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.

Expand/ Collapse Topic
Replies By
View Topic
Sherron's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 1/12/2011 - 11:48am
Replies by: Lori C, Sherron, Linda J, JenC

Haven't heard from you in a while...How are things going?

Login or register to post replies.

Anonymous's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 1/11/2011 - 11:15pm
Replies by: JakeinNY, Fen, Janner


I'm looking for some reassurance. I am stage 3a, NED 3 years (almost)...I've been experiencing horrible bouts of dizziness lately, so bad that I can't drive at times. My family doc thinks its an inner ear infection (no symptoms of this present) and that I'm experiencing vertigo. I want to trust that is all that it is, know how it this something I should see my oncologist about?


Thanks for your responses.

Login or register to post replies.

Becky's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 1/11/2011 - 10:48pm
Replies by: Becky, Janner

Ok so even though its been 18 months, I still pour over my sons pathology report like I may find out something new...probaby the same reason I over-google and read the same articles over and over and over (neurotic mom?).

My question is, what is the difference between surgical pathology and immunohistochemistry ? One looks at the actual tumor and one the slides? Which would be more accurate?

Sons case was so unusual that it was send to 3 pathologists so I am just wondering...

Login or register to post replies.

Kmazz99's picture
Replies 12
Last reply 1/11/2011 - 7:13pm
Replies by: Kmazz99, dian in spokane, lhaley, Anonymous

Hi everyone. Im new here. In Nov of 2008 I was diagnosed with Melanoma (on my abdomen). I'll make the long story short. Had the wide excision and dissection of the inguinal node. Pathology on that was fine. recently had some pains in left breast so I had a diagnostic mammogram. They found no mass etc in the breasts but did find Bilateral Axillary Adenopathy. They requested ultrasounds of those areas. They said the nodes are palpable and large but as of now not certain whats infecting them. Do you think its possible that after these two years of being "ok"...this is back or there is a possibility? I am scared. I am not set for u/s until late next week and with results after that, feels like forever to wait. Just curious if anyone can tell me if theyve had experience with this. That would be quite a spread to both armpits. But I have had issues in my left armpit since about 2 months after surgery in Jan 2009. From a rash that they couldnt diagnose or fix with topicals etc. to now being a non itching patch of discolored skin about 3" by 1" in size. Please help. Karen

Login or register to post replies.

emilypen's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 1/11/2011 - 7:07pm
Replies by: EricNJill, emilypen, Anonymous

Hi All,

My husband is on a trial of GSK MEk and P13k inhibitors and after 4 months he's developed a full body rash ( dermatitus) that is incredibly itchy.

They tried cortisone cream - didn't do much.

Now they have him on oral antibiotics and an antibiotic cream. Wondering if anyone else out has developed the rash and exactly what they're using to deal with it.

Wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't itchy! :-)

thanks in advance.




Login or register to post replies.

Here is a link to the Immunotherapy and Vaccines webinar with Dr Jedd W at Sloan Kettering from has last night   if anyone wants to watch it

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"

Login or register to post replies.

JerryfromFauq's picture
Replies 26
Last reply 1/10/2011 - 11:26pm

I made it safely back to Virginia (luckily) and finally got my Oct 1st scan that Dr Call in Colorado played games and delayed.  Dr Weiss (UVA) did his normal workup on 20 December and gave me his normal smile (especially after seeing my horse accident pictures).  He then told me that the radiology report said absolutely no growth in the innumerable tumors and also no new tumors.  Now to follow up with my PCP for lingering items from the accident and to see my dentist extra.  Dentist said that he cannot currently make me a lower plate because my upper and lower jaws do not line up enough for the jaw teeth to mate!  Oh well, I did learn a way to lose weight. 
(Lost 40 pounds, now weigh less than when I was active in the Marine Corps.  Don't don't recommend losing weight this way!

JerryfromFauq Stage IV since March 2007.

I'm me, not a statistic. Praying to not be one for years yet.

Login or register to post replies.


I'm looking for some reassurance. I am stage 3a, NED 3 years (almost)...I've been experiencing horrible bouts of dizziness lately, so bad that I can't drive at times. My family doc thinks its an inner ear infection (no symptoms of this present) and that I'm experiencing vertigo. I want to trust that is all that it is, know how it this something I should see my oncologist about?


Thanks for your responses.

Login or register to post replies.

kinthai82's picture
Replies 1
Last reply 1/10/2011 - 7:45pm
Replies by: kinthai82


Happy New Year!

My name is Cynthia Chen. I am a medical student in California and will be graduating in May of 2011. I have long been an advocate of raising awareness, fundraising, and research for melanoma.

I, along with one of my classmates, would like to create a video on melanoma awareness.  We want to recruit several people to put in the video who are either melanoma survivors or friends/family members who have lost someone to melanoma.

We are located in the Orange County and people from Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside counties are welcome! 

If interested, please contact me via this post, email (, or call me at 510-717-9782, and I will provide more details.

Thank you for your time! We will win the fight against this awful cancer!

Login or register to post replies.

Amy Busby's picture
Replies 13
Last reply 1/10/2011 - 6:40pm

I've always had a bunch of subq mets, most in the visceral tissues but some you could feel under the surface.  Now I've had a few come up with bruises on the skin above them.  Wow!  Did the appear so fast they "punched" a bruise on my skin?


Sure tumors are progressing based on the pain level progression and the new ones I can feel here and there.  Scans tomorrow and meet with ipi onc in San Antonio on the 14th.

Update to follow!  Sorry I have not been around much.  Fatigue is high.  Too much activity each day to fit into my very limited energy reserve.

But I think of you all and pray regularly.

If there are any viable last line options out there, give me a head's up.  I know my LMD makes everything a fight and I don't know how big the guns I'd be able to bring are.




I continue to praise God in this storm, counting my blessings & enjoying my "bonus time!"

Login or register to post replies.

vivian's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 1/10/2011 - 11:33am
Replies by: vivian, 2atlascedars, akls

Hello All,

I am relatively new to this forum, but I have spent so much time reading your posts, I feel like you have already helped me enormously.  So here's the deal:  I was diagnosed in early November with amelonic nodular melanoma, Breslow 4.35, Clarke level 5, mitotic rate 9mm, non-brisk lymphocytes. Apparently the melanoma developed very rapidly because two previous biopsies in September were negative for cancer.  The lesion was on the mid left back. It looked like a cyst, not ugly or anything suspicious, but boy did it itch.   In mid-November I had the wide excision and SNB, which was positive for one of two nodes.  Pet/CT were clear and the LND three weeks ago was also 10 of 10 negative for melanoma.  I am counting my blessings, of course, to be 3a and NED, but (and this is the crazy part), four days before the LND, I had an acute appendix and something called a necrotic appendix epiploica.  The lab work on that was clear for "cancer", although I am not sure they specifically looked for melanoma.  Doesn't it seem a little coincidental that a 60 year old woman would have an appendicitis in the middle of all this?  And now, the  two month old scar from the wide excision has started to itch like crazy.  Hmmm...

I know it is probable/possible that neither of these things means anything, but since melanoma is my second cancer (2002 myelodysplastic syndrome, stem cell transplant, total remission), I am really skittish.  Truly, right before the melanoma diagnosis, I had just gotten over thinking every little thing was a return of the MDS.  Of course I will mention the itching to the oncologist, dermatologist and surgeon, but meanwhile, does anyone out there have any stories of  emergency surgeries or itching scars unrelated to melanoma?  (Funny stories always appreciated!) Should I push for further testing?

Thanks, friends!


Login or register to post replies.

Anonymous's picture
Replies 7
Last reply 1/10/2011 - 9:13am

I've had the strangest cough, for the second time in the past 6 weeks or so. I have uncontrollable coughing that seems so incredibly dry. The only time it is productive with phlem is in the mornings. The rest of the time, its like I have to cough so deep but it never seems productive. I sometimes feel like I cannot breathe deep enough to muster up a cough. As it becomes uncontrollable, I have to excuse myself at work.  Except 6 weeks ago when this happened, I have never experienced a cough like this. My last check-up was in October and everything was fine. Sometimes it feels like that tickle deep in my throat. But once I get to coughing, its unreal.  I have very few other symptoms, if any. I think the only reason I'm achey and tired is from coughing so much. I'm coughing so much my chest, back, and arms are hurting.  No runny nose, no stuffy nose/head, no headache, no body aches, no fever. Just a very strange cough that with the exception of the morning hours, I can't seem to cough deep enough. It's like I'm gasping and coughing at the same time, to the point of feeling like I'm going to pass out or vomit.  Any thoughts?

Login or register to post replies.

EricNJill's picture
Replies 17
Last reply 1/10/2011 - 7:53am

I can't tell you have happy I am that Eric got into the GSK BRAF Inhibitor and MEK combination trial!  They said he got the last opening.  He won't begin for a couple of weeks but it's just a huge relief knowing he got in.  He has a brain MRI on Thursday to make sure that his brain is still clear after the craniotomy.  I asked them about the hospice palliative care he is receiving and they said there was no problems.

He took his last pill of Temodar (2nd round) on Sunday.  His leg looks horrible.  He has new tumors and the existing tumors are bigger so that makes it even more joyous that he got in.  I hate to think about every day that goes by with Melanoma raging on!

I know there are others here on this trial, can you tell me about your experiences.

Thanks, JillNEric In OH

Login or register to post replies.

Linda J's picture
Replies 6
Last reply 1/10/2011 - 7:36am

I am starting the braf/mek combo trial on the 19th with should really give me some peace and comfort but I am going crazy with stress. I have all of the scans within the next 10 days and I'm terrified with what they will find. What if they find that it is everywhere? I have had about 10 subqs pop up in the last 3 1/2 weeks. I can keep myself from feeling my body - I poke and prod all the time. I don't know how I'm going to keep calm from now until next Wednesday. I know it shouldn't be that big of a deal when I feel a new subq but I panic with each one. I've got pains in my right side and I worry that it is all over my liver, which again shouldn't be a big deal because we are going to kill whatever might be there starting next Wednesday. But I'm going crazy with anxiety. How am I going to make it until the 19th???
I know that everyone here understands this kind of stress and fear. How can I get my emotions back on top and feel like a strong fighter instead of a helpless victim - despite what else might pop up???

Linda J

Login or register to post replies.

Tracey FL's picture
Replies 7
Last reply 1/9/2011 - 10:02pm

I really want to thank everyone for their letters.  I read them to my mom and she felt better and encouraged.  This has been such a helpfull tool.  We felt that we had been beat, but not now!!!!  The body scans were so bad that they took mom off chemo.  We are looking at the ipi trials now.  This will be her third trial and we will keep going.  I will more than likely be going in for a back surgery myself ( fell and broke both my rods).  I am scared but you guys are my heros and so is my mom.  Keep the faith.


mom stage 1V with brain mets, lung, body.

P.S  Mom looks great in her wig, younger.  She sleeps in the terry turban at night very soft and keeps her head warm.

Login or register to post replies.