MPIP: Melanoma Patients Information Page

The MPIP is the oldest and largest community of people affected by melanoma hosted through the Melanoma Research Foundation. It is designed to provide support and information to caregivers, patients, family and friends. Once you have been touched by melanoma—either as a patient or as a family member or friend of a patient—you become part of a community. It is not a community anyone joins willingly. But if you must be part of this group, you will find no better place to find the tools you need in your journey with this cancer, and the friends who can make that journey more bearable.

The information on the bulletin board is open and accessible to everyone. To add a new topic or to post a reply, you must be a registered user. Please note that you will be able to post both topics and replies anonymously even though you are logged in. All posts must abide by MRF posting policies.

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Chris in Minnesota's picture
Replies 7
Last reply 4/15/2015 - 12:04am
Replies by: Chris in Minnesota, Toby0987, Bubbles, Anonymous

Here is a quick story of my melanoma.  I had a 8cm tumor in my left axilla that was unresectable due to it involving a major vein. My melanoma oncologist then started chemo that included avastin, abraxane, and carboplatin in hopes to shrink it enough to shrink off the vein and surgically remove it.  It worked and within 4 months of starting chemo I was being operated on.  They did a CLND of my left axilla. They removed the mass and the pathology of the mass showed no viable tumor but "many" of the 21 lymph nodes showing "treatment effect".  The doctor said that meant it appears that many were once infected with melanoma but the chemo showed a complete response.  That surgery was in August 2013.  In October 2015 I had a round of radiation in that area and have been on GM-CSF ever since then.  I have been having clean scans since as well.  My question is this.  Has anyone very had a "complete response" with traditional chemo like this and did they ever have a recurrence?   I have my scans coming up next weeks and am a little worried this time as I've had a cough for the last couple months that won't go away

thanks

Chris

 

 

 

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Anonymous's picture
Replies 6
Last reply 4/6/2015 - 10:06pm

For those with Brain mets, how do you deal with them?  Are any of the therapies that you are on crossing the blood brain barrier?  Do you get yours radiated as they pop up?  And does it work?

My dad has had 3 brain mets to date, not counting the new one found today.  2 were resected via a craniotomy and then radiated.  The last one was radiated.  All 3 were totally gone for almost the past year.  Then scans today revealed another one popping up (only about 1cm).  They feel that they can radiate it easy enough, but I'm just scared of what is next.  There are clearly cells in his brain with melanoma, so this could happen again at any time.  What is working to rid the brain of melanoma, other than surgery and radiation?

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G-Samsa's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 4/6/2015 - 2:14pm
Replies by: Mat, G-Samsa, Ed Williams

Does anyone have the latest on the PDL1 (any updates on effectiveness or its ETA)?  In all the fanfare regarding approval of the anti PD-1 drugs, I've lost sight of the PDL-1, which was somewhat behind in the trials but in the same heat.   As I recall, the PD L-1 sets the blockade at a different place than the anti PD1 that in theory might be even more effective and have less side effects.  There were a couple of firms, including AstraZenica, that were racing to bring these to market.  Don't want to appear greedy, but it seems, many could use another option.

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Anonymous's picture
Replies 9
Last reply 4/7/2015 - 10:19pm
Replies by: bonusfries, _Paul_, Anonymous, kathycmc, Janner, Jubes, Mat

I am 35 years old male, who was recently diagnosed with Melanoma in Situ in February 6th 2015. 

I had my surgery done, and got my final results. All margins are clear. Even though that my doctors told me that it was just on the surface of the skin, I still have fear and questions. In 2014 I helped my mother to fight breast cancer, and year later I have been diagnosed with my Cancer. I hate that!

Thanks?

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csellers23's picture
Replies 14
Last reply 4/6/2015 - 4:40pm

I don't know what to do. The last 3 day we have been to the ER 4 times. High temp up to 104. They just send us home. He was seeing things and wasn't making any sense. They said what do you want us to do.. I got his temp down. But now it's like 83.9 to 94.9. Buy has been in his right mind. The while watching the UK game tonight. He started stuttering hid words and the left side of his lip went up. I called 911 they came took his bp and all and told me it sounds like he has a tumor on the part of his brain that controls his temp. And the pressure prolly caused it all. I called his doc and ask about hospices and he said he don't think we need it yet that it could be the keytruda killing the cancer. But it's like every day I'm calling 911 and it's getting old to them. But what am I to do. I weigh 90 I can't make him do anything. I have 0 help and 3 kids that I am so missing out on. And I'm so afraid he will have a seizure and come after me, or I will walk in one day and find him..... I don't know doing something that will scare the shit out of me. I give him His meds over 40 of them all at different times some 2 4 8 12 hours and others as needed. I can't eat. I don't know if I'm sick or just scared and my nerves tour up. I don't know where to turn or what to do. Any advice would be great Thank you. Ps he has tumors in brain bone lung soft skin tissue.

Crystale

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Jewel's picture
Replies 11
Last reply 4/9/2015 - 1:53pm

Hello there,

My husband managed to complete all 4 doses of Yervoy 1/19/2015 with very little side effects. Scans on 3/3/2015 showed NED. My question is slowly in the past month or so the itching/rash has become worse and worse, to the point that his sleep has gotten very disrupted, I plan on calling our Oncologist Monday but I was just wondering if anybody might have some advise. He has taken Benadral,  used all the creams, Sarna, Gold Bond Medicated Etc, nothing really touches it. I know they might put him on a tropical/oral cortiosteroids. Poor guy has had enought, thankfully during the day doesn't bother him nearly as much. Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Jewel

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Replies 3
Last reply 4/5/2015 - 6:13pm

I'm just hoping someone can help me understand the difference between BRAF positive and negative in terms of treatment possibilities and outcomes.  45 years old and just diagnosed with stage 3/c-BRAF neg nodular melanoma on the bridge of my nose.  They are suggesting a radical lymph node dissection and then radiation once I have healed from surgery.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Thank you all for your help.  Not sure what to think.

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Mat's picture
Replies 6
Last reply 4/6/2015 - 10:12pm

Hopefully I didn't mess-up the link below.  I'm not aware of a better source of "one stop" information on melanoma than Celeste's blog.  In her latest post, she summarizes her story--and, in doing so, provides hope and guidance to all of us.  Good reading for a holiday weekend.

http://chaoticallypreciselifeloveandmelanoma.blogspot.com

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Jacqueh27's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 4/15/2015 - 11:36am

Well it's been a while since I have been on here. My daughter Jess had her PET scan again and it is still stable. The tumor went from 14 cm to 10 cm. They want her to have another PET in a month since the yervoy could still be working. If it hasn't shrunk enough he wants to put on Braf inhibitor. What are most commonly used and are the side effects bad? Will she lose her hair? She is finally feeling great, no pain, hasn't been on narcotics in over three weeks and is getting ready to start back to work Monday. Any info is welcomed! All other organs clear. 

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dentholla's picture
Replies 9
Last reply 4/6/2015 - 10:18am

This week my family joined the collective journey that so many others are on....my husband was diagnosed with melanoma after having a funny looking mole removed from his temple.  I am turning into a crazy person trying to find out any information I can...and if I'm honest the internet scares the crap out of me!

In late January of this year we noticed rapid changes in the shape and color and it had all the warning signs of something we needed to look into.  He made an appointment with his dermatologist and had it removed in early March.  The results came back melanoma ... and here we are.  We met with an ear, nose, and throat head and neck surgeon this week that has him scheduled for a sentinel node mapping, WLE (?), and biopsy for next Friday.  My husband didn't have his path reports because I think he ditched them out of shock.  Here are the things I know - He is .8mm, clarks level iii, ulceration present (pretty sure about that one) and there it is.  That's it...you know what I know.  I scheduled a follow up with a melanoma specialist (oncologist) at UT Southwestern Simmons Cancer Center in Dallas for 4/22 as I've read we need to find someone who specializes in this disease outside of our regular dermatologist/head and neck surgeon. 

This is such a hard time, I've read it's one of the hardest times because there is so much uncertainty.  We are younger (he is 38) with 3 boys all under 7 (set of identical twins) and he is self-employed while I work outside the home.  We don't have grandparents that can step in and help so I'm starting to call on favors from our wonderful friends to help us out with the kiddos next week.  Any words of encouragement would be helpful right now... I have no idea how/when to tell the kids either…googling that as well.  I feel like we are doing everything we can to try and get in front of this but worry is eating me up.  Also, I have zero idea about what his recovery will be like...not to mention how long it takes to get back all these results.

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yazziemac's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 4/5/2015 - 3:21pm
Replies by: _Paul_, Ed Williams

Hello all:

 

It's been a tough 2 weeks. Pete had one week of radiation to his back for pain.  The day after it finished he was overwhelmed with headache and vomiting.  He was admitted to our local hospital and given an MRI.  They had difficulty managing his pain and he was in hospital for 4 days.  The MRI showed many new brain lesions.  He is now home and begins whole brain radiation next week.  He continues on the Ipi and has now had 2 infusions.  His pain is now managed well.  Happy Easter to you too.

 

Yasmin

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Nadia's picture
Replies 5
Last reply 4/5/2015 - 3:15pm

We live in Canada, hubs failed ipi, had to interrupt Dabrafenib due to side effects, and after 12 shots of Keytruda the scans are showing growth in one of his existing lung nodules and new growth in the gastro hepatic ligament lymph nodes. He had a brain tumour, cyber-knifed in sept 2014, and as of last MRI (march 2015) has shrunk from 1.9mm to 1.4mm.

Other than the chemo cocktails, or going back to Dabrafenib and find a way to deal with the severe side effects, what other options do we have?

Are the TILs trials at NHI in Bethesda still open for international patients? What is the best way to approach them? Can we, as patients approach them or do we need a dr referral? 

I'm at a point where I need help, all the searches I do come up without anything else but IL2 and/or TILs; he appears to be excluded from any other type of trial due to prior exposure to ipi, antiPD1 and BRaf meds. Also, not sure about the vaccine type treatments, they all seem to require less than 3 visceral tumours, he has more than 12.  

Thank you for your input, I hope we can come up with something to keep us in the game a little longer.
 
 
 
 
 

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CCCL's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 4/3/2015 - 12:38pm
Replies by: CCCL, Thandster

Hi ,

 

I recently had my Sentinel Lymph Node surgery, and it they found 1 out of 5 nodes positive with 1 mm dimension of tumor burden in the positive node. I am going to be doing the CLND in a week or so. I have read a lot of the information on this forum and the internet as a whole and its been great to get a better understanding of everything. The question I wanted to see if anyone was familiar with was the pathologist listed a % of how much cancer I guess was in the Lymph Node. I haven't read about that anywhere, so I wanted to understand the significance of it. 

 

Here is exactly what the pathologist said on the report:

 

Largest Metastatic focus measures 1 mm in greatest dimension, involves less then 10% of lymph node area,  subcapsular and intraparenchymal location, no extracapsular extention indentified.

 

So I have a good idea of all of the other info outside of the "10%" of lymph node involvement, I haven't seen anything like that anywhere on the internet so was hoping someone here might be familiar it. I am just wondering if it has any significance in terms or good or bad factors. 

 

Thank you for your help ahead of time. 

CC

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Happy_girl's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 4/3/2015 - 9:49am
Replies by: Jubes, SoCalDave, Rocco

Yesterday was my one year anniversary... And today was my dr Appointment.... Everything was good! 1 year NED!  I can't believe it's been a year already! Thankful and blessed! Happy Easter everyone! 

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Joe.Pro's picture
Replies 10
Last reply 4/6/2015 - 2:09pm

So...today my life changed.  My biopsy came back positive for malignant melanoma and I'm undoubtedly quite scared based on a few factors.

Here are my details:

34 year old white male diagnosed today with AML.  4.26mm Breslow and IV Clark scale according to the pathology report I received from my podiatrist as the lesion is located on the bottom of my foot.  I know this lesion has been present for 18 months but I foolishly ignored it.  

I am preparing for my visit next week to Dana Farber Institute in Boston and am curious what questions I should be asking...are there better places to look for treatment based on results?

I'm obviously brand new to this disease and it's very scary as I'm sure all of you know.  

Please help...

joe

 

 

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