Nov 08, 2004 - 9:04 am
Hi there! I'm new to this, but really felt like hearing other people's stories of living with malignant melanoma diagnosis. I was diagnosed in July/2000, I noticed a mole in the center of my back had turned black and it began itching and bleeding. Went to the doctor, was referred to a dermatologist, and was told the waiting periold to see one would be 8-12 months. Luckily, I got in 2 months later and he removed the mole immediately. Next day, he called with the diagnosis. I was admitted in the hospital soon after and a plastic surgeon removed a large section of skin from my back, I have a large s-shaped scar now. The also removed the sentinal lymph nodes under both arms, and both came back negative. The strange thing is that my melanoma was 7mm, and the doctors initially told me they didn't have much hope for success. I was only 28, at the time and extremely depressed! My dermatologist referred me to an oncologist and together they debated about whether I should start interferon. Many tests later, mri's, cat scans, blood work, x-rays, bone scans, etc, everything came back good. They decided I should not take the treatment. I now go every six months for a battery of tests and see my dermotoligist every 3 months for skin exams. Many people have written how they feel that their friends and families don't understand how serious it is, it's only skin cancer. I get the same treatment! People don't realize how deadly melanoma is. I have a little over 2 years in so far, and I worry every day that it will return. However, I have a 10 year old son, and a loving husband who bring me back to earth when I start getting paranoid. It seems like every little ache or pain I have, the first thing I think is cancer. Not a fun way to live! I decided in Jan of 2001, to start living each day to it's fullest and try not to worry about what the future holds. Anything can happen to anyone, at any time! No sense in worrying myself sick over things I have no control over. Anyway, I'd like to tell everyone who is going through this terrible illness, I know how you feel, my prayers are with you, and as hard as it might seem, keep your chin up! God Bless!