Stage 3 Primary thickness 6.5mm plus one positive lymph node--looking for others with same

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3/18/2014 6:36pm
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Hello.  I have just been diagnosed with Stage 3B melanoma, with removal of  primary on my back of 6.5mm and one positive node upon sentinel lymph node biopsy.  See where this size primary tumor means I hit the JACKPOT--where only 5% of melanoma patients fall.  Aren't I lucky?  :)  Now I want to be among the VERY LUCKY 10-20% that make it to the 5 year survival rate--and I'd like to hear from others who have been similarly diagnosed and successfully waging their battles.  I think I need to keep a positive attitude and would like to find out what the common denominator is a "secret to success" is among those who have been victorious in overcoming this disease.  Thank you for reading my post - and I wish you a wonderful day filled with God's blessings :)   

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Hi, what a shock this must be for you. But the first thing I recommend you do is get those statistics out of your head! They are old, and they don't take into consideration the advances in treatment of melanoma that have been made in the last few years.

If you scan through messages on this board, you'll find lots of contributors with stage 3 and 4 melanoma who have lived more than 5 years, and have no evidence of disease now. So, focus on the positive and figure out how YOU are going to beat the beast.

Arm yourself with information about current treatments. Get to a melanoma center of excellence and figure out, with the help of a melanoma specialist (not a general oncologist, someone who deals with melanoma day in and day out), what treatments are available to you. Then, choose a path and go down it with the attitude that you will be a long-term survivor, too.

One more thing: proceed to live your life to the fullest. Love the people close to you, engage in activities that make you happy, find things to laugh at and people to laugh with. That's the secret to the positive mental attitude that you will need.

There are lots of us here living with similar circumstances. If you have more questions about treatments - or just about how to cope with all these "wonderful" new experiences - come back and ask us. We'll try to help.

~Hazel

 

blogging at www.hazelbecker.com

Thanks Hazel for your upllifting message.  It is really appreciated :)

I am seeing a melanoma oncologist at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fl who I am very impressed with.  He's been here for some 9 years and has previously been at Sloane Kettering in NYC and M.D. Anderson in Houston.

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