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Newly Diagnosed

Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2007

I was diagnosed in July, 2007 with melanoma that was found in a cyst in my armpit.Since then I have had a Ct scan, PET scan, MRI of the brain, and this past September had 13 lymph nodes removed. Everything has been negative so far and I got very depressed wondering why I am I going through all of this. My oncologist says I am most likely a stage 3 since it did spread but they could never find the poin of origin. I will be starting Interferon (high dose) on October 29th. I called the Moffitt Center in Tampa and they say it sounds like my doctors want to be aggressive and take on a curist approach. First, does all this sound normal and what is " a curist approach"?

Posts: 1560
Joined: May 2006


You may want to contact the American Cancer Society's National Cancer Information Center. Cancer Information Specialists are available 24 hours a day and can assist you with your questions. They can be reached at 1-800-227-2345.

Take care and be well,

CSN Dana

kristasplace's picture
Posts: 956
Joined: Oct 2007

First of all, i'm very sorry for your diagnosis. I was recently diagnosed with stage III colorectal cancer in August, so i'm with you there. My aunt is a melanoma survivor of 12 years. She was originally a stage II, so she had a small excision where the mole was, then a wide excision, with many lymph nodes removed. After that, they thought she was Cancer free, but it came back as a stage III. Her doc gave up on her (back then, stage III and IV melanoma was very iffy to survive), she got a second opinion, and that doc gave her high dose interferon for a year. That is the curative approach. They do not want your melanoma to spread, so they are going to be as aggressive with it as they can, and kill any microscopic cancer cells that may be floating around inside you.

I've read about biological treatments being very successful with metastatic melanoma. You have many options for melanoma treatment these days. Make sure your onc is telling you about all of them, their risks, their survival rates, and also side effects. Interferon makes you feel like you have the flu.

Hang in there and you'll get through this difficult time. Afterwards, you'll look back on it as just a very painful and annoying life lesson. That's what i'm doing, and it helps.

Many hugs, and healing thoughts!

skinner's picture
Posts: 15
Joined: Aug 2007

I know this response below is long but please do read and lets talk some. I also would like to find
some friends to talk to because this is so much to go through and talking it out with others in the same boat is allot better to the mind. You can always email me to at ; eyesofice2us@yahoo.com
Hope to hear from you and hope I dont bore you with my story below:) I am setting up a forum for us cancer people to go to and just talk.
July 2007. I noticed a lump on my back right shoulder blade because it would bother my sleeping and driving, a lump I mean the size of a golf ball. So I made appointment with Primary Dr. He sent me to a surgeon and that surgeon said it seems to be a fatty tumor, shouldnt bother me but I insisted to have it removed. It was removed a week later and next day my Primary called me at 8pm to tell me results that if was stuffed full of melanoma cells and they will have to go back in and cut all around it. I said sure will do lets get it going. So he then sends me way down south to a big cancer hospital where by then it was a month later and another lump has started growing about 3 inches away from where the last one was. This Dr. at new hospital takes it out, cuts out about 4 pounds of meat from around last incision Takes out 5 limp nodes from around back and arm pit.
Tells me there was no cells in armpit nodes but were a little tiny bit in node on top of shoulder but they got it all. BUT, I have it in my blood system.
Theyre going to start me with INTERFURON in 30 days. In that 30 days about on day 17 I start having seizures, small ones at first and I am totally awake all through, (actually I at first thought they were just muscle spasms and was kinda funny) couple days later I have a Grand mal and was not as funny, Still I didnt black out But my wife called ambulance, my 3 fingers on right hand went totally numb and still are. Hospital all thought I may have had a stroke even though we told them I have stage 4 cancer and to check my brain. They didnt, they sent me home!..Next day I went to my Primary Dr and he ordered a MRI of brain and sure enough, theres that baby on top left side deep about 1&1/2 inches in.
It was about the size of a triple A battery, lot of swelling and they set up operation in 4 days. By the time 4 days came and they took it out it had grown to the size of now a D cell battery! The surgeon said another week and would not be able to get it all but they did, he stated now.
Finally NOW I am able to start my INTERFURON. 10-22-07. Its been 5 month since diagnosed, 4 surgeries, 352 stitches and staples ago and I am plowing through. Will Beat this and show all that this can be done. With the help of many prayer chains and I being prayer over. 10-29-07 first week in chemo and doing ok. Must admit this interferon is tuff, Got to find a better way to eat. Do not feel as if food is any good hehe. Will work it out, You can to with what ever they throw at you, Jan. 23rd. Tumor found in top of right hand. Taken out next day, 5 more stitches, ( I am feeling like a rag doll) hehe. Keep a positive attitude,
HEY AN UPDATE! I Just found a drink that is helping allot! I dont really want to post because I dont want to sound like many others you will hear saying OH do this or Hey do that! BUT, I can say and want others to know that this drink I am taking is helping me. it's is giving me energy that Chemo took away and By GOSH I have now had 2 clean PET scans!! YEA!!!
Its called AMLA RUSH from www.myseriesse.com/agelessbeauty
now with that, God, the bible--Which I believe has a whole lot to do with it. Dr. Say, most would have not made it this far.
Yesterday I was out walking a mile... Go Figure/ Yes God is watching over me. I got his back and he has mine!!
Mike Barbour.
25195 2nd. Ave.Los Molinos, California. 96055
email me if you would like, I want to be able to talk to as many real cancer people as I can because it does help me in mind and soul.

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