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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churchwelldana's picture
Replies 9
Last reply 5/11/2011 - 1:15pm

I have Cigna through my job and I am currently getting Interferon shots 3 days a week at the West Clinic. I am being charged a $25 copay for each visit, that's $300 a month for a year, just for my Interferon shots! Is this typical or do any of you have advice for what I can do to reduce my costs?

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Anonymous's picture
Replies 5
Last reply 5/10/2011 - 5:11pm

Hello everyone,

My 4 y.o. boy developed strange bump on the palm of his hand: it is reddish but when I press on it it becomes almost flesh colored.
I am Stage 1 patient and I admit that anything strange or unusual on the skin of my kids drives me crazy.  Warts do not blanch, do they? Should I be worried????

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Rendergirl's picture
Replies 5
Last reply 5/8/2011 - 4:53pm

I had surgery one week and 2 days ago to remove the lymph nodes in my right arm. Since then I've felt like I have a football under my arm. The back outside of my upper arm is numb, tingly, hurts, and feel normal in small increments all over my arm. My elbow feels like I've banged it on something. These sensations also extend to the back of that shoulder and around the torso on the side of my breast. I've seen my surgeon this week and she thinks everything looks good, but I'm wondering how long these effects will last. I know the recovery time is 6 weeks and I'm only a week in. Has anyone else had these weird symptoms? The surgeon said she did have to cut two of the nerves going down into my arm, and that it could take months for them to grow back, if they do.

Any feedback on how long before my arm/armpit feels normal again? (Still not sleeping on that side, either).

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Terra's picture
Replies 11
Last reply 7/18/2011 - 3:00am

We are so scared, tired, and besdie ourselves.  Derek was removed from his trial on Thursday after 5 weeks - P13K Mek inhibitor - Nras positive, BRAF negative).  He has been feeling great, decreased his pain meds, lots of energy, etc.  His blood tests this week showed his CV levels were at a critical level (breakdown of muscle enzyme).  ABout 2700 and at 2400 you are off the trial.  His has gone up before to somewhat high levels but had been decreasing and levels were stable. 

CV levels have gone up in other patients as well so we know it is a side effect of the drug but they also can rise due to extreme physical activity and Derek, in an effort to keep busy and get things done, layed flooring with my dad every day for 4 days prior to this appt and was exhausted at the end. 

Our Drs are trying to plead our case to get us back on thinking that his levels shot up so high due to the physical labour - will find out Monday - is there anything we can do in the meantime.  We did believe in this treatment very much.

What can I do?  If he has a cat scan is it ethical to take him off if it is working?  Can we do anything?  We don't have the same options in canada and derek will not spend thousands of dollars travelling to the states and "take that away from his kids" - we can try ipi and IL-2 - but don't want to be taken off this trial...

I am due to have a baby in 3 weeks and cannot afford to be looking now for a new trial - we NEED to stay on this one.

Any suggestions please - Terra

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My family and I have taken part in the Outrun the Sun Race Against Melanoma for the past couple of years, and will do so again this year.  It is a wonderful, very well attended event.  If you are in the central Indiana area, I highly recommend it.  It is June 4th this year.

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shellebrownies's picture
Replies 12
Last reply 5/11/2011 - 3:52pm

My husband Don was given info on three trials he might qualify for if he doesn't have brain mets. We've started reading through the packets, but it's kind of mind-boggling right now.

I was wondering if anyone has been on or has any good information on the following trials: 


Ipi with Bevacizumab

Ipi with GM-CSF


I appreciate any feedback, experiences, or information you can provide. Thank you!

Gonna stand my ground, won't get turned around, And I'll keep this world from draggin' me down; Gonna stand my ground and I won't back down. ~Tom Petty

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Anonymous's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 5/9/2011 - 9:12am

Hi Donna,


I saw an  earlier post that you said that you were going to do a 2nd round of IPI yet you are NED.

My questions is why did you decide to do a 2nd round if you are NED w/o any tumors/subqs on your leg? Did you have scans before deciding on the 2nd round of IPI.what were the results?


I wish you a good response on your 2nd round.

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Sherron's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 5/7/2011 - 6:21pm

Leaving to go do the Melanoma Walk in Dallas, Texas in memory of my Jim, and for ALL OF YOU OTHER WARRIORS!!  WISH ME WELL....



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Lunawest's picture
Replies 7
Last reply 1/30/2012 - 6:52am

I am 3-1/2 weeks out of melanoma surgery for a stage 1 tumor on my ankle. My tumor excision wound and skin flap healed beautifully, and thankfully, the results of my lymph node biopsy were negative. As a result of SLNB incisions, I now have two seromas (sacs of lymphatic fluid), one at the site of each lymph node incision (upper thigh and groin). I understand this is a fairly common side-effect of lymph node removal.  My surgeon suggested letting them heal on their own and using compression garments to alleviate the discomfort, which I have been doing fairly successfully. Now that I have returned to work, the condition seems to be escalating rather than resolving.The seromas seem to be getting larger, and my entire right leg is swollen with fluid by the end of the day. Elevation usually relieves this somewhat.

My surgeon is a purist who will not treat the seromas by aspiration due to the risk of infection.(A position I respect.)  If they don't resolve on their own, he is recommending another surgical procedure to drain them, followed by wound vac therapy to heal those wounds infection-free.

I was wondering if any others have had experience self-healing a post-surgical seroma. How long did it take to resolve? Remedies for the discomfort?

Also, has anyone had a serome treated surgically and/or wound vac therapy? What was that like?

I know that in the big picture my prognosis is good and I am grateful for that. Would love to hear your experiences/advice.

Health and healing to ALL :)


Quality, not quantity...

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shellebrownies's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 5/7/2011 - 7:07pm

Bad news from Dana Farber today; Don is officially Stage IV. It appears that it is spreading even more rapidly than the doctors expected. The PET scan done last week showed not only increased tumor growth deeper in his right shoulder, but it also showed at least 2 mets in his liver (one on each lobe), bone lesions in several areas away from the original site.

We are still waiting for the BRAF test results (our old hospital dragged their feet on getting DF the sample...), but Don had to get another CT and MRI today and he will be getting a liver met biopsied the early part of next week. The doctors are hoping to get him into the BRAF/MEK trial, assuming the test results are in the brain are still clear.

Please.... we could really use listening to your stage IV sucess stories right about now.... 

Gonna stand my ground, won't get turned around, And I'll keep this world from draggin' me down; Gonna stand my ground and I won't back down. ~Tom Petty

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petie540's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 5/6/2011 - 11:11pm
Replies by: petie540, Charlie S

Being a melanoma patient and a practicing psychiatrist perhaps I could be of help to the folks out there

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I don't know how many people have read about the remarkable work that Dr Steven Rosenberg has
been doing. As many new members of this forum may not realise that one of his patients has a
truly amazing story to tell, I think that is it timely to post the link to the details of his
"journey through stage 4 melanoma" here:

This is a link to a recent post by Warren Galinat that somehow didn't get the attention that it

Frank from Australia

I urge everyone to thoroughly educate themselves about melanoma. No part of this post should be considered to constitute any form of medical advice. Please consult a competent oncologist. (I think that prayer can help in ways that we don't always expect).

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kjshaner444's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 5/7/2011 - 2:59pm

I've read a lot, but am still uncertain whether Yervoy is prescribed only for late stage (Stage IV). Thanks.

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naty's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 5/7/2011 - 7:12pm

My brother had a biopsy on a mole.  The path came back positive melanoma cells.  He has another app't for a deeper excision.  Does this mean melanoma?  (he's the type to ask no questions and think everything means nothing.  Our father passed from melanoma 4 mo's ago and his mother also had melanoma twice (but died of other causes) 

I really want to go to his next app't.  Any idea on this ? diagnosis?

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kjshaner444's picture
Replies 0

Is Yervoy prescribed only for late stage melanoma? And, what defines "late stage"?  Thanks.

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