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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NicoleinVA's picture
Replies 5
Last reply 9/21/2011 - 10:15pm


I had a WLE and SLNB on 8/11; thankfully the SLNB was clear and at the beginning everything healed very well.  The WLE was done on my lower left outer calf.  They were able to close w/o skin graft and first three weeks all did well.

The incision on my leg re-opened in the middle two weeks ago and I'm told it will have to heal from the inside out.  I just finished up a 2 week dose of Keflex for minor infection and keep in wrapped.  I clean w/soap & water 2-3 times/day and first was using thick coat of bacatracin and now have been given saline solution.  I clean, soak gauze pad w/solution and re-wrap, doing this 2 -3 times/day.

Has anyone experienced anything like this and if so, do you have any advice?  I go back to derm in 2 weeks for another skin check and have to have at least 2 moles removed.  I'm hoping to recover from this surgery before I start w/more stiches.

Thanks for any advice you can offer. 

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My 54 year old father was diagnosed with Stage IV melanoma this past April after a tumor was discovered in his knee.  He just finished up a 4 dose cycle of Yervoy- the FDA approved version, not a clinical trial.  The scans just came back and he has new tumors and his current ones have continued to grow.  His oncologist provided information about Dacarbazine and a new clinical trial with a drug called SCH 727965 which is in a new class of drugs caled cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors.   After reading the research consent form,  I realize that the purpose of the study is to establish a safe dosage and that it is a very new treatment.  I was curious is anyone has had any experience with this trial or drug?

What have others next step been after Ipi did not work?  That is the only treatment that he has recieved and it appears as though there are alot of other drugs/options out there.  We just do not where to go from here, any advice would be greatly appreciated!



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NYKaren's picture
Replies 8
Last reply 9/20/2011 - 5:10am

Sorry I haven't posted since I went in last week...

Here I sit, scratching myself silly, giving you the high/low points of the treatment.  Going back in tommorow.

High points:  Never got the extreme chills/tremors.  They could definately happen this week, though.

Didn't get diahhrea till the day before last.  Lomotil took care of it right away.  I think it's because I went in constipated.  .   Hint, if you think you have to go, unplug yourself and get in there!

Didn't vomit.

Didn't halucinate, thank G-d.  I was really scared about that one.

NEVER had low urine output.  They were amazed.  I highly recommend bringing a case of water--it really helps.  Toward the end, when I couldn't eat, lived on water and bananas. Besides, my throat was so dry and lips peeling that I had to keep sipping water.

It was hard getting the Picc line in, they bent two (needles, wires, whatever they were)  By the end of the week, I wanted to rip it out myself.  There's got to be something else that doesn't itch so much as the patch/tape they use to secure it, and tomorrow I'll find out.

Low points:  My skin was lobster red (but didn't peel.)  Itch was and is so bad, nothing relieved it. was so swollen that at times one eye closed.   Not Doxipin, not Adarax, not Zyrtec.  In the hospital a shower followed by Sarna helped for about 10 min.  Ditto for home and oatmeal baths.  Just sent my hubby out for Tide Free & I'm rewashing everything today.  I just cut all my nails off and the skin is all peely underneath.  yuk.

Definate confusion which still hasn't cleared up yet.

 As mentioned, extremely dry throat and peeling lips.

Blood pressure did get low, so did potassium.  They're quick to remedy that.

I gained 35 lbs. of water.  As soon as the 2nd day, my underwear was so tight I had to cut it w/scissors on the legs & waist.  This time I bought 2 packages 2 sizes larger. Took off wedding ring and watch on first day.

I have to say, Dr. Sznol was there 1-2X/day, every day.  What a dedicated man.

Recovery: Exhausted and itchy.  Appetite came back pretty quickly, strength did not. Balance was horrible.  When we went for my check-up this past thursday, my husband parked the car, I got out my side, and promptly walked into a parked car.  When I saw Dr. S., he asked what % of normal I felt.  I said 60, and if he expected more, he was out of luck.  He laughted and said as long as I felt 60-70%, i was fine to go back in.  The important criteria was my labs, and apparantly they're fine.  We got home Sun. around noon, and I slept almost 'round the clock till Wednesday-Thursday.

I'm scared about the upcoming week because I know it can be so much worse.  Also, since I did ipi & had the requisite side-effects, I kept asking him if I wasn't having enough, because with ipi, it's believed that the presence of side effects means that the body is responding.  He said with IL-2, it's not the same and of course I did have some, just not the major ones.

Oh yeah,  I did in the hosp. & will continue to put Aldera on the area every night.  Interestingly, that skin is now painful, red and scabby.  They're very interrested in the result of the combination of the IL-2 & Aldera, and so am I!

So  I think that's it for now, sorry for not keeping up earlier.  I really lost interest in everyting, didn't even check Facebook.

One last thing, so grateful to have my husband there; he was wonderful!

be well everyone,



Don't Stop Believing

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Wally's picture
Replies 9
Last reply 9/20/2011 - 3:03am

Hi all, I have posted on previous occasions and am now totally confused and possibly paranoid but I really do not know what to make of these developments so I need to rant and rave.

About a month after the malenoma tumor was removed from my right lung in April 2011, I started developing pain in my ribs, initially on the right side close to where the tumor was. In July I felt that the pain was no worse but consistant and very eratic and would move accross my ribs at times. Although initially the bones felt sore when I pressed my fingers on them, this is no longer the case. The pain is pretty severe at times and seems to stem from somewhere behind my ribs. It is like a severe stitch and other times like a stabbing pain and again at other times it feels as if it is on fire.

A Tc99 m MDP Three Phase whole body bone scan was done that indicated possible osteoblastic skeletal metastases with a proviso that recent surgery could also have been responsible. However, the pain continues. I was given a nerve block as the doctor who removed the tumor again indicated that the rib may have been damaged during surgery. Also apparent uptake left occipital need further evaluation to exclude metastasis in view of rib lesions

I went to my Oncologist on 7 September and a blood count was taken. This was clear / normal. Just to make sure a further scan was ordered. I only had a pre-scan to identify possible lesions. Nothing came up so no further scan done. The verdict being that the scan indicated a possible clean break of the rib during surgery.

I will now be have the ribs strapped (like rugby players have done when they injure their ribs) tomorrow (Monday)

My question is - can it take so long (some 5 months later still in pain) for a rib fracture to heal? Are the pains I am experiencing in line with a rib fracture. Surely any unusual movement, a cough or heavy breathing should induce pain. Surely pressing against the ribs should be a painful experience? I have none of this, just a constant pain that comes and goes as it pleases and is not isolated to one spot. This makes no sence to me. I do not want to sound like I am wishing that there is someting there but I just do not feel comfortable that they have done all they could to determine without any doubt whether or not I am disease free (NED) for now.

I just need to have closure on this topic and any feedback will be most welcome. I have had no treatment at all up to now, which is a blessing, but I am so afraid that there may be something lurking inside me that has not been picked up as yet and that any procrastination could be to my detriment. Is there anything else that can be done or is there anybody on this form that has had a rib tumor following a lung tumor. How was it identified - pain or any other way? Please help me.

I thank you all for your support. God bless. Wally.

The sun shines at the dawn of each new day even though it may not always be visible.

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grungle's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 9/18/2011 - 8:17am
Replies by: Lisa13, FormerCaregiver

Hi all.

My wife just had her second dose of dacarbzine for secondary in her liver.  She is in a lot more discomfort this time, more so than the first dose.  I was just wondering what side effects others who had dacarbazine had,  if any, and how many doses were given.  We are having a ct on 29 September to judge its effectiveness. thanks

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MariaH's picture
Replies 5
Last reply 9/19/2011 - 8:11am

I know that so many people on this board have been wondering about Val, and  just wanted to let you all know that I got an email from her today.  She plans on updating the board as soon as she is feeling better.  I think she's a little beat up right now, so feel free to post some positive thoughts to her and let her know you're thinking of her -

Way to go Val!!

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Anonymous's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 9/17/2011 - 9:25pm
Replies by: nickmac56, Karin L


My bones in my lower back have been hurting. I am scheduled for a PET & CT scan soon.

Do Bone Mets show up on PET & CT SCANS? Has anyone been diagnosed with bone met detected on a PET or CT scan?

Is there a special scan to determine bone mets, if so, what is the name of the scan?

Thanks for your comments & feedback.


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Anonymous's picture
Replies 7
Last reply 9/20/2011 - 8:32pm
Replies by: Anonymous, EmilyandMike, MaryD, Napa K


I am moving to the San Francisco area. I am stage 4 and need the best ONC I can find.

Sincerely would appreciate any recommendation for Melanoma Specialist ONC at UCSF Cancer Center or any prominent Melanoma Specialist close to Bay area. 

I am hoping to find an ONC & Medical Center that is conducting melanoma clinical trials.

Thank you so much for your help.


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Lisa13's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 9/18/2011 - 2:37am
Replies by: mclaus23, Napa K

I'm due for my third round of ipi next Wednesday. The closer I get to being done this treatment, the sooner I'll know if it's been working and or continues to work.

Today I started to feel a bit dizzy. Not at all the time - just waves from time to time. I also have an upset stomach - lots of stomach gas that rises up and makes me feel a bit nauseus.  Has anyone experienced this before??  I've also been experiencing acid reflux and burning in my chest which I also had with dacarbazine.  I've always had a bad stomach before cancer, but these treatments have made them worse! 

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated so I don't feel alone in these symptoms.

Lisa - Stage 4

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vickykay's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 9/17/2011 - 2:52pm

Hi, can someone explain BRAF mutation to me where I can understand . I had the BRAF and it came back negative. What does this mean for me?

Stage 3b - will start interferon Sep. 19th. Started interferon Oct.2011. Received three weeks everyday with very bad side effects. Stop high dose everyday and started shots. Had to stop after one injection, vomiting blood. Had Ct, came back clean.

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LynnLuc's picture
Replies 5
Last reply 9/18/2011 - 11:59am
Replies by: dian in spokane, LynnLuc, Anonymous, DebbieH

My Friend  Linda S ( Magnolia Springs) was put on the sister trial that I am on for melanoma that couldn't be resected ( mine was for NED pateints)...she has completed 2 twelve weeks of the anti PD 1 and peptides and has shown 30% reduction in her multiple melanomas, and no progression. Some melanomas are gone. She now begins the booster IV's of anti PD 1 every 3 months. She is the one in my picture with the shortest hair...although she now has much more hair!! Yes its awesome news!!

Advocate for your own treatment.. Stage 4 Melanoma NED Surgery,Radiation, Temodar 300Mg July 2009-March 2010, then "Phase I Study of Anti-PD-1 Human Monoclonal Antibody MDX-1106 and Vaccine Therapy"

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Jan in OC's picture
Replies 12
Last reply 9/17/2011 - 10:32pm

We have been on a roller coaster here in Texas.  Dirk had surgery to remove the large met in his brain on 8/19.  About two weeks later, he had some numbness and swelling on the left side of his face so spent labor day weekend back in the hospital.  Has finally seemed to recover from the surgery, but the latest MRI shows that even more brain mets have appeared and the mel is growing very fast throughout his body.  

Saw Dr Papa today and he wanted to start BioChemo right away...but there were no beds available...friday nights are tough!  So we will go in tomorrow and start...the combo includes IL-2, Interferon, Cisplatin, Vinblastine and Temodar instead of Carbo.  As soon as he is done with that, they want to do WBR to get those pesky brain mets under control.   

Dirk is pretty upset.  Dr "hinted" that this is our "last resort" treatment.  We cannot do the rest of theTIL trial unless his brain mets can be controlled....although the TILS are growing in that little petri there is still hope!

I don't know if I can even express what I feel, there is so much to deal with...I need any advice to help us get through the next 10 days....


laughter is the best medicine

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Those people who are new to this bulletin board might not know that there used to be a thriving chat room here. It was so useful to me when I first discovered this place. I went in there and 'met' many of the people that helped guide me through my early days of interferon, many of them gone now taken by melanoma, and many of them just gone away from reading these boards.

I don't spend much time in there myself anymore, since it is so quiet, but I will often log in there and just minimize the window while I read the boards or check my facebook or news readers. And new people still come in there, sometimes even before they find these boards, and they are usually pretty happy to find someone to talk to who understands the diagnosis.

Anyway, Shelby has posted some suggested chat times in the chat room, so now when newcomers enter the chat room, they'll see some times listed when they might expect others. I hope this will help people who actually want to use the room find others of a like mind.

I see she's listed the times in Eastern Standard Time, each night at 8pm, and I'd like to encourage some of the long term members to try popping in there over the next few weeks to see if we can't encourage a chat room revival. I am often cooking dinner during the 5 O'Clock hour (I am pacific time) any of you night owls back east who like to get on late can look for me around 10 or 11 Eastern as well.


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Anonymous's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 9/17/2011 - 3:03pm
Replies by: mombase, jax2007gxp

Hi Jacki,


Saw an earlier post. How are you doing??? Did the doc take out any deep nodes?

Wishing you a qick recovery.


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cwu's picture
Replies 6
Last reply 9/19/2011 - 9:49am
Replies by: Anonymous, cwu, mclaus23


I just joined this bulletin board because the informaion here is very helpful.

My father is 83 years old and he was diagnosed with melanoma in June 2010. His tumor was on the sole of his foot.  In July 2010, he had surgery to remove the tumor and at that time it was about 5mm. They also removed 3 lymph nodes in his groin area, two of which had melanoma. 

In May 2011, he started having lesions on the skin of the same leg.  These lesions started out small and have grown bigger and there are hundreds of them now.  The doctor put him in a clinical trial for the drug dasatinib ( a targeted chemo drug I think)  since he has the C-kit mutation.  He was on it for two months and the doctor said that it is not working since the lesions have gotten bigger.

His melanoma is stage IIIC. His lesions are still on this lower leg.  He has a couple on his upper thigh and one near the groin area.  All of his lesions are on the same side where the tumor is. Two weeks ago, he had CT scans of his pelvis and chest and the doctor said the melanoma has not spread to his organs.

The doctor is now recommending Yervoy for treatment.  We have alot of concerns about the side effects of Yervoy because of his age.  He has high blood pressure which he is taking medication for and has asthma but generally in good health for his age.  I know different people experience different side effects while on Yervoy but can anyone tell me if  they know anyone in the same age range who took Yervoy and what side effects they have? I guess I am asking whether he can handle the side effects at his age (whether it will be fatal).  We have to make a decision about whether we should go with Yervoy, Decarbazine, or no treatment.

I appreciate any insight you can give and thank you all for your help.  

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