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New melanoma victim...

Shawna1972
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2012

For anyone out there who has experience with this battle, I would love to discuss what may be upcoming for me. I went for what I thought was a cosmetic procedure and a couple of weeks later, walked out with a lab report stating 'very worrisome for malignant melanoma'. I live in Iowa and my primary care Dr. is sending me to the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics to see a hematologist/oncologist for an initial consult. What can I expect of this visit? So far all I know is my punch biopsy did not have any clear margins, so I expect to at least have another excision and re-test. I can't really read my lab report...what is low mitotic index, is this good? Does this mean the cells aren't dividing rapidly? Any insight into this new process I will be going through would be much appreciated!

dearfoam's picture
dearfoam
Posts: 82
Joined: Apr 2011

I hope that you have found some answers by now, but I haven't been on in a while. I found there are a lot of very informed and helpful people at the Melanoma.org message board - so many people who do understand the lab reports etc, and are quick to reply!

http://www.melanoma.org/community/mpip-melanoma-patients-information-page

Best to you,
DF

Sheenah
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2012

Hi Shawna1972,

I was diagnosed about a year and a half ago. At first I was kind of freaked out, not really as scared as stunned. I have a lot of friends with all different kinds of cancer, but from a mole, really? Sounds so unlikely.

So three surgeries later, they cut the initial mole off my right arm and tested it, staged it as II, but then they found a node that looked suious. They re-excised the original site and checked the nodes. Became Stage III. They took all the Axillary nodes on the right side.

The good news (I think) is that so far I seem to be fine. It has been a year and a half and my last PET Scan showed as clear of Melanoma. I do not know what or how I am supposed to feel either, but I do not really feel all that bad. My Oncologist originally said I had a 70% chance of it returning, but now I am at 50/50, so I'll take that. I have heard a lot of scary stuff related to melanoma, but lately it seems like I am hearing more and more success stories, so I guess I am not going to worry about it (hahaha liar!)

Hang in there, I will keep you in my prayers too.
Sheenah

melanoma-2007
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2012

You can see my treatment choice and experience on my profile, but let me know if you want to talk to me by phone. I will be happy to tell you all about it and how we dealt with it.

melanoma-2007
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2012

You can see my treatment choice and experience on my profile, but let me know if you want to talk to me by phone. I will be happy to tell you all about it and how we dealt with it.

luvinsmile
Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2012

I was diagnosed with a black mole on my back in may of 2008. I had the mole and surrounding tissue removed, along with 2 lymph nodes under each armpit. The biopsy from the nodes showed cancer in 1 from the left side. They removed the rest of my lymph nodes from the left side, of which only 1 showed cancer. I went through 5 times a week for 30 days of IV Interferon (they had inserted an infusion port in my upper right arm) at the hospital. I then was put on Interferon injections 3 times a week at home for 13 months. My husband was pretty good at giving me my shots.
I would feel pretty crappy the day after the shot, I would have a hard time eating certain foods or eating at all, sometimes I would be lucky to get 300 calories in me. I threw up once in a while. My hair fell out, about 1/3 of it anyway. It was a really rough 14 month ride, but in the end, I have been cancer free for the last 3 years.
I wish you luck, stay stong and posative, lean on your family and friends, they will help you through this. Take care, I will check back for any replies in the next few days if you like. : )

peterpeter857
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2012

Take a deep breath! It sounds like you are in good shape right now, so I wouldn't worry excessively. If you have questions about your lab report, make sure that you talk extensively with the doctor at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics to clear up everything. You will probably have to have the excision, but it is not that intrusive, so all should go well with a good surgeon and hospital.

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