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Just diagnosed with Melanoma

wiveliscombe
Posts: 50
Joined: Feb 2010

Three years ago when I was first diagnosed with anal cancer I reached out to the people on this site and the response was great they were very supportive and helped me get through the treatment. Now I have Melanoma and do not know what to expect so would appreciate any advice anyone would like to share with me. I have my first appt on April 8th. Thanks

KathyOlson48
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2015

Hi there,

I just joined moments ago, I found this site quite by accident. When I read your post I was quite surprised by how similar our stories are. I had stage 3 colon cancer in July/11 and then in October/14 I was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma. Wow!!! What a shock. Here we go again; how can this possibly be happening. but it is and 6 months after initial diagnosis I actually feel better than I have since the first cancer. The most frustrating for me was all the waiting. It took 4 months to get it staged. I have 4 young kids and I am in the middle of getting divorced. I really wanted to know if I was going to live. I kept thinking how can I be so lucky to survive this again. After they removed the mole in the end of September it took about a week to hear it was melanoma. Then I was scheduled for a sentinel lymph node biopsy at the end of October. They needed to inject me with dye to see where the closest lymph nodes to my lower back would be to see if the cancer had spread. They removed one lymph node from my groin and one from under my arm. Two more weeks of waiting and they both came back positive.  My cancer had spread to the lymph nodes in my groin and arm. December 1st they removed a wider area around the initial melanoma and removed all lymph nodes on my left side (groin and under arm) and left me with some doozy scars and tubes sticking out of me to drain the fluid since I no longer had lymph nodes. It wasn't a lot of fun. It took another 28 days to find out there were no more cancer cells found in the remaining lymph nodes. Once my tubes were out things dramatically improved for me. 

I was asked to do chemo again for a year. I refused. I know that for me I made the right decision. The chemo for melanoma is called Interferon and it is nasty stuff. In my case it would not have made any difference at all in my prognosis and it takes a nasty toll on your body that takes over a year to recover from. I feel really strong and healthy now.

how did your appointment go? What did you learn?

Good luck and best wishes,

Kathy

Aspen1234
Posts: 7
Joined: Dec 2015

Hi Kathy,

I just read your post. How  scairy the diagnoses of 2 cancers must have been and having to undergo treatment. I was diagnosed with melanoma years ago but I'm just seeing through the fear now. I'm glad you are feeling strong and healthy! I'm trying to keep myself cancer free with anti cancer foods. I suggest you consult with a cancer nutritionist maybe where you had treatment. There's also alot of online info about fighting cancer with nutrition and herbs, ie. Live Strong.org. I'm new to this site and its wonderfull to connect and share with members. I hope you are doing well.

Aspen1234
Posts: 7
Joined: Dec 2015

Sorry to hear of your cancers. I'm a 25 year survivor of melanoma. The trick is you have to catch melanoma early with frequent skin checks every 6 months or 1ce a year. Treatment is much more difficult once it spreads from the top skin layers. How are you doing? I hope you are well.

 

Cooch01
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2016

Hey mate I was diagnosed with melanoma 15 months ago I had a 4mm depth ulcerative ,I had it removed in hospital thinking it would be ok (keeping positive) I flew off to Thailand for a month and on return  had a CT scan and  biopsy  which turned out that the melanoma had moved to other nodes close to the site of my first op .Hospital was next I had 67 nodes out of which only 4 had melanoma great I thought 10 days in hospital a drainage bag for 4/5 weeks scar care and some lymphedema problems (wearing a stocking etc ) then came the interferon 8months (horrific drug)  I was having CT scans every 3 months ,12/01/2016 was  my last  one 14/01/2016 was my last appointment with the Dr he informed me that it had now moved to my lung I was stunned and still am not sure what to say to you but I'm thinking this could be a long rd or a very short one  for both of us

take care peace be with you

Will Doran
Posts: 207
Joined: Sep 2015

Hi,

I am a Blond Haired, Blue Eyed Male who very seldom used sun screen, and was always out in the sun working on my Father's farm as a teenager, and at the beach and out much of the summer with as few clothes on as possible. I always got sun burns.  So, much of my Melanoma problem is my fault. 

However,  I was Diagnosed with late Stage Three / Very Early Stage 4 Prostate Cancer in October 2013.  I had Robot Assisted Radical Prostatectomy in Dec 2013, followed by two years of Lupron and 8 weeks, 5 days per week of Radiation.  Since then, My Melanoma has come on hot a heavy.  I had one Melanoma removed, with lymph node removal Jan 2002.  I hadn't had any reoccurance until 16 months ago.  In the last 16 months, I have had 11 Melanoma surgeries, with follow up wide excisions.  They have all been caught very early in Stage One or Pre Melanoma.  My Dermatologist (a former student of mine) sent me to a Skin Oncologist in Hershey, Pennsylvania.  My Skin Oncologist told me that if you have been Diagnosed with another "Solid Tumor Cancer" (anything that is non blood cancer), that, quite often, Melanoma will start up like this. He also told me that having sun burns when in your teens as your hormones are "firing up" can make genetic changes of some sort that will lead to this Melanoma problem as you age. This Oncologist is into very heavy research about this problem at this time  I go to my Dermatologist every three months for a check up, and every time there are one or two suspicious places, twice, there were three spots, and they have all turned out to be Melanoma.  My Dermatologist had a surgeon do my last two Wide Excisions so there were "Another Pair of Eyes" (as she said) checking me over.  Then we added a Skin Oncologist who I will see once a year.  So, I have three "sets of eyes" checking me over.  In January of 2016, I was in for my check up, and for the first time in 16 months, there were no suspicious spots that showed up under the lights and magnifiers they use to check my skin.  I am now off my Chemo (Lupron) for the Prostate Cancer and so far all tests show that the Prostate Cancer may be in remission. It is also hoped that this Melanoma situation will also be backing off from this point on.   

I had never heard about Melanoma starting up like this after diagnosis and treatment.  So, for what it might be worth, Since you have dealt with another form of cancer as well, I would make sure you see an actual Skin Oncologist, and also get in for Check Ups very very often.  You can stay ahead of Melanoma if it is caught very early. It is a constant battle.

Best Wishes and Good Luck

Peace and God Bless

Will

 

mac1299
Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 2016

Hi Will. I am seeking treatment at Hershey Med. as well.  My consult is next week and then I get Lymph node surgery the following week.  Are they good there.  I am super scared what they may find.  Thanks Rob

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