I went to visit my PCP in Oct. and requested a colonoscopy since I had turned 50 in Aug. 2010. My PCP was surprised that I requested the test since most sane people run from even the thought of it. I told him it was my right of passage. Thank God I was proactive. I am now the self assigned poster child for colonoscopies.
The Dr. found a lesion in my anal canal and I had it removed March 25, 2011. March 29, 2011 I got the phone call that it was melanoma. The lesion was ulcerated and 6.75 mm. On March 31, 2011 I had a pet scan and MRI which both came out fine. On April 12, 2011 I had a second surgery to remove the rest of the lesion and 3 sentinel lymph nodes removed.
The pathology came back with cancer in the left two sentinel lymph nodes. I was told that I would have to have more surgery to remove the rest of the lymph nodes on the left side, radiation and interferon from an Oncologist who had never seen Anal Melanoma before.
At the suggestion of a dear friend I requested a second opinion at Dana Farber and met Dr. Hodi, Dr. Russell and Dr. Werchniak on May 2, 2011. I was told at that appointment that there was not cancer in my lymph nodes but natural melanocytes AND didn't need any further treatment but check ups every three months. In June I was tested for the BRAF gene and C-Kit gene and did not have either.
I went back to Dana Farber July 20, 2011 when Dr. Russell found another lesion. I had that removed on July 27, 2011. It came back free of cancer. Phew!
I have always had a positive attitude and plan to be just fine but need to find some survivors!