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Melanoma!

Mydogs2big

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I just started sunning and tropical vacationing 5 yrs ago. I always start slow and prepare my skin for sun and wear a little lotion, making sure I never burn.

Well I have just been dx with malignant melanoma. They removed it, but I am scared. From what I read I'm staged at about 1b.

I could very well have more, as this one was only removed at my request, it didn't appear abnormal and it was even considered a nevoid melanoma and was sent back East for a second opinion by the lab.

Anyone have anything good to say about their experiences with melanoma.

I already had a good friend die of it way too young. I would like some nice experiences or suggestions or insight.

I'm considered Breslow .5 and Clarks III-probably stage 1b from what I read.

I'm so scared I can hardly breath.

Thanks for anything that might ease my mind.

Deena
 

grest

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My sister had a melanoma about 20 years ago...it was removed in a timely manner, and she has been perfectly fine since. Of course she stays out of the sun. It is absolutely possible to go on.
Connie
 

dmbrand

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I had a mole removed eight years ago...superficial spreading malignant melanoma. I am lucky that it hadn't spread to lower layers of the skin. I am very fair, and not a sun seeker at all. I think they feel that these can be linked back to childhood sun exposure....I "lived" at the county pool as an adolescent. I remember some really bad sunburns!

Check your skin over from time to time, and go in for the recommended skin checks. I was really nervous about a reoccurrence for about 3 years, then I gradually went back to normal. But I am still cautious about sun exposure. Get educated about it, there are forums on the internet specific to melanoma. I started to work on improving my immune system via a better diet, in hopes that it would be able to fight off "bad" cells. Be thankful you caught it early, and take one day at a time.:) DawnB
 

Aussiedog

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Hit us twice

I am so sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I know you feel like you have just been hit by a bus.

Both my mother and brother had melanomas removed YEARS ago and it has never recurred.

The key will be annual screenings from now on. I go to our big medical center. The chief of dermatology developed a system where they take digital pictures of your skin, and when you return every year they compare the moles and spots to what they looked like the year before. They have found this to be a much more reliable system for deciding what to biopsy than just looking.

Good luck to you and congratulations on catching it early!

Ann
 

macko420

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I'm sorry to hear about your problem. My Mom had one removed quite a few years ago and thankfully it hasn't returned. She does avoid the sun however has recently discovered she has a severe vitamin D deficiency so maybe the key is everything in moderation.........
Also, my husband has had many 'minor' skin cancers removed due to side effects from some meds he takes. Our local medical center's derm department offers MOHRS surgery. This is a wonderful method whereby the area is excised and WHILE you wait, they look at it under a special microscope on site!! Then if they haven't gotten every last speck of the skin cancer, they do another excision until the site is clear! MOHRS has a 90% cure rate! We are so thankful for our wonderful derm dr! Best of luck to you.
 

Jaybee

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Deena, I'm so sorry to hear about your Dx. That is really scary stuff to deal with. I pray that yours hasn't metasticized, and that you will be clear. Jean
 

Stressy

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Deena,

Breathe.....given your participation on this board and your obvious internet saavy-you are going to arm yourself with all the necessary medical research and information. You are going to be proactive!

My Mother was dx with melanoma in 1992. Both of her surgeries coincided with the births of my children-so I remember the dates vividly.

While I wasn't privy to her staging...she handled it very badly and almost went in to her first surgery without even telling us....it involved her lymph nodes so I guessing a little more advanced than yours.

Her second surgery was in 1995 and was performed at St. Johns in Santa Monica, Ca in conjuction with the John Wayne Cancer institute. Afterward, she entered their experimental vaccine protocol and clinical trials.

It has now been 16 years....I know because my son recently had his B-day.

My mother is now a retired nurse and was/is an awful patient. I know they want to follow up with her regarding the trials....because everyone once in a while they call me or my sister to ask about her whereabouts.

We tried a medical intervention a few years ago-but have since resigned ourselves to allowing her to deal with things the way she wants to...she went from I am not going to see my grandson born to he is almost grown up now.

I just know you won't handle things this way. I tell this story mostly to show you that even non partcipatory patients can survive and do well. You will handle things much better than she did. I know you will.

Technology and treatment has to have come much further than 16 years ago-you will benefit from that knowledge.

Hugs darling.
 

Mydogs2big

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Thank you all!

I'm 42 years old. It's a crazy thing to see so many plans just seem to disolve.

It's really something to see things that seem so important all of a sudden not matter at all. I've never felt so sad.

I believe living in stress and allowing so much stress in my life has given more contribution to my disease than the sun.

It's nice to hear that so many people have survived. Maybe this will just be my wake-up call. I hope, but God willing.

Thanks again. I'll keep checking for new inspiration, in case anyone else has good news to share.
 

Htoo0

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My FIL has had it for years. Had to go in and have them removed on a regular basis for a while. Seems to have slowed down. He's 81 now. Wishing you the all the best.
 

grest

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Please let us know, if you're willing, how you're doing...wishing you ongoing good news.
Connie
 

KforKitty

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Sorry to here of your diagnosis, this disease has hit our family hard with my brother, now 35 at a much more advanced stage than yourself. I don't want to scare you so won't go into details but do be aware of any sub-cutaneous lumps as melanoma if it metastises does not just affect the skin.

My brother's primary cancer was atypical, hardly pigmented and 'unlikely to be maligant but we'll remove it as a precaution". From what I've read the site of the primary cancer can be a large factor in the long term prognosis. My bother's was on his eyelid. He'd never vacationed in the tropics, never been on a sunbed and was not a sunbather and we live in northern Europe.

So be careful out there folks.

Kitty
 

Liz Wolf-Spada

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My best friend had melanoma that required extensive lymph node removal. That was 27 years ago and she never had a recurrence. Her brother also had melanoma and is fine. I think you'll be OK, but I can see why it would be so terrifying!
Liz
 

ausman

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Right now you are running scared and seem to be researching everything like crazy. I know if you are a TSer we can be obsessive about things.

So slow down and take a deep breath.

Not to diminish your experience, but I've had 3 or so and about 20-30 of basal cell thingies taken off in the last 15 years. I'm still around. A beach vacation was the only one for me, but being Scotts Irish in a country with the highest incident of skin cancer in the world I don't think I knew anyone over 55 who had not had some form of skin cancer.

Going forward regular skin inspection will be key, don't skip them. And as you know, you know your body better and have the Dr. look at it. After so many I just get things cut, scrapped or removed somehow now, and tell them to do so without hesitation.
 

ricoba

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All the best to you. Try to relax and reflect, which I know is hard at a time like this. Take it one day at a time.

Again, all the best.
 

M. Henley

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Had One!!

I had a stage one removed about 20 years ago. Had no trouble since. I believe that it is stage two where you need to worry. Stage three is, apparently, pretty much the end of the road within a few months.
 

MRSFUSSY

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Hello from Long Island. Our #2 son found a lump in his arm pit at age 33. All lymph glands removed from underarm to his waist. Chemo shots for 1 year, was recently "discharged" from his oncologist. He is now 40. Hurray!
 
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