Jeannine

I turned 50 Aug 2010 and requested a colonoscopy. I was scheduled for the test 2/7/2011. The ulcerated 6.75mm lesion was found during the exam and then removed 3/25/2011 - Diagnosis Anal Melanoma

I went to visit my PCP in Oct. and requested a colonoscopy since I had turned 50 in Aug. 2010.  My PCP was surprised that I requested the test since most sane people run from even the thought of it.  I told him it was my right of passage.  Thank God I was proactive.  I am now the self assigned poster child for colonoscopies. 

The Dr. found a lesion in my anal canal and I had it removed March 25, 2011.  March 29, 2011 I got the phone call that it was melanoma. The lesion was ulcerated and 6.75 mm. On March 31, 2011 I had a pet scan and MRI which both came out fine.  On April 12, 2011 I had a second surgery to remove the rest of the lesion and 3 sentinel lymph nodes removed. 

The pathology came back with cancer in the left two sentinel lymph nodes. I was told that I would have to have more surgery to remove the rest of the lymph nodes on the left side, radiation and interferon from an Oncologist who had never seen Anal Melanoma before. 

At the suggestion of a dear friend I requested a second opinion at Dana Farber and met Dr. Hodi, Dr. Russell and Dr. Werchniak on May 2, 2011.  I was told at that appointment that there was not cancer in my lymph nodes but natural melanocytes AND didn't need any further treatment but check ups every three months. In June I was tested for the BRAF gene and C-Kit gene and did not have either. 

I went back to Dana Farber July 20, 2011 when Dr. Russell found another lesion.  I had that removed on July 27, 2011.  It came back free of cancer. Phew!

I have always had a positive attitude and plan to be just fine but need to find some survivors! 

Comments

zuleima - (9/12/2011 - 10:19am)

congratulations and good luck from now on too. Please tell me what are those tests for BRAF gene and C-Kit gene.  I had melanoma 4 years ago. I have eco, melanuria (urin test) and S100 (blood test) every 6 months.  BRAF gene and C-Kit gene  are also to detect melanoma?

dutchchic - (9/18/2011 - 7:39pm)

Congrats!

Glad you didn't have to do another surgery!  I think the attitude has alot to do

with making thru all the stuff we don't want to go thru!

 

 

Best of Luck!

It's all about the TUDE!

Is Jesus driving your journey?

JerryfromFauq - (9/20/2011 - 10:42pm)

Gal, Follow me, but hopefully don't catch me.  I plan to keep on going, even at stage IV!  As we have discussed, Anal melanoma has a high death rate because most Dermatologists don't check "THERE".  Most GP's don't even look hard and many don't even know that melanoma can start "at the back door" or "in the front door".  I am glad that your Doctor took you serious and seems to have caught the cancer fairly early (and didn't delay things for over 3 years like my GP did..  This does definitely improves your odds.  We all know that melanoma does not follow any normal pattern so we have to be watchfully for life.  Not paranoid, but definitely vigilant. 

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

When I was diagnosed in July 2008 with melanoma in my vulva I thought certainly this is a error, the biopsy is wrong. How can I get melanoma THERE, I NEVER SUNBATHED NUDE!  That's when a renowned dermatologist told me, 'anywhere you have skin, you can get melanoma' when I asked her how did I get melanoma THERE?

Here I am 5 1/2 yrs. later thanks to a wonderful gyn-oncology surgeon - My last PET/CT did show a hot spot, very close to original site in my vulva. I'm waiting for surgery #7 (or is it #8) after New Year. 

I am the 5th or 6th case of this type of melanoma my surgeon has seen in 15 years. However between my wonderful doctors at Yale New Haven Hospital & UCONN - Dempsey Hospital I feel confident I'm in the best possible place with the most highly skilled team of doctors.

I'm realistic, yet very positive. I have my moments, sometimes even a day or two - but I'm not going down without a fight, no matter what! That's Jersey strong!!!