First posting here, scared to death right now, just diagnosed Stage 3.

Posted By
3/23/2014 2:07am
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Replies: 12

Hello everyone.....thsi is my first posting. I'm glad that I found this site. First, thank you and bless you all for being here and for your stories. I was diagnosed about a month ago, am going to have my lymph nodes removed under my arm on 3/23.....I've read all the studies on Chemo, Interferon...etc...What's the point of those treatments?

I'm a little scared and still dismayed with all of this....any advise, thoughts would be welcomed...

Glad you found us, it is the best site for melanoma out there.  I can say that with confidence seeing as I am officially an "old timer" here.  Sorry you had to join.

The best way to help us help you is to get a copy of your pathology results from your original biopsy and a brief history ex. where it was found, how, how deep, ulceration or not, how many sentinal nodes were positive (I assume you are at least stage III if having your lymphnodes removed, that is unless you are speaking about having a sentinal node biopsy).

IMHO - interferon is useless but there isn't much out there for stage II / III.  Clinical trials are always popping up, and within the past 3 years we have seen miraculous progress in the understanding and treatment of advanced melanoma.

You can look up the melanoma basics and understanding all the lingo to get up to speed on this website, I just forgot what tab it was under.  When I was first diagnosed as stage 2A 12 years ago, it was much easier since there wasn't much out there to treat it.

Best of luck with your surgery, let us know how it goes.



Cancer Sucks Shit Happens Nothing is ever 100% bad, there is a reason and silver lining in everything. Sometimes I need a good light and my glasses to find it though. You can't fix stupid.

Hi Kim....thank you for the kind response.....not going to do interferon, heck with that. Why do something that doesn't work, that only poisons you? Am I wrong?



You have come to the right website where you will learn valuable information and be supported and loved! I understand your fears and can only say that there is hope, even for stage 4 patients, such as my husband who is presently NED. Don't let your fear consume you and stay positive mentally. You will be in my prayers.


"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

Hi Gina......thank you for the wonderful note....When was your spouse diagnosed? What stance did he take as far as treatment? Thanks for any insights you can offer....:)



Welcome to the site where there is much help and support from people that have been through what you are going through and tried many treatments.  In the last 3 years there have been many advances.

I see you are stage III and that gives you less treatment options but there are still some and some clinical trials.  Posting your pathology report would be helpful and I also recommend you see a melanoma specialist as they know about more clinical trials and what to look for as far as side effects or other treatments much more so than the regular doctors and oncologists.

Always for your sake get a copy of scans, reports and start yourself a file in case you ever are going for a second opinion as it is much easier to have them then to have to wait to go and get copies for future use.

Judy (loving wife of Gene Stage IV and now NED ((no evidence of disease)) since 2012)

Live 4 today. Thank God for all he has done for us. Looking forward to enjoying tomorrow.

Sorry you had to join our group but glad you found the support.  I read you profile, thanks for filling that out, it helps.  You should know that at under 1mm your tumor is not too deep.  But obviously it must have been deep enough to have already gotten to your lymph nodes if you are have ALL you lymph nodes removed.  Oh, it appears you are having that done as I write, well good luck!  When You post again, I hope you do, if you have any questions about drains, healing etc post them.....we have all been through it.


I am stage 3a, now 4 years with No Evidence of Disease (NED).  I had all the lymph nodes under my arm removed and them no further treatment.  I agreed with your assessment, Interferon was a waste of my time and money.  But it is a very personal decision.  Some people feel they must do something to fight back. 


If you're active and health, then hopefully you will have good results too.  I have been religious about both my Oncologist and Derm. follow-ups.  I try to eat a little healthier. 

Take Care,


Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living.

Hi Mary......thank you, thank you, thank you my fellow Stage give me hope....I've been healthy most of my life, if not all till right, sleep right, work out....I've decided that should they offer interferon, no way....

LOL.....yes, I have the pesky drain going right now, really stiff, but alive right?....I'm glad I found this site...

Thanks for your thoughts.....Jim


I, too, have just recently been diagnosed with Stage 3 melanoma, so I know how you are feeling.  But you are luckier than I because yours was only 1mm in depth, whereas mine was 6.5, and I've learned that that size qualifies my melanoma as "THICK" melanoma which has a much lower anticipated survival rate :(  So by comparison you are LUCKY :)  My thoughts and prayers will be with you as you go for your surgery tomorrow.  I will be looking forward to how it goes and how you are doing afterwards, as the same surgery appears to be in my future.


hi Jim, sorry that you had to join this forum, Because melanoma is a beast. Stage 3 is a real limbo. Not many choices, and there is much uncertainty. My husband is the 3rd stage since 2012 (38 years), his options were, watch and wait or pegylated interferon, he decided to do something about it, and decided to do interferon  pegylado. Some people feel better doing something, but there is no assurance that melanoma does not return.


Treatment with interferon is hard but it is possible to lead a fairly normal life.


Take care



Jim,  my husband was diagnosed at stage III as well and his was 10.5 mm.  He was first diagnosed in 2008.  He has never had his lymphnodes removed only the SNB and it came back negative.  He had 3 more surgically removed before his 1 unresectable  as it was pushing on the cervical spine at C1-C2 and metastisis in his liver and lungs .  That surgery could have left him as a paraplegic so he did a clinical trial instead and is now NED.

Judy (loving wife of Gene Stage IV and now NED)

Live 4 today. Thank God for all he has done for us. Looking forward to enjoying tomorrow.

Hi Page85......thank you for the note, you will be in my thoughts and prayers as is scary as hell to go in for something you think is minor then have an MD blow your world apart....

Had my surgery yesterday, feeling stiff, but alive.....will wait now for further biopsy of those lymph nodes, but all of the others previously taken except one was CA.....hoping they find nothing else in these....

Let's keep fighting....Jim

Hi Jim,

I am also diagnosed stage 3, just recently had all my scans done (all clear, thank God), and I will have my superficial inguinal lymph node dissection on Wednesday (April 2nd). I think we are all scared, but know that this is an AMAZING place to find support/answers to your questions, and advice. I was EXTREMELY distraght when I first found out about 2 months ago (at 31 weeks pregnant), sentinel node biopsy and WLE done at 34 weeks, with one node positive. I then had to wait 7 more weeks to be induced with my daughter, so now I am on the road to recovery. The waiting SUCKS. You just want to do SOMETHING to make it all a little better. As for interferon, I have heard mixed reviews on it, but my oncologist, Dr. Andrew Poklepovic at VCU in Richmond, VA, does say that for stage 3, esp. stage 3A, interferon works. Whether it delays a recurrance (IF a recurrence was bound to happen), or if it kills off any stray cells entirely, we don't quite know. I may take it, I may not. I will have to see after the pathology reports from my next surgery. I do want to say that the anxiety gets a little easier to handle. It does not go away, but gets better. Best of luck to you, you will do great :)