My name is Ken and this is my story over the past few months. It has been filled with highs and lows, and I know this is just the beginning.
On March 18, 2014 I had a very small spot removed from my upper left back. I received a call from my dermatologist on March 25 with the results of the pathology report. It came back as melanoma, 1.1mm in thickness.
On April 8, I had surgery for a wide excision of the original spot and a sentinel lymph node biopsy. April 11, I received the pathology results from that surgery and they found a 1mm metastatic melanoma in one of the two lymph nodes that were removed - Stage IIIa.
On April 25, I had surgery for an axillary lymph node dissection. I received the pathology report on April 29 and no more melanoma was found. That was the best news in the past month and a half.
I had my melanoma tested for the BRAF mutation and got the news on May 30 that I do have the BRAF mutation. I will be looking into a clinical trial for Stage IIIa that is being done in Portland, Oregon, about 130 miles from my home. We will see if that is possible and to work out the travel details and how often I would need to be there.
I have learned a lot from this forum and website. Thank you all for the information.
I must give a shout out to St. Charles Cancer Center in Bend, Oregon for the amazing support and care they provide to cancer patients!