Diagnosed with Melanoma..

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5/26/2014 7:59pm
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Replies: 6

I'm 19, and a little over a month ago I was diagnosed with stage lll melanoma. Some days I struggle emotionally and mentally. But other days I have positive thoughts and have hope. I registered on this website to talk to people because I think that would help me through this. Anyonne else feel the same?

Momrn5 - (5/26/2014 - 8:36pm)

Hi Brittany, so sorry you have to join the club at your young age. Yes, it is really hard when you get a diagnosis like this. Even though I am quite a bit older than you, I was very scared with a stage 3a diagnosis.  The people on this site are very knowledgeable and also helpful when you need to ask questions, so use them. I have learned a lot from them in the past year since my diagnosis.  And guess what, here I am, doing fine after an inguinal node dissection and 2 different sets of scans.  You have your age in your favor. Also at this time there are many new treatments that have been approved or are in the pipeline for approval, something that wasn't available even just a couple of years ago.  As time passes you will get more used to having the diagnosis, but realize everything you were feeling now is completely normal. You will work through it with time.  There are many people with stage 3 who are doing well.  One thing everyone will tell you is stay off the internet for prognosis, it's most likely outdated now with all the new treatments.  Ask your questions here.  Best Wishes to you. 

 

Cynthia C - (5/26/2014 - 10:14pm)

Hi Brittany,

You've come to a good place. Good people with great insight and up to date information. I was diagnosed at age 46 at Stage 3b. It has been 13 years and I have had no signs of any recurrence. Stay strong, I'm sending positive thoughts your way!

Cynthia

Howdy Gal, My wife is out there now, will be returning next week.  We just had another Grandkid!  Glad to see you're ccontinuing to give hope to the new comers.  Thanks.

I'm me, not a statistic. Praying to not be one for years yet.

BrianP - (5/26/2014 - 10:21pm)

Brittany,

I'm so sorry you are having to experience this at such a young age.  I progressed to stage III at about 42 and I remember what a scary time that was.  I can't imagine being 19 and having to go through something like this.  I'm sure there are others that will chime in soon that are much more articulate than I which can offer encouragement but I just wanted to say that you are definitely not alone.  It's never been a good time to have melanoma but compared to just a couple years ago the treatments that are becoming available now give many of us hope where there would have been very little hope even just a few years ago.  Please don't hesitate to ask specific questions here.  There is a lot of experience on this board and it never ceases to amaze me how generous people are with their time and knowledge on this board.

Brian

Brittany,  Yes, this is a scary journey.  When I started it after 3 1/2 years of the GP mis-diagnosing me and the local general surgeon slow rolling things, I was told that I only had 30-180 days left  That was in Feb 2007 when i went from stage III to stge IV.  i've not been NED (No Evidence of Disease - on scans) since then.   I'm still a kick'in  and now even having grandkids having kids that I weren't supposed to be here to see.  Be vigilant, not paranoid.  You have plenty of reason to have hope.  So much has been learned since I started in this journey and I have friends that havae been in it at the stage IV disease without being NED since 1996.  The first year is the scariest.  It is hard to realize from the past information on the internet that we don't have to give up, As Cynthia  shows,  one does not always automatically go from stage III to stage IV.  You can read our profiles (histories) and learn that while this is a scary, serious journey, it is NOT a hopeless one anymore! 

      I know many young people that havae been on here and I am still in contact with that seldom come here anymore.  Many of them aare stge III, but are too busy living life to spend much time on this board.  If you feel a need to whine, moan, learn, celebrate, aganize, whatever, you are welcome to do so.  We've all been thru the steps from feeling totally overwhelmed and knowing so little about what is happening to us, and many of us have been here long enough to learn much more than we ever wanted to know! 

    On the contact page you can send private messages to those you want to and can come into the Chat rooms which do work intermittently!  Don't hesitate to ask questions.  The only stupid question is one that isn't asked, How else does  one learn?

 

I'm me, not a statistic. Praying to not be one for years yet.

LuckyMan51 - (5/27/2014 - 8:45pm)

Hi Brittany, 

Yeah this will take some time to adjust to but rest assured it goes from shocking news to just something you stay on top of and deal with. I commend you for registering on this website and really starting the process by facing this challenge down. Especially impressive given your young age. If you type NED into the search box and you will find many people who have had the Melanoma diagnosis and have survived, thrived and are beating it back. Keep the faith and try to be your best advocate by reading all you can on the new breakthrough treatments in the trial pipeline as well as the relatively recent FDA approved drugs that have shown solid results. I think we all have our moments where it can get a little scary but have found ways to out fox the fear. A trick I have used when I start to worry a bit is to make a mental list of every person, every thing, every experience that I am especially thankful for and before I know it there is no room left in my head for fear and I am overwhelmed with the good fortune of family, friends and life experiences. Wishing you all the best..