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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gaby's picture
Replies 1
Last reply 11/27/2014 - 1:15pm
Replies by: ltalley
You always gave me their support in difficult times so today I want to share this good news. Today we visited the oncologist with the result of SCAN, and everything is clean !! Thankfully, my husband two years and four months which is NED ago. Also my husband could finish with pegylated interferon tramiento, so now let's try to do a little more normal life.
We live an  emotional roller coaster. From diagnosis in June 2012 my husband had 38 years, everything was very difficult, but he's a fighter, and decided to make interferon for two years. He had several questionable PET and suffer much distress but thank God the beast yet to return ....
Greetings and thanks for the support.

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rick1981's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 12/1/2014 - 4:33am

Hi all,

After the Stage IV melanoma diagnosis in early June (2 days after our daughter was born), my wife has been put on the BRAF/MEK combo with immediate results: the skin lesions disappeared in days, the first scan in August showed a significant reduction in tumor load and in October the PET scan was fully negative. We had hoped to be on our way to NED or at least to have a long run on the combo.

However, our MD called yesterday to let us know both LDH and plasma (experimental test to identify resistence against the combo) signal disease progress. We'll see him tomorrow and then have a scan early next week.

But it seems like the combo only lasted 5-6 months (high LDH values apparently correlate to a short impact period of the combo) and we're on to immunotherapy.

In principle that's not a bad thing, but it just produced a big dent in my wife's optimism and strength. She was convinced that with the combo, cannabis oil, supplements, yoga etc she would beat this thing against all odd. It's still possibly, but we'll have to move to Plan B and I'll do all I can to bring back her positivity and we'll keep fighting.

Will keep you posted,


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mwcollins's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 12/4/2014 - 10:53am

I wanted to give all you warriors and caregivers an update on Kevin (stage IV since Feb 2014).  After a scare in August with a clean CT scan, Kevin had his routine PET scan and MRI today.  Both were clear to the doctor and one of his staff members.  A radiologist has to confirm, but according to the doc, Kevin is still NED!  Praise God!!!  He did get the opportunity to speak to one of the team members about a clinical trial that involves Yervoy and a vaccine.  Kevin has decided (with my blessing and the support of all medical staff) to hold onto any ammunition for when he has a high tumor load, or an inoperable tumor.  He feels good now, and is currently healthy and wants to enjoy that.  I see the benefits of being proactive, but support him in his decision. There is always the possibility of taking part in a clinical trial and still have a recurrance.  If that were to happen, I know he'd be extremely frustrated with putting himself through the pain and agony of the side effects of Yervoy...  Hold out until you really need it!  Don't pull the goalie yet.

I wanted to let you all know that NED is a blessing, taking life as a gift is a realization that we have all come to, and bottom line, life is precious.  Enjoy your Thanksgiving all.  Hug your families!  Love unconditionally, laugh hard, cry if you need to.  Support each other and know that we are all in it together!  Love to you all!!!

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ltalley's picture
Replies 1
Last reply 11/27/2014 - 11:48am
Replies by: _Paul_

I just wanted to say I'm thankful for family, friends, and this forum, and for being alive today. I know so many of you are going through terrible and difficult times, but I wanted to say stay strong, love every day, fight hard, and win!! Win for us, win for yourselves, and win for those of the future! May God give you peace, happiness, and endurance, but above all may He give you complete healing in mind, soul, and body. May Every One Have A Wonderfully Blessed Thanksgiving Day with lots of laughs, love, and memorable moments. And promise me no matter how sick you are or bad you feel that you will smile, just smile. Love to all!!! heart

Living Life!smiley

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_Paul_'s picture
Replies 0

My sister is a family Dr. in Ontario, and she was visiting me last week. She suggested that I research palliative care now when I am still not feeling symptoms from the cancer. I thought palliative care was the same as hospice, but she said they were different, with palliative care more about pain management and quality of life.

I groveled around the SCCA website and they had this reference to a study that shows that patients receiving palliative care actually lived longer:

I would love to hear your experience with it.

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lsmith - MRF's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 12/16/2014 - 9:15am
Replies by: lsmith - MRF, Anonymous, Julie in SoCal

Hi all,

The holiday season can be a hard and stressful time, especially for those who are battling melanoma (or have a friend, family member or loved one battling). Each year we receive calls from patients, survivors and caregivers asking for tips for coping with the holidays. To answer those questions and more, we're hosting a Twitter chat about "Coping With The Holidays" on Monday, December 15 at 2pm ET with special guest, licensed oncology social worker  Dr. Sage Bolte from Life With Cancer. Dr. Bolte will be on hand to answer questions like "How do I manage feelings of resentment or frustration", "How do I tell young family members why I dont feel well?", "How do I cope with the feeling of 'death' during a time that is supposed to be joyous?", "How do I honor a loved one's memory while still enjoying the holiday?" and more. 

We want to hear from you - what other questions do you think should be addressed? What questions come to your mind that you think would be hlepful for others? Please let us know in the comments below or email me at Thank you for your suggestions and we hope you join us in the chat on the 15th.

Here is a link for more information about joining the chat:  

Lauren - MRF



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arthurjedi007's picture
Replies 11
Last reply 11/30/2014 - 12:06pm

I was wondering if there is anything I should know before getting a port? Basically I understand it is a minor surgery. They put the thing in under my skin. It attaches to a vein that they said goes to my heart. It's under the skin so no problems with showering and things. After the surgery heals there should be little risk of infection. They can puncture the silicone thing hundreds of times so I can get my medicine and blood work that way now. It's just a little bump under the skin.

Just wondering if there is anything I should be concerned about getting a port? I also plan to have radiation to my left collar bone and left shoulder tumors. I don't know if the collar bone tumor would be in that area where the port is and could cause problems with it or not. Or I guess according to the wikipedia picture it would be further down but not sure.

I've only had 10 doses of pd1 but combine that with 4 doses of ipi and countless blood draws and scan sticks they have a really hard time getting the iv in for my pd1. They did get it the first try today but it hurt like crazy and would still hurt if I hadn't taken my pain pills for that, my leg and shoulder pains.



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Rudy is still doing well and taking it one day at a time.  He is still on combo two weeks on, one week off and continues to take a maintenance dosage of cannabis oil daily.  I try to check this site at least once a week. I used to be a daily visitor but I am now trying to spend as much time living in a world outside melanoma and enjoying this time that my husband remains NED. As you all know, once you/or your loved one is diagnosed with melanoma you become part of the community of fighters and their loved ones and at least for me, it's impossible to forget that so many are struggling for each new day. Please know that I pray everyday for all afflicted with this dreadful disease as well as for their families.

Blessings, love and best wishes to you all! 


"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done."- Philippians 4:6

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Anonymous's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 11/26/2014 - 2:44pm
Replies by: Jubes, Happy_girl

HI Everyone,

I am a stage IV patient currently NED 13 YRS AND 9 MONTHS  MPIP was a saving grace for me for sooooo many years and I hope all of you will find the love and support I found here.  I am still in touch witih many patients and caregivers I met here  We formed a bond of a lifetime together,

MPIP is a place to find a WEALTH OF INFORMATION,,  IF you have any questions ask JANNER or Jerry from Fauquat,  They know more than most doctors  lol  not kidding,  

Please do yourselves a favor and start the chat room going again, It was incredible support.  I am now on FB as well and I love love love beign there,  All of that being said...... THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE MPIP  You will get to know one another, your stories, your journey and you will form friends for a lifetime  

As difficult as Melanoa is , please look for the gifts,  there are many,





























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Jubes's picture
Replies 5
Last reply 11/30/2014 - 12:09pm
Replies by: arthurjedi007, Jubes, Linny

I have been diagnosed with  stage IV in my lungs and lymph nodes and the doctors can't find the primary. In 2005 I had an amelanotic hutchinsons freckle removed. I had had it on my left upper arm for 2 years and various Drs told me it was nothing until I changed dermatologist. By then it was about two inches diameter        After that I was checked regularly for new melanomas and the dr always checked the glands in my armpits but that was it. Is it possible that I have had this melanoma for the past 10 years? My current oncologist thinks it unlikely that hutchinsons freckle was the primary but just wondering if anyone else had had that type of thing?


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jenny22's picture
Replies 12
Last reply 11/30/2014 - 6:25pm


I am hoping that I will gain knowledge, and support from others in this forum.  My husband just passed his 5 year mark from Stage 3 lung cancer.....I am hoping I too can say that one day.....although today i received some lousy news.

I could really use some words of encourgement or thoughts from those of you in similar situations.

Here is my story:

Sept- 2013-  Ok, I'll come clean here....I had decided to treat myself to some cosmetic surgery......i had a face lift and during the pre-op appt i asked the Plastic surgeon to remove something on my neck......never thinking it was anything, since i go to the DERMATOLOGIST regularly, every 3 months due to my history. 

When I went back for my first POST-Op appt, i was told that what he'd removed was 1.5mm melanoma.....amelanotic.....though the normla protocol would ahve been to have sentinel node biopsy I was told i couldnt have one since all the lymphatic drainage patterns in my neck would have been too greatly altered....I saw 3 surgical oncologists and ALL told me based on the size it was a very low risk that would have gone into a I ahd the WLE and have been following up with SLOAN in NYC with ultrasounds of my neck every size months......Just passed the first year mark and all WAS ok.

Lst week i felt 2 small pea size lums under the skin on my the ame spot as the original one and about and inch or 2 away. Today I received the phone call confirming they were both Melanoma.

I was devastated when told that made stage 4A.......from stage 1 to 4.....skipping all in between.

Tomorrow I am having a brain MRI, followed by CTs with contrast on NECK, CHest and Abdomen on Wed.

Then scheduled to see surgeon and oncologist next wed and thursday.

I am not reading the statistics as i know they are grim and very old, before the new drugs recently approved.

BUT it would very helpful if i could hear a few longer term STAGE 4 survivor stories.....of course i don't know yet if it has spread beyond these addtioanl skin mets, but of course hoping for good enws after scans.

Hoping to hear from someone!





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Jubes's picture
Replies 5
Last reply 11/29/2014 - 9:54pm

HI All,

Has anyone who is on Pembrolizumab or Nivolumab noticed any changes in their memory?

I have had 4 cycles of Pembrolizumab and am feeling really good. I have previously done Dabrafenib and Ipi and the tumours increased in size on both of those. I am stage 4  in my lungs with unknown primary. Recently I have noticed that it sometimes takes me a few minutes to remember what i have been doing in the last couple of days. The drug company does not list any such neurological side effects, so it is possibly unrelated or stress related, or that I am not at work with my usual schedule. Just wondering if anyone else has noticed anything similar?



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SarahW's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 11/25/2014 - 8:48pm

My husband has an appointment with radiation oncologist re: 3 new brain mets, all < 1 cm. He has already had Stereotactic Radiation Surgery on 8 previous brain mets on two separate occasions. 

Wondering how many times this procedure can be performed. What has your experience been?

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Kmiles's picture
Replies 7
Last reply 11/25/2014 - 3:23am

Diagnosed w melanoma at the end of October. T3 3.25 and Clark level 4.  

Ok so WEL/SNB were completed on Thursday.  Ended up both underarms were done.  My back feels fine but wow, underarms are tough!  Doctor says I can't wear a bra or deodorant until post op. 

How do you do this in the business world?  I went out and bought big button down shirts and sweaters.  Do people stay home or go to work?  I have long term sick/short term disability insurance but I don't know if this is appropriate or not.  

Ant practicle advice is truly appreciated!  

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JerryfromFauq's picture
Replies 5
Last reply 11/25/2014 - 6:49am

Melanoma Vaccine has been approved for Dogs, now it lookes like one is coming for horses as well. 

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

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