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Melanoma - My World Turned Upside Down!

katd1954's picture
Posts: 6
Joined: May 2010

This should have been my fourth year cancer free. Four years ago I was watching a mole change on the center of my chest. Went to dermatologist who did a biopsy and he confirmed Melanoma. Surgeon did a wider incision and it came back with clear margins. At that time he also did a lymph node dissection on my left and right side under arm pits. No cancer!
Since they thought they got it all no treatments were done.
During an annual mammogram a lump showed up in breast. Ultrasound done and confirmed a 4mm lump and dotors said lets just watch it for four months.
Two months later a visible brick sized spot came up, sore, red I called my doctor again. Went in for another ultrasound. Lump had grown 2 mm in two months time. Made appointment with Surgeon for the following week but in the mean time brick sized spot just dissappeared. When I went to the appointment with Surgeon he was not concerned about that spot but a very small spot had just come up and he wanted to biopsy that. I was not even thinking it was melanome. It looked nothing like my 1st spot four years ago. My cancer had returned, Melanoma.
I know that brick sized lump had to be a sign from God to get me back in the Doctors Office before I was scheduled. Pet/Ct scan showed a hot spot under my left arm pit.
Went in for surgery and had a wider incision on breast and it had clear margins. BUT a lymph node on left side did have Melanoma. Surgeon stripped the rest of the lymph nodes on left side and no other had cancer.
A trip to the Oncologist has now determined that I need chemo. I have had trouble with getting IV in so they have installed a port.
Chemo starts Monday, every day except weekends for a whole month. They will be giving me Interferon Alfa.
Then they are talking about injections 3x a week for no telling how long.
ANY ADVICE, SUGGESTIONS, TIPS would be greatly appreciated.
Anybody else had this treatment?
What can I expect?
I would like some feedback.
Being tan is not worth the possiblities of getting this type of cancer.
This is SERIOUS, wear sun block, stay out of the sun and most definitely stay out of tanning beds!!!!!!!
My life is in danger and yours could be too.

Posts: 11
Joined: May 2010

Katd1954... thank you very much for sharing your current cancer situtation. I'm new at this but I'm scared... having only had melanoma removed, just by chance, March 3rd, 2010. a spot on my face that had the cells to become melanoma but no one had pursued excision because they , my regular md and another dermatologist, all thought it was just cosmetic. There was a small spot of melanoma at 0 stage. Thank God. But this is my 3rd excision, the other 2 basal cell.

I have recently had to relocate so establishing with a new dermatologist is needed and yet no one but myself and my prior doctors are concerned about who will be evaluating me and my skin.

You have given me the courage to push for my own best interest.

I can't help you on your current need for advise on treatment however you can count on me to keep you in my prayers and thoughts daily.

Mahalo, (thank you in Hawaiian)

katd1954's picture
Posts: 6
Joined: May 2010


Melanoma is nothing to play with. It is a killer. Please, please find another dermatologist.

I had my first chemo treatment today. All went O.K. was a little lightheaded and have a mild headache. We need to find something to slow this ugly monster down!

We need to press for a cure!!!!!!!

We also need to keep each other lifted up in prayer.

I wish you the best.

Stay in touch.

"In HIS Hands"

Georgie Arnold
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2010

This is one very insidious and scarey disease. My husband has had 4 skting melanomas ofve the last15 years. All removed with clear margins. In January a pimple on his left breast burst and was biopsied. Th tumor was removed with clear margins and nodes, however other spots were found. At least 2 in the colon, one in the lung and one at the opening to the pancreas and others in less scary places. His is Stage 4. He has the B-Raf mutation but did not meet succecc in the B-Raf trial. We are waiting to go in to the Ipi program.

You need to find the best dermatologist in your aread and have REGULAR not annual or semi-annual screenings of your whole body.

Good luck!

Posts: 45
Joined: May 2010

Consider yourself warned. I know in Hawaii it's difficult but stay out of the sun or use sun block! Any melanoma is scary, but yours should not have spread. Just in case keep an eye on lymph nodes directly above the site where your melanoma was. If you don't know where that is, there are plently of sites on the internet that show them. If there is any swelling of the lymph nodes and you are not sick, see your doctor.

Regarding your stage 0 if you are really still concerned get your pathology report and seek a second opinion. I had a Stage 3 removed by my GP, he immediately sent me to a dermatologist, who immediately sent me to a Onc. The Onc asked for the actually tumor and luckily the hospital still had it. They reexamined it before doing anything else.

I have also had quite a few basal cell's removed, I think they are unrelated to developing melanoma. Get yourself examined at least every 6 months and be you own advocate. I think we have all learned that.

Posts: 55
Joined: Apr 2010

but I notice not many posts about Melanoma....check out another very useful site, www.melanoma.org. They have forums there also and it is Melanoma discussion only and people post daily....

I wish you luck with your treatment!


Posts: 2
Joined: May 2010

Each of us tolerates treatment differently. Some of the side effects are common - hydrate, drink lots of fluids. Rest. 25 min after my infusions the Interferon would hit me like a truck. I would don heavy sweatshirts and get under blankets and ride it out. Forcing myself to sleep. After 6 to 8 hours I was better. Soaked but better. Hint; schedule your infusions late in the day so you can rest.

katd1954's picture
Posts: 6
Joined: May 2010

Where did they find your melanoma. Did you have surgery? How long have you been doing your treatment?
I know a lot of questions but I'm trying to find out all I can.
If this doesn't work than whats next. You know.
Thanks for any tips or advice you can tell me.

I hope you have a blessed day!

Posts: 11
Joined: May 2010

Katd1954, you are in my prayers and i send good thoughts your way... I meet with my internist for a byopsi this thursday, he was an oncologist for 17 years... and I just get good info from him, even with him working out of his past field, he still has alot of connections.

my only melanoma was melanocytic proliferation on my face which had been there for about 6 years and other drs only considered it cosmetic, frozen off twice, but melanoma in situ was found in March of this year with in the spot. It was totally excised with clear margins but since I still have other "spots" that need checking every 3 months I'm using my relocation as a jumping off point to have things evaluated befor the 3 months are up. establishing with a new dr etc.

Good to hear you are tolerating your treatments. I pray this continues.

stay in contact and I'll continue to pray for you and all suffering from this monster.

xoxo Carlene

Posts: 1
Joined: May 2010

Hi, first of all I am so thankfu that today, on this day there is the technology to allow cancer paitents to communicate. I am 47 yrs. old and was diagnoised with maligant malenoma at the age of 34. Stage 4 in my left leg, ugly mole that I knew it wasn't right. I was close to being misdiagnoised, long story. I try to keep up on the latest research of our unpopular,killer cancer. Recently I heard that in Goshen a Doctor got national attention for his research specifically on Malenoma. It has been in the past two to three weeks. In my world, I stored this information in my brain, always with the thought of recurrance. I was once told by someone close to me and very much on the cutting edge of cancer research, that I had to fight it with all that I had and with my heart, my mind, and my soul. I took his advise, and after the surgery and disfigurement of my leg, I began to see his point. I am not a doctor or a health care provider. I am a survivor, that knows how scary it can be. I had 3 young sons at the time and was divorced and very much alone, in my mind. I didn't even want my parents to say the "C" word out loud. The internet back then was very expensive and nothing like it is today. Be your own advocate, search for answers everywhere, I got to the point that I had to tell my Doctors they would not take one more lymph node from my body as I beleive they are the filters that stop the spread and when they took too many from my groin, I said that was enough, no more..I felt they were too close to the source of my cancer and even though I too was told I had clear margins after my first surgery I was not convinced that they were doing nothing more than stirring up a bunch of stuff. That is my story,I will keep you in my prayers and thoughts..Be strong and make choices that work for you, no matter if they are not the most popular. Please find the Doc, in Goshen.....IF if were me I would

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