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dealing with my life now

IRENE68
Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2005

hello, i am 36 and recently diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma. i have had one infected lymph node infected but they never have found a source for the cancer (no moles, or site). all my test ct, pet, surgery came up negative. they seem like it is all good but listening to the stories about this cancer scares me like hell. i am starting interferon next monday for one year. has anyone every heard or experienced this situtation? i am so scared that is for sure but plan to fight this and never let it win.

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Carvs
Posts: 30
Joined: Jul 2005

I also have Stage III melanoma with one node that was positive. I did know where my primary was (a mole). Although I decided not to do the Interferon Vacine, the group I mentioned in a previous post has many members that have done the vacine and they can give you more information. The site is http://www.mpip.org/ and if you go to the main bulletin board and post that you are interested in hearing about others experiences I know many will answer you. The other way would be to go to the board and hit search and type in interferon and you'll get a lot of old threads with people discussing it. Hope everything goes well for you and good luck.

ninja
Posts: 9
Joined: Aug 2004

Hi Irene68,
My husband went through your exact process. He is almost done with Interferon (last day will be AUgust 8, 2005). Try to use a lot of discipline with Interferon. It is very though and you may be tempted to skip some injections. It has been demonstrated that Interferon has some effects as melanoma therapy. Thye key is to follow the rules and the injection schedule (under your doctor's supervision, of course).
You are not alone,
Ninja

MargaretEdgar
Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi Irene,
My name is Margaret, and yesterday, just had a stage 2 melanoma removed. I'm a redhead, so I guess I'm the norm for skin cancer. found out 2 weeks ago about my "freakle gone freaky" and am now scared as hell. Had surgery yesterday, and I am disfigured to holy hell from 1 little bad freakle. My mole was half the size of a raison, and now have stitches from my lower eyelid to my lower lip.I'm depressed and I guess feeling sorry for myself. Wish someone who went through the same thing would give me some support!

jashery
Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi, Margaret. Well, I have never had melanoma, but I have had stage 2 breast cancer and I had my left breast removed. I can tell you that this was traumatic, but as time passes, I realize how lucky I am to be alive, and when I think of how some people have suffered like this from a young age, I count my blessings. I have fought depression also. i think anyone who has had cancer would be depressed on some level. it is something you will have to live with all your life...but after cancer you realize how precious life is...and it makes it all that much better...as time passes you will realize that beauty has many faces...you are more than just a visage...however i am sure as time passes that scar will fade..and your fear will fade...and your depression will fade as well..

Gramagain
Posts: 5
Joined: Aug 2005

Hello Margaret,

Eighteen months ago I had a stage IV melanoma removed, along with two toes and part of the ball of my foot. It was my second bout with cancer. I had a mastecteomy 27 years, to the day, before the the melanoma surgery. I do know something about disfiguration. I think the biggest problem is what we, ourselves, put the doubts in our head. My husband has never been put off by either surgery. In fact, he massages my foot every single night to make certain the scar area will soften up and make walking easier. As with the first operation,where I knew that everyone was comparing the size and placement of my breasts, I had issues with people "seeing" my foot, my ankle, my leg. They are swollen but, know what - it is improving. I now wear sandals and yes you can see where the toes WERE. But, interesting thing, no one notices and no one reacts. The only person feeding that impression monster was ME!!! My scar line was initially very raised, almost keloid like - but is has flattened out. The leg doesn't swell so much and all in all everything is better. I personally believe people react to your smile and your attitude. When someone has had a trauma it is human nature to try to help them. Don't mistake concern for pity and repulsion. There is a big difference. Don't let your mind create situations that really aren't there. My attitude is to look for sunshine and rainbows. I was a teacher for many years and always told my kids that you could look at what you do have and be thankful or you could look and worry about what you don't have. Keep your cup half full. I always look for sunshine and rainbows because a smile is always a better choice and soon it gets to be a habit. I attempt to look out at the world around me, not in to the worries that can creap into your mind. After my first surgery, I was so negative. I wouldn't plant flowers because I wouldn't see them bloom. I did the whole routine. One day my girlfriend who listened to a whole lot more than any person ever ought to said, "Good grief. If you ruin every day of your life worrying about what could happen, you are just throwing away what you do have." Know what, that remark was just what I needed. There are cures. Scars do get better. People are kind. There is only one lesson I've learned and I stick with it bigtime. I DO NOT read the latest in magazine articles about new situations with this cancer and that. That starts my engine. I have regular checkups with good doctors and I LISTEN TO THEM, exclusively. I'm talking about medical advice and advances here. I'm all for positive stories. Good luck to you. It's always hardest when it's close to the surgical event. It does get better. Ask your doctor if some of the compression bandages they use in burn victims would benefit your scar area. It might. Good luck to you and smile. Show the world your beautiful soul. My prayers are with you.

cyclinggirl
Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2005

MargaretEdgar,

I am a redhead also and had a stage 2 melanoma removed on 8/1/05. My surgery was a success, it did not spread to my lymph nodes and they didn't find anymore cancer in the chunk they took out. My mole was on my left buttocks. I have a 4 inch scar back there and my cycling friends are calling my half pint. He he he. I just got all of my stitches out this week and I'm back on the bike. Want to keep exercising. I hope that your results came back good, please let me know how you are doing. Take care, Katie

SurvivorGirl
Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi Irene, My name is Marla. I am 48 yrs old. After battling breast cancer four yrs ago, I thought I was through with cancer. WRONG!!!! I was diagnosed with melanoma last Sept. After surgery, I started interferon treatment in November. The first month was IV every day which wasn't too bad...just bad headaches. In Dec., I started injections 3 xs a week. For me, this was worse than the IV. I think that part of the reason it was so bad at first was because I was extremely dehydrated from having the runs and didn't know it. I had a lot of confusion, etc., but this could have been from the dehydration. After a month, I found out about replacing my electrolytes and started drinking Gatorade. My symptoms got much better. I had fevers a few times at the beginning. Now at eight mos into treatment I no longer have the runs and most of the other symptoms. I still get headaches, congestion, etc. for which I take sinus medicine. I also developed a great deal of sensitivity to light. I got some really good sunglases which help a lot. The Lord has given me the strength to get through this and He will do the same for you. You can do it!! The beginning is the worst....but don't give up....it gets better!!! If you need to talk, you can e-mail me at survivor_girl_05@yahoo.com

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jackie31
Posts: 7
Joined: Sep 2005

I am a 31 year old with stage4 malanoma.I had surgery to remove it last oct.2004 they said they got it all but as always it still worries me but i have not took any meds or cemo or nothing.my doc has not even made any suggestions about it.what is the meds that you guys are talking about?should i ask doc about taking it?

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