because the kids want to do all the water sports. We like to snorkle, swim, etc. The only inconvenience for me is I wear a long sleeve tee, Broad brimmed tennis hat, and sun screen and hit the shade as often as possible. I'll still go skiing, ride my bike 50 miles a week, and go camping with the boy scouts each month. Not to be rude but you can either sit home worrying about everything you can't do and be miserable about it or you go out and do it! IF you look around most everyone from where I come from are starting to realize it's best to cover up with outdoor sports anyway. Go have fun and don't let a little inconveince get in the way. You are really no different now than before melanoma unless you see yourself that way. Ther are many treatments for clinical depression ask your regular physisan if he or she has any further suggested options.
The best to you

MarciaGo
Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2003

I too had Melanoma. At first, I was in a panic. But I am a religious person. That helped me to get a grip on myself.
I had a mole removed from my back in 1990. A year later I had a walnut sized growth in my left armpit. That was removed along with about 31 lymphnodes, two of which also had melanoma. It is now 2003 and I have not had any reoccurances. I had chemo for four months, once a month. I don't remember what kind it was. I never lost my hair or anything.

I don't lay out in the sun, but I walk outside on my breaks at work. A little sun is good for you, especially at my age of 53 yrs. I only use sunscreen when I fear I might get burned. Short periods of sun exposure never hurt anyone.

I think you should face your fear, which of course is of dying. Once you confront that, you will be able to live a normal life again.

The way I look at it is very simple: Either there is an afterlife, in which case I go to Heaven since I believe in Christ, or there is nothing which is kind of like when they put you out for surgery and you "know" nothing.

Ceasing to exist is not scary - nor is going to Heaven. A lot of people don't know that part of the price Jesus paid was for our healing. Most people think he just died to pay the price of our sins, but that's not true. It states in the Bible that he bore our sicknesses and diseases and by his stripes we were healed. All I did is accept that at face value. Then everytime a negative thought about dying would come up in my spirit, I would cast it down and recite a Biblical promise like: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. He bore my sicknesses and carried my diseases and by his stripes I was healed. And then, I always spoke of cancer in the past tense. They removed it from my body and it was History!

I hope this helps. I am a proud survivor!! I am not fighting any fear of any kind. I don't believe in it. If I have something that scares me, I just pray about it and release it to God because after all, we are all in his hands anyway. It is a misconception of monumental proportions that we have control [of any kind] over our lives. When it's your turn to go, believe me you're going. I don't care how miserable you make yourself in the meantime, it won't delay your death one minute if it's your time to go. Just accept it. If it's not your time, why make yourself miserable? You should breath slow and deep, get a grip, and get on with life!

Marcia

ConnieB
Posts: 5
Joined: Aug 2003

Hi Sunny. I read your message a few days ago and it has stayed with me. Hopefully things have gone well for you this summer. My heart goes out to you to have to deal with this emotional issue besides the actual medical issue. I was wondering if you were doing Interferon treatment and your age. Don't mean to be invasive of your privacy, but they both do have an affect on the whole situation. If you want to talk, or vent, you can e mail me at connieb1168@msn.com. If it makes you feel better to know this, my dear friend's husband contracted West Nile Disease last fall from mosquitoes. She became very concerned after that about prevention, but when we took our scouts to camp this summer, she absolutely had a melt down. Like you, she felt that she shouldn't be feeling like this, but on the other hand couldn't help that she had all these tormenting feelings about the mosquitoes. She tried so hard, but finally ended up having to sleep in my van the last nights. So, don't forget, we are all like you, just maybe in different avenues of life! Good luck! I will continue to think of you! Connie

Nancie
Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2004

I too had melanoma in my arm. It is very hard to go on .The fear i have of a reoccurrence is also making life difficult. After this summer , I basically had a nervous breakdown.... and decided that something had to be done. I will not live like this. I am now on anti- anxiety drugs, which have helped tremendously. I also do still go outside..... I cover up bigtime. I have bought clothes for melanoma survivors. I do check my skin and have had 4 abnormal moles removed. It seems like every 3 months I have another mole removed. I have had 10 sites removed but i too feel I am lucky since the cancer was caught early. I think people think I should be over this. but I don't think people understand that the fear of reoccurence occupies my mind. I also feel that I am lucky because my treatment only required surgery and that I should be over this. I am so glad that I am normal in my reactions. My doctor also recommended a support group....... I feel your case is very similar to mine.

Millsgloria
Posts: 3
Joined: May 2003

I Know somewhat how you are feeling.I had melanoma of the palate which is the roof of the mouth. Hey, I didn't lay in the sun with my mouth open.Melanoma can occur anywhere in the body.I took stayed inside out the sun(had a pool in the backyard and for 2 yrs. never went out there) I would suggest you live your life from day to day as if it's the last day of your life. None of us are promised tomorrow.We can't live in fear.Enjoy every moment of your life with family and friends.God is the only one who knows what our future holds and how and when our life will end. I suggest you wear lots of sun screen and limit your time in the sun but enjoy life,enjoy the sun.They have no explanation as to why I had melanoma in my mouth.They removed 1/2 of my mouth and for 12 mos. I could not eat or drink.I weighed 75 lbs. and in a deep depression but I finally got my prosthesis so I could eat food and talk and asked God to help me get my strength back and I had friends who would not let me give up,one being a nurse who visited me everyday for 1 yr. Just thank God for each day, enjoy every moment,and drop those fears and dance like you never danced before.I love hearing the birds singing,looking at the flowers, the stars and moon, all the things I took for granted until 8 yrs. ago when I was told I had less than 1 yr. to live even after my treatments. Gloria Jean

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