I post this mostly for those newly diagnosed early stagers - to give them perspective. 20 years ago I was diagnosed with my first melanoma. No internet back then. Even the medical library at the University had scarce material on melanoma - and what it did have was doom and gloom. I really didn't know what life had in store for me - melanoma-wise, that is. There was no one I could ask questions of, no resources to scour. I did one or two followups with my derm, but then my insurance changed and I didn't see another derm for 8 years. That's when I noticed what I was sure was melanoma primary #2. Primary #3 followed the next year. I've had 2 stage IB primaries and one in situ. I am NED from all of them. I became an internet melanoma researcher after #3. Learned too much for my own good. Who'd have thought the knowledge would come into play again in my own family a few years later. Both of my adoptive parents have been diagnosed with melanoma in their 80's. What are the odds?
Anyway, the real point of this posting is to show that MOST early stagers go on to live normal lives and have no need to come back to this board for help. I can't tell you the number of early stagers who have come and moved on over the 10 years I've been on this board. Life does go on. I know there are warriors on this board who started out as stage I and have advanced, but most do not. I want to show that there is the other side of the coin and that this BB is not a representative sample for the early stagers.