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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Ohdearjessica's picture
Replies 5
Last reply 3/3/2011 - 8:39pm

I guess I'm just looking for support.

I don't know my original path report by heart, but I was dx in may 2009. I was pregnant at the time so I had to wait 4 weeks to find out what stage I was. 12 days after I had my son I had the WLE and SNB. They found cancer in a node in my neck. Had 2nd surgery a month and a half later where they removed the rest of the nodes came back clear. After all was said and done I was stage 3.

I have had a scan since then and it was clear, but I've been in constant pain at the surgery site (left neck and shoulder). I've been taking ultram for it but the pain is making me paranoid. I guess it's just Pre-scan anxiety, but I'm really freaked out that they are going to find something on Thursday.
I have been very positive until this last week.

Any encouraging words, support, or your experiences are welcome and appreciated

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Replies 3
Last reply 3/3/2011 - 4:32pm
Replies by: Jenjen, Sherron, ShariC

Has anyone on this board thought or their dermatologist thought you had a blood blister when after a biopsy it turns it was actually nodular melanoma?

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Hi folks,

I didn't go, but I thought I would post the link the the Melanoma Conference that was held at UNC on 2/24/2011.  The first link is just photographs -- not much information:

http://unclineberger.org/news/2011/release02241/

The second link is to a powerpoint presentation on staging, which might be of use to some of you.

http://www.med.unc.edu/cme/events/third-annual-unc-conference-on-melanoma

Best wishes to everyone!

ellen

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RMcLegal's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 3/3/2011 - 10:11am
Replies by: RMcLegal, mom3girlsFL

I'm a very lucky seven-plus year survivor, healthy and NED, after a diagnosis of Stage IIIc melanoma in 2003.  I read the posts of much younger patients, so often with young kids, who are struggling with my diagnosis, or worse, and it just pisses me off that they have to face this trial.  (Excuse my language, please.)  My heart goes out to everyone who is struggling with this beastly disease.  I don't have a clue why I've been so fortunate and so many others have not.  So, all I can do is blog about the lighter side of my journey at www.hotelmelanoma.blogspot.com and hope it provides a few smiles and a bit of encouragement.  Best wishes to you all.

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ValJaneMB's picture
Replies 15
Last reply 3/3/2011 - 8:21am

Hi everyone, i am in Pittsburgh and just finished round 1 of IL-2 at UPMC. I am being treated by Dr. Kirkwood. Right now i look like the Michelin Tire man - with really bad acne. Day 3 into the treatment I developed all these white pustules (gross I know) all over my face, neck chest and shoulders. They then broke and began to bleed. Has any one experienced this? We are staying in town for two weeks before round 2 starts and I need to know if there is any way I can prepare my skin for the next round? All the staff at the hospital were great giving me benedryl, lotions, etc but not able to help me further. After the 2nd round is complete we will be flying back to Winnipeg Manitoba and I am not looking forward to flying in this condition. The fact that I gained 40 lbs of water weight that is slowly coming off doesn't help either. I am thinking of cabin pressure on the plane.

Are the symptoms during the rounds always the same? Hopefully not worse. By the way the IL-2 tip sheet posted by another of our forum members (sorry can't remember her name) was INVALUABLE. I would have been lost without it!

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carol b's picture
Replies 5
Last reply 3/2/2011 - 11:01am

well ill be back at vandy in the morning at 8:20 for round 2. im so dreading it. i still havent gotten rid of the itchies yet from round 1.any ways, im mostly out of it while im there so im sending u all a bunch of prayers at one time tonite. Take care all.

carol bellinger

Believe all thing are possible, believe faith can move mountains, believe in the healing power of prayer and never ever give up on your dreams

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heg50heg's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 3/2/2011 - 10:54am
Replies by: ShariC, Carver, Janner, washoegal

Hello , ater 3 and 1,2 weks post lymph node dissection under arm pit     i have swollen up spot the size of my fist. It feels pretty hard and I am gonna see my surgeon tomorrow. Has anyone else experienced this after surgery.

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raelynn's picture
Replies 1
Last reply 3/2/2011 - 9:14am
Replies by: NancyGM

Hi  -   My father is 81 and has had melanoma for 2 years. He has had a couple of surgeries, radiation, and interferon. His last scan showed a couple of new spots and the doctor wants him to take Temodar. He also has frontal lobe dementia. Does anybody know if Temodar will affect the dementia or make it worse? Our doctor seemed unsure.

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Hi,

My father is 81 and has had melanoma for 2 years. He has had a couple of surgeries, radiation, and interferon. His last scan showed a couple of new spots and the doctor wants him to take Temodar. He also has frontal lobe dementia. Does anybody know if Temodar will affect the dementia or make it worse? Our doctor seemed unsure.

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Shelly in Switzerland's picture
Replies 5
Last reply 3/1/2011 - 1:20pm

I am on cycle 13 of the Roche b-raf trial, receiving the b-raf drug.  I have been responding the whole time.  Recently I have been experiencing a sense of instability in my left leg as well as poor balance because of it.  When walk my left foot slaps down and I have been tripping often as if I am not picking up my feet enough.  My last scans still showed "response" to the b-raf inhibitor. 

Another side effect that has been bothering me is my arms, hands, and shoulders falling asleep when in any position that I try to sleep. the olnly way I can sleep is with sleeping aides.   My range of motion has been reduced drastically for someone who used to work-out a lot. s

Has anyone experienced similar side effects? 

Has anyone been on the "responding" list for b-raf and still developed brain mets?  My doctor seems to feel this is very unlikely but willing to do a brain MRI if I want one.

Thank you for your help.

Shelly in Switzerland, stage IV

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mayeast's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 2/28/2011 - 10:07pm
Replies by: mayeast, MichaelFL

I have been waiting 2 weeks for results. Is this normal? I am anxious to start a clincical trial because I am now stage 4 with METs. Thanks.

Stay in the moment.

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ShariC's picture
Replies 13
Last reply 2/28/2011 - 6:09pm

Hi Everybody - Thanks for being part of such a terrific resource!  I've been reading for a month, or so, and now am hoping to get some advice:  Here's my diagnosis and treatment history:

- I was diagnosed in Mid-July 2010 with Stage IIIb Melanoma after I found a lump in my armpit (it was the enlarged lymph node).  After surgery - complete axillary dissection (22 nodes taken, 1 macromets, 1 micro), my pathology came back as T4aN2bM0 - Stage IIIb. 

- I was told by the local oncologist that he would not recommend interferon and that I should monitor and wait.  I requested to be referred to a specialist.  I was referred to the Mayo Clinic.

- Dr. McWilliams at the Mayo Clinic recommended Luekine (GM-CSF) - a year.  Two weeks on and two weeks off.  He also recommended local radiation treatments to the axillary region.  (I've completed this radiation treatment but haven't started the Luekine, yet.

- Last week, I saw Dr. Rene Gonzales at the University of Colorado Cancer Center as a second opinion.  He recommended Bio-Chemotherapy.  A treatment that includes 5 days in the hospital receiving the following:  IL-2, Interferon, Dacarbanize (DTIC), Cisplatin, and Vinplastine. 

Here's my line of questioning:  I understand that this is fairly aggressive treatment and is unusual for Stage III.  Has anybody gone through something like this?  Are any other major cancer centers providing this kind of treatment for Stage III resected Melanoma?  I like the idea that it could increase my chances for disease-free survival (don't we all!) - he says up to 75%.  But, is this unrealistic?  Also, would this mean that if it does progress to Stage IV that I wouldn't be able to do this treatment?  Hmmm? 

Also...I know that I will just have to eventually (as my Doctor says) "settle on one doctor and trust the treatment path"...I just want to make sure I'm ON the right path! 

Thanks for any and all advice!

- Shari

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TLR's picture
Replies 6
Last reply 2/28/2011 - 5:51pm
Replies by: TLR, Joan C, Anonymous, lhaley

I was diagnosed with stage 1 one year ago (site was right back). Had wide excision, negative SN. Now ultrasound is showing enlarged lymph node in my left neck. Wouldn't this be an unlikely area considering my original location and stage? The doctor has me scheduled for a ct scan on Thursday.

Any insight would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Tracey

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NeilG's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 2/28/2011 - 2:10pm
Replies by: MichaelFL, Becky, Anonymous

I am about to start external radiation on my back for 4 weeks does anyone know the time frame of safe conception after this treatment?  My doctor has said to wait 2 months after treatment but i have also heard 1 year is appropriate.

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emilypen's picture
Replies 1
Last reply 2/28/2011 - 11:35am
Replies by: King

Hi All,

So my husband had been responding really well to a combo study of Mek & pI3k inhibitors but after being taken off the drugs for 3 weeks to allow a rash to subside the tumour in his back has aggressively been growing and even being back on the drugs for 3 weeks has had no effect.

After an MRI on Friday they docs have determined he needs immeadiate surgery to stop the tumour from compromising his spinal cord. And most likely radiation. After that on to a new trial....

so onwards from here.....

 

Any advice appreciated.

thanks,

Em

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