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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Manubuzzi's picture
Replies 5
Last reply 5/6/2011 - 4:27pm


Greetings to all, 
Hope you are doing well. 
My mom already had two weeks of whole brain radiation and already finished a session of 6 days with temodar.  Since then, she has regained some speech abilities and her motor skills have (slightly) increased.  However, now, we have a new worry:  her concentration, comprehension, and memory have noticeably worsened.  She confuses colors and body parts, she cannot remember the names of her children, she has a hard time understanding orders, and she confuses her words.  At times she has moments of clarity where she is completely lucid and coordinated, but those moments are getting fewer and farther between.  
Has any one of you suffered these types of confusions with radiation treatment?  She does have several brain tumors, and maybe those are to blame for her current state, but I just cannot believe that they have advanced so quickly in so little time.  Please write me with your experiences or ANY advice you have.
A hug from Argentina,
Son of patient

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tennisgirl's picture
Replies 10
Last reply 4/25/2011 - 2:01am

Hi everyone.  I sure enjoy reading all the posts and gleening all this helpful information.   This board gives me encouragement and hope.  I have failed GSK BRAF/MEK and now will try IL-2 starting on Monday.  Who was it on this board that is NED after IL-2 and had a lot of helpful advice on how to get through it, what to take to the hospital, etc...??  I would sure appreciate their email.  I can't seem to find the post.   Thank you for responding!  Keep on keeping on.



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TracyLee's picture
Replies 1
Last reply 4/20/2011 - 11:18am
Replies by: Carol Taylor

Hi y'all,

Hoping and praying no one else faces a scalp re-section. That being said, I wanted to post that my surgery took 6 hours, 2 surgeons (plastic and oncologist), 2 anesthesiologists and I had an AWESOME outcome.

I insisted on some sort of anti-nausea drug. There's nothing worse than puking for days after surgery! My plastic surgeon prescribed Emends 40 mg, 3-4 hours pre-op with just a sip of water. I also had Compazine (suppository) and will ask for the same 2 again if I need any further surgeries.

NO nausea after 6 hours of general anesthesia! Plastic surgeon injected pain meds directly into my 3 incisions, and literally, I was only "uncomfortable", not in pain, from the drains. This was my most extensive surgery and the BEST by far. I'm back at work full time a week later (I still have 40 staples in my head).

Please be your own advocate and don't settle for "everyone gets sick after anesthesia". I now know better and will expect nothing less!

Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you. Hebrews 13:5 Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares. 1 Peter 5:7 Stage IV 5/16/11 Ipi - 4 rounds May - July 2011 BRAF expanded access trial 8/8/11

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Dynasysman's picture
Replies 5
Last reply 4/22/2011 - 2:40pm
Replies by: EmilyandMike, Dynasysman, Anonymous, Carol Taylor

I am 5 months NED after finding melanoma in a lymph node in my left posterior neck. We never found a primary, and I had a left posterior neck lymphadenectomy (36 nodes out) last December. So far so good.
Last September, my noise started running. This problem has gotten worse over time, to the point where I have a pretty much permanent post-nasal drip, hacking cough, and can't get more than 4-5 hours sleep at once (not a good way to fight cancer!). My ONC is fairly sure thue problem isn't allergies, but cannot offer much help on what it is.
I know that my issue is pretty small compared to what many of you deal with, but I worry about how to keep fighting melanoma when I'm always tired and dragging. Plus, my wife cannot get any when we're in the same bed, which stinks for both of us.
Anyone else have an experience like this? Suggestions?

Never give up. Never give up. Never, never, never, never, never give up. WInston Churchill It ain't over 'til it's over. Yogi Berra My 20th anniversary is only 9+ years away. Personally, I'm thinking champagne & oysters. Now I just have to get there

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boot2aboot's picture
Replies 11
Last reply 7/26/2011 - 8:44pm

Hello Everyone,

I was doing OK with my initial diagnosis of metastic melanoma until i went to see the new ONC...she told me pathology isn't 100percent sure on melanoma diagnosis and leaning towards something called clear cell sarcoma or soft tissue what did i do? yup...researched on the internet...and now, i am in a PANIC...there are NO GOOD EXISTING TREATMENTS FOR THIS...rare, rare, rare...poor prognosis...

no primary site can be pet scan after ct/bone scan mri ordered and my armpit lymph nodes are to be hacked out this TYPICAL????

don't back up, don't back down

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lhaley's picture
Replies 14
Last reply 4/20/2011 - 6:41pm

I've been having stomach pains and had an ultra sound by a local Doctor.  It showed possible calcification of the gallbladder or stones that had adhered to the gallbladder. He set me up with a local surgeon. Meanwhile I sent a copy of the scans to my melanoma specialist to compare. It really irritated me that the local hospital said they had nothing to compare to and I had handed them my scans from 2 months ago.....   Anyway, the surgeon seemed wary to operate on  me because of my history and wanted to wait till my next PET.  Just got a call from my melanoma specialist that they agree that the ultrasound is not clear cut.  They are setting me up with a GI oncologist that is part of their team.   Here's to hoping that this is just a strange way to present gallstones!! 


Stage IV since 06

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Nabokov's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 4/26/2011 - 9:01pm
Replies by: MichaelFL, nicoli, CKasper

Hi, everyone

I am a writer working on an article for oncology practices, to encourage them to have someone at the office who helps patients understand how much their insurance will pay and tell them about assistance programs available if they need them for their out-of-pocket portion.

Some oncology offices already have such a person. I'm interested in hearing about experiences from patients.
Did you have someone at the practice who was knowledgeable about insurance to talk to?
Was information given to you at the beginning about how much your costs would be, or did this come after you got the bill (and, perhaps, were shocked).

If you would like to respond here, that is fine, but also I would like to interview someone with experience (good or bad) and how the oncologists office did or could have helped you understand things.

Please contact me at

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mommydog's picture
Replies 7
Last reply 4/27/2011 - 1:55pm
Replies by: Anonymous, mrsmarilyn, dawn dion, mommydog, deffk1105

My husband is starting his fifth week of GSK's  Braf/Mek trial.  The only side effects he has had prior to now are a fever and chills occurring 4 hours after his dose and lasting about two hours.  This did not occur every day, and when it did, it was with varying degrees of intensity.

For the last 24 hours, he has had continuing fever and chills.  Sometimes the fever breaks for a short while, but returns.  My husband is afraid to call the doctor about this for fear of being taken off the trial, which otherswise seems to be working.

Has anyone had these symptoms?  Any advice? 

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Carmon in NM's picture
Replies 25
Last reply 5/3/2011 - 2:53pm

My husband and I got down to Albuquerque this morning expecting to do the whole round of pre-surgical exams, tests and interviews. Instead, we got my medical and surgical oncs coming in to do the doctor version of the Good News Happy Dance!!! The brain MRI and PET/CT scans done on the 13th say,.."No evidence of metastatic disease." !!! Everything is completely clear on both the brain MRI and the full body scans...even the little oddball things they were watching are gone.

I am a complete responder to the clinical trial I did combining carboplatin, paclitaxel and temodar. The adrenal tumor has completely disappeared and the oncs agreed that the risks of a complicated and difficult surgery to remove a tiny bit of inactive tissue were not worth the possible benefits. Instead they are suggesting a round of radiation at the adrenal site to improve my recurrance odds as well as a reduced dose of profilactic whole brain radiation. My medical onc is setting up a consulation for me with an oncology radiologist to discuss this and also with a neurologist when I expressed concern about adding another layer to the brain trauma I already deal with so that I can make a completely informed choice.

But for tonight, my husband and I are CELEBRATING! Thank you all so much for prayers and words of support - what an incredible group to share the entire curve of this disease with - Carmon in NM (worn out from dancing!)

Carmon in NM: Stage IIIB 9/2008; Stage IV 6/2010 with brain and adrenal mets; NED since 4/13/2011. It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters. ~ Epictetus

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kbc123's picture
Replies 8
Last reply 4/18/2011 - 8:23pm

Okay the questions begin again....I have a lump on the tip of my elbow.  Not large, the size of a small pea, not too painful, just uncomfortable.  I went for xray today becase I did fall down the steps about four weeks ago.  I was praying that i have a bone chip or something.  The doctor says she thinks its a lymph node.  Ugh.  Now what?  I never heard of a lymph node on the tip of the elbow...

1)  She was just a medi-merge type doctor, maybe she knows nothing?

2) I called my doctor from the car and he will get back to me sometime soon.  I am still waiting for a phone call from April 7....(my melanoma guru --- not to comfortable with that office anymore but that is another story..I went to NY for this?) Time to venture to a new state for a new specialist...

3) The lump is on my right elbow.  My SNB was the left armpit.

4) Could we all just stop and pray that it is probably a calcium deposit or something? 

Just when I thought I was getting a little bit better with dealing, I am punched in the face with the fear of God.  Any info would be great, y'all!!

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awg's picture
Replies 16
Last reply 4/22/2011 - 12:12pm

I am interested in hearing from other folks who have taken the 12 months of Interferon.

5 days a week (infusion) for first month

3 weekly injections from remaining 11 months

Did you have a port placed for the infusion portion of the interferon?

Seems excessive for 30 days of use. ( I hope!!)

I have no problem with needles and at this point have really good veins that make for easy sticks, I may be under estimating the effects of the interferon on my ability to stay well hydrated thus leading to issues with IV sticks.


Thank you,


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sharmon's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 4/18/2011 - 8:23pm

Hi, everyone, 

Brent is my husband and we are sitting at MD anderson as I write.  He has been on the GSK MEK trial for 14 months and progressed last scan.  Now he doctors want to place him on the MEK chemo combination with Alimta which is approved for lung cancer.  Or we can wait for the MEK /PI3k trial to open sometime in the future here at MDA.  Today after making a few calls to GSK  I found that a Nashville location has the trial we want MEK / PI3K.  Not sure if he can get in.   I don't know what to do or think.  He has had chemo agents in the past and they really knock the Hell out of him physically. 

Does anyone have any input???

Thanks for taking the time to read this.


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Hi, everyone, 

Brent is my husband and we are sitting at MD anderson as I write.  He has been on the GSK MEK trial for 14 months and progressed last scan.  Now he doctors want to place him on the MEK chemo combination with Alimta which is approved for lung cancer.  Or we can wait for the MEK /PI3k trial to open sometime in the future here at MDA.  Today after making a few calls to GSK  I found that a Nashville location has the trial we want MEK / PI3K.  Not sure if he can get in.   I don't know what to do or think.  He has had chemo agents in the past and they really knock the Hell out of him physically. 

Does anyone have any input???

Thanks for taking the time to read this.


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claudia-uk's picture
Replies 5
Last reply 4/18/2011 - 5:47pm

My husband received his second infusion last Friday. He now has very itchy skin on the legs and arms, but it doesn;t show any rash. I often read that a rash is a good sign that Ipi works.But what about  itchy skin without a rash?

We are waiting not for sigsn that Ipi starts working but are not sure if that is a sign or unrelated.

Besides that he is very tired, but was tired before Ipi anyway.

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ValinMtl's picture
Replies 0

Hi Donna,

I'm having trouble getting that leg garment in Canada that we discussed.  I did call one store in Burlington but they never called me back (her name was Meg).  Do you have the phone number of the store that you ordered it at.  Many thanks, Val

Live Laugh Love Nothing is worth more than this day!

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