I was recently diagnosed with stage III after a biopsy of a golfball sized tumor in the lymph node in my left armpit. It took a while to do the biopsy, PET and CT scan and I had a lot of time to research. No primary tumor could be found. I'm still waiting for the brain MRI.
I know this form is all about encouragement and support, and my oncologist seems awfully rosy, suggesting trials and interferon. I'd like some advice from others that may be or have been in my mindset.
I'm 46 and single with no kids. I own a business and have done well for myself. I have no fear of melanoma. But there are two fears that keep me up at night:
1) what if I spend months or years in aggressive treatments, trials and waiting rooms only to die without really living?
2) what if I ignore treatments, sell my business, go have a blast and blow all my money, only to live another 20 years?
I watched my dad work two jobs most of his life, save up for retirement, then die at age 53 of esophagus cancer in only 6 months. I'm not about to let that happen to me.
I know there is no clear answer as to my life expectancy. I'm less concerned about having a long life than in knowing how long that might be. In other words, I'd rather know I had 2 years than not know and live for 10. It may seem premature, but my impulse is to cash it all in, skp the treatments, and go have fun. I could have one he'll of a life for 5 years, but if I'm still around after 10, I may want to kill myself.