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
Terra's picture
Replies 11
Last reply 3/14/2011 - 11:53pm

Hi, my husband would like to create something for our kids, we are not sure how much time he has left and we have two daughters, a 4 year old and a 2 year and another daughter on the way in June - he mentioned something like a timecapsule, but right now our heads our spinning and I am hoping someone here could suggest something they did or a loved one did for young kids to always have - thank so much



Login or register to post replies.

Reservoir Dog's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 3/18/2011 - 6:54pm

Hello all!

Patrick here in Dallas making my first post.  I'd like to thank you all for your up-lifting stories of courage and determination.  When I read about what others have gone through & are going through, I came to realize that I am a flipping weenie!!! 

I returned home from the doctor in tears because it appears another Melanoma spot has resurfaced on my face... for the 4th time.  After 3 excessions (maybe a 4th), 10 months of Interferon, coupled w/ radiation on the effected area, my doctor is concerned that it continues to return.   I guess the stories of Blue Nevus melanoma being very agressive... are true! 

My Oncologist said she'd like to put me on Leukine (Sargramostim) in an effort to extend my life.  I'm curious to see if anyone has used Leukine and what the results were???

Thanks in advance and God Bless!

Login or register to post replies.

Wendi Lynn's picture
Replies 11
Last reply 3/17/2011 - 3:51pm

Hi All!

Anyone else out there sick of answering the question "how do you feel" or some version of that??  I love that these people care enough to ask, but I'm tired of answering.  On top of which, when I tell someone how I really feel they have nothing to say or couldn't even begin to know what hell this is.  Even with my husband....he will ask me throughout the day how I'm feeling and I just say fine, because I don't want to sound like a complainer. 

My other gripe is I have done everything I can to pretend that I'm fine around my family when I'd really rather stay in bed and sleep all day or even take a leave of absence from work just to not have to do anything for awhile.  (I'm on month 3 of LD Interferon).  But I fear that my husband, who is so accustomed to us being on the go all the time, would think that I'm giving up - which I would never do.  This, of course, is my fault because I have been holding up the last 4 months just "fine". 

I think that's why I love this place so much.  I can read about how others are feeling, what they are experiencing and learn about what I'm feeling or experiencing.  So, for that, thank you!  Although I may not post often, I check the board daily and feel as though I know some of you.  I cry with you and happy dance with you and bite my nails during anxious moments with you.  And I know that you can relate to what I'm saying, sadly enough, but thats why I consider this place so special. 

Thanks for listening!  Keep on fighting!


Login or register to post replies.

Shelby - MRF's picture
Replies 5
Last reply 3/14/2011 - 10:50pm

The Melanoma Research Foundation has partnered with EmergingMed to offer a free, confidential, personalized service that helps melanoma patients navigate clinical trials.  Online or by phone, customer service representatives will help you quickly search for clinical trials that match your specific diagnosis and treatment history.  Learn more about this new service by following this link:  ..  

It is our hope that this partnership will result in melanoma patients learning more about every possible treatment option available to them.

Shelby Moneer, MRF

Login or register to post replies.

carol b's picture
Replies 5
Last reply 3/11/2011 - 12:03pm

OK. ive been home for 5 days. I am still miserable. I am having so much swelling. Itching is driving me insane. My eyelids are gonna peel off. I have huge whelps all over my back. I am using the Derma Sarra lotion from the hospital. petro jelly for my eyelids. Benadryl for the itching. I have no clue what to do about the swelling. I take Aveeno baths daily. No one from the hospital warned me about the symptoms lasting so long. Im not even got enough time to heal before i hit round 3. My eyeballs feel like they are on fire and r gonna fall out of their sockets. My ankles have turned to cankles.. When will it  stop? Does anyone have any advice for me? It has to end soon. I need to hear it will end soon. Yes i am whinning. Yes its a pity party. I know there are more people on here far worse than me and i bow to you. You are so much braver than i am. I cant imagine going thru this for years like alot of you have. My heart goes out to you all. Im just not feeling like its worth the fight, or maybe it is, i dunno. 


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

Login or register to post replies.

Vermont_Donna's picture
Replies 21
Last reply 3/11/2011 - 4:28pm


I hadnt posted my good news but someone asked me to....I had 50 to 60 cutaneous and sub q mets scattered over my right leg, concentrated around my knee and a few close to my groin before I started Ipi on December 1st. My melanoma was grwoing daily, I could count new lesions, the size of a pencil eraser or a tad smaller every day and the sub q lums were purplish on the skin and underneath were painful lumpy areas the size of a quarter or bigger. I started IPI December 1st and for the next three weeks tumors were still appearing. After the second infusion, while I had some new tumors that appearing still, I noticed one of my smallest mets developed a "crust" and then within a week ir flaked off and underneath the met was almost gone. The news was too good to be true...I waited til my next infusion to show my oncologist. He was pleased but also noted the new melanomas but comforted my by saying that new lesions appearing int he first 12 weeks was "acceptable" per the protocol, meaning it didnt mean that Ipi wasnt working yet, and that the sponser Bristol Myers Squibb wasnt going to toss me out of the trial. 

After infusion three major changes to my melanoma lesions started happening. First of all, NO NEW ONES popped up and second, my present melanomas started "reabsorbing". No other ones crusted over and flaked off like the first one. More were reabsorbing by infusion #4 and by the time I went for my PET/CT scan two weeks after my 4th infusion, ALL the melanoma tumors were ALL GONE. I showed the oncologist my leg and he was very impressed. The sub q's were still palpable but smaller and they didnt hurt. My PET/CT showed no new melanoma anywhere, it did show some moderately hypermetabolic activity in my external iliac lymph nodes (in the right nodal basin where my groin lymph dissection was done) doctor thought that this reflected inflammation reaction to the Ipi charging up my immune system.

I am currently in the 12 weeks "watch and wait" part of the clinical trial. My symptoms have been increased fatigue, so I rest/sleep more, ie a daily nap when I can manage, some nausea (not daily but when it hits me it really hits me, maybe once a week), some whitening on my skin (noticeable to my doctor and under a blacklight), a rash all over my body after the 14th week, not itchy, and not that noticeable to anyone but me. I think that is about it for side effects. I am very pleased needless to say!!! I asked what the "durable response" is and my oncologist said he could predict that, but he is hoping "forever"!!!!


I am B-Raf negative by the way, and have had melanoma since March 2006. Read my profile if interested for an accounting of all the treatments I have done. Many treatments perhaps delayed re-occurence but Ipi (besides resection where possible) is the only thing that has effectively "worked" to eradicate my melanomas. I hope this gives others HOPE for themselves!

Vermont_Donna, stage 3a

currently stable after 4 infusions of Ipi

Login or register to post replies.

dawn dion's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 3/10/2011 - 10:19am
Replies by: dawn dion, KellieSue

Wow!!!  Here I Sit in the dark reading the forum -  You know folks sometimes I don't know if I like this board or not.   For those of you who are beating the beast, I cheer for you!  I want to be you!  For those of you who run into bumps in the road, I hold my breath for you!  But I gotta be honest, as someone who is relatively new to this, but not, holy cow  reading this board both informs me and  scares the you know what out of me.

Week one of B-RAF/MEK - going good so far I think.  Haven't had any weirdness go on but at the same time, thanks to my wonderful allergies to oak trees, I have a double ear infection, so it's hard to tell.   I haven't had ear infections since I was 8 yrs old and in the last three years, every year almost the same week of the year, BAM!  So if anyone has any suggestions for that - I'd appreciate it.  

Back to B-RAF - like I said nothing weird so far but that kind of makes me nervous.  How do I know if this drug is working if I don't get any side effects?  I know my Drs. say they will be minimal and some of you have said they take a while to kick in but does anyone have any idea?  I know it is different for everyone and honestly I don't know if I want side effects or not.  I like feeling great but at the same time I would like a "sign".   Maybe feeling great is a sign, or maybe it's a disguise.   I hate this damn disease! 

Thanks for letting me vent - if any of you have any input please chime in :)

Hugs and Smiles

Dawn (Stage IV - Florida )

I refuse to let this beat me. I WILL NOT LEAVE MY GIRLS! MELANOMA CAN BITE ME!

Login or register to post replies.

Terra's picture
Replies 8
Last reply 3/10/2011 - 5:20am

Hi, I am sorry I haven't posted much lately, we are so busy, we have a 4 and 2 year old and one due in June (unexpectedly). 


My husband Derek was diagnosed at stage 3 in 2001, recurred in 07, finished interferon and radiation in 08, lung surgeries in June 10 and January 11 - today I just found out he has multiple liver mets and microscopic disease in his original scar on his shoulder.  The onc thinks our options are ipi, IL-2, P13K and MEK (in TO), or other chemos. 

I think surgery is out of question now, could anyone help me think - I know liver mets are bad and we have not received any news yet on his chest ct scan, I am sick about the possibility of what the holds. 


please provide some advice

Login or register to post replies.

Jim M.'s picture
Replies 5
Last reply 3/10/2011 - 11:09am
Replies by: Sherron, ValinMtl, MaryD, King, lhaley

Hi everyone,

 I just got off the phone with Dr. Weber. He said nothing showed up on the PET Scan! He has no idea why something showed up in the small bowel during the CT Scan (a distended tubular structure filled with soft tissue density) while nothing showed up in the small bowel follow through or the PET Scan. Do you have any ideas?

 Dr. Weber wants me to follow up with a consultation with Dr. Jonathan Zager who did my lymph node dissection. He just wants his opinion.

 As you can imagine I did the shout after getting off the phone and am doing the happy dance! Thanks to all for your support, prayers and kind thoughts.

 Most of all Praise God!

  God Bless,

 Jim M.

 Stage 3C



Ipilimumab 4 infusions + vaccines

NED 3 years, 4 months

Login or register to post replies.

heg50heg's picture
Replies 10
Last reply 3/15/2011 - 3:51am

I just got done with my 3rd interferon treatment today. So far it is going about like everyone has warned me about. I get the treatment and first two days the shakes and symptons start to kick in. feel pretty cold and lightheaded. The electric blanket that we bought was definately a good investment. Start feeling bad within two hours. Went in today at 12-15 and got done at 2-45 so I know by 4-30 or 5 I will be in bed. The most worst part so far outside of the major syptons are the headaches I cant seem to shake. It seem as though my eyes ache and in turn causes headaches. Could have went in earlier today but it took me all morning to motivate myself to go again. Hoping this is gonna get a little easier or I will probably have to have someone start pushing me out the door to get to these appointments everyday

Login or register to post replies.

Cookie's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 3/9/2011 - 4:42pm
Replies by: Cookie, MichaelFL, Janner
Have any of you had a corneal transplant (DLEK or DSAEK) since your MM dx? I had a 1.4 Clark's Level IV on my knee in 1995. No WLE, I had a conservative excision. No SNB as it was pretty new at the time. I am still NED with 6 month checkups with my derm and yearly chest x-rays and blood work. I now have Fuchs' Dystrophy and will have to have a corneal (or partial) transplants that will require steroid drops to prevent rejection. I read many years ago about the possibility of the MM returning if you use even over the counter steroid cream. Just wondering if any of you have any info on this.

Login or register to post replies.

Barb's picture
Replies 7
Last reply 9/9/2012 - 6:45pm
I don't post that often but wanted to share my news. I'm nearly two years NED nad excited about that.

I stopped my treatments early on and  made a few changes which was  prayer and supplements and just wanted to share what I have taken.

I had ulcerated melanoma in right breast one lymph node dected Melanoma so Stage 3a.My dr was never optimist for over a year the Dr. has been watching tumors that developed in my lungs and over time had a new one show up. Well as of Monday all my tumors/Nodules are completely gone she could not explain other than to tell me to keep doing what I'm doing and wanted to share with you. 

 First when I was first Dx back in June 2009 I went to an Indian Doctor(holist) and these are the first supplements I was given and highly recommended. Look up Poly Mvp(I think that is right)I took it for several months but could not keep up with the cost but people are living a long time with pancreas cancer while taking this supplement. Curry,Pomegrante,agurious which is a mushroom not sure on spelling, there are several more which I still take. Here's a list off the top of my head:)

The past several weeks all I added was the
flaxseed oil and Dora flora(I hate cottage cheese)
added beta gluten

For the last 19 months

I have taken
Devils Claw
Garlic Oil
Curcumin and turmeric
Cranbury pills(it helps body fight off all infections.)
I drink 2-4 Tablespoons of OILVE OIL I read up on it
I drink 2 tbs of Vinegar(I try to take as often as I can stand it)helps regulate blood sugars.
Vitamin D.C AND E
Vit B complex
Golden seal
Power enzymes
Aleo Vera
Some I cant spell or pronounce

I'm missing about half of what I take and would add more if I could and I hear for some it dosent or hasn't worked but Im very hopeful..




Login or register to post replies.

Joyce's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 3/9/2011 - 12:00pm

I used to go by Dick's wife (Dick stage 4) but now I will just go by Joyce. Dick had scans last week and will be 5 years NED in June from stage 4. There is more hope now than ever.  I am just beginning to not think about this awful disease as a part of our lives. I hope and pray the same for all of you.


Joyce from MA

Login or register to post replies.

Sharyn's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 3/9/2011 - 9:42am

Hi everyone,

It’s been 16 days since my craniotomy, and even I am amazed at how well I’m feeling. Even my vision has been pretty much totally restored! But I’m still not finished with this tumour. Next Wednesday (March 16) I have to have the tumour bed radiated, using LINAC (linear accelerator) technology, here at the Cancer Centre in St John’s. It’s a form of Stereotactic Radio Surgery (SRS), like the Novalis radiation I had done in Montreal, except instead of a mask, they use a “halo” – a circular contraption that has to be literally screwed into my head. Usually, they use 4 screws, but they don’t want to insert a screw where they did the craniotomy, so they’re only going to use 3 screws on me. First, on Friday, I have to go in to have an MRI of my brain. Then I come back on Wed at 7:30 am, they’ll install the halo, do a CT scan of my brain, and send me off to the Chemo Unit for the day to watch TV, read a book, whatever I want to do. Meanwhile, the doctors will be working on my MRI and CT scan, getting all the beams lined up and calibrated. By 4:00 pm, they’ll be ready to radiate, so I’ll be brought to the radiation room, get a few zaps, and I’ll be done. They’ll remove the halo and send me home. This is a normal procedure following a craniotomy to ensure that any potential cells that may have escaped the knife get zapped with radiation. 

As for Montreal, the drug company that sponsors the trial has agreed for me to have the 24-week CT scan done here, and sent to them for evaluation. I’ll have the CT scan on Friday. If all is well with it, I’m hoping to be back on the ipi treatment by March 24. 

In the meantime, there’s lots happening here at home. Michael has moved out into his own apartment, Mark has taken a job in Fort McMurray 2 wks on and 1 wk off, and Matthew has taken a job in Dubai as chef of the Fairmont Hotel and is getting married in a few weeks. Julie and Justin’s wedding plans are moving along for July 1, Ricky and Katherine are heading to Cancun next week, and Jessie is ¾ through her work term at the Arthritis Society. And of course, we still go to the cabin every weekend. Life is good! 

I’ll let you know if and when the ipi treatment resumes in Montreal for sure.



WLE, SNB, ILP, LND, PV-10, Uterine mets (Hysterectomy), GM-CSF, WBR, RT, Temodar, B-RAF negative, SRS (Novalis) to brain, Breast mets (Mastectomy), currently on Ipilimumab compassionate use trial Mets to brain, lung and sub-qs. Craniotomy.

Login or register to post replies.

Nebr78's picture
Replies 7
Last reply 3/23/2011 - 4:44am

I have just finished strong radiation on the side of my face and on chest.  Both lumps were about the size of a golf ball.   They are now aboujt the size of a big marble. Lots of side effects, sore throat, very weak, congestion in chest but getting over all of it.


I also know I have a lump inside my lung and possibly one on spleen.

Can anyone tell me what it may feel like when the lump in the lung gets so large that it disturbs things??  Please.

I  am the one that has had heart disease for over 40 yrs so know I won't last too long.

I have been to several doctors and all they will tell me is it might do this, or do that, or do nothing. I am so  disturbed about the answers I get from Cancer Doctors.   Which is bacisically nothing.  I  am a 79 yr. old male.  I give no hope whatsoever about any kind of a cure.  Big business.

It gets harder to deal with each day. People at cancer centers just try to make you feel good about dying.  I can't accept.that.

Anyone who thinks they may know some kind of answer about my question, I will appreciate a reply.   Thanks

Retired in Nebraska

Login or register to post replies.