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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ryanbkyle's picture
Replies 8
Last reply 2/22/2017 - 3:39pm

I am a generally healthy 54 year old woman who has been diagnosed with Stage 3A melanoma.  I had the wide excision and the sentinel lobe dissection. One out of three lymph nodes showed a microscopic trace of cancer.  I now have to decide on treatment, and would like advice from those that have gone through this.  My gut is telling me to take one day at a time and see what happens and be monitored by my oncologist -- not to do a CLND or the Interferon and IPI treaments.  Any advice would be appreciated?  Thank you!

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mdoh's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 2/22/2017 - 12:33pm
Replies by: UBContributor, youngann

Hello fellow warriors- I was diagnosed with stage 2a melanoma in July 2015. No issues since. Have been diagnosed with gallstones after a couple of acute attacks. Question is should I be concerned about this gallbladder removal surgery lowering my immune system? Should I let my oncologist know? 

Thanks and keep fighting!



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rabbits68's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 2/22/2017 - 2:23pm
Replies by: Bubbles, MaPerny, Mark_DC, Rocco

I have progressed on Keytruda and my doctor wants to start the chemo drug Abraxene. I am not sure if this is the next step I should take. At this point I am considering going to either MD Anderson or Sloan Kettering. Does anyone know how I go about getting a consult or having someone look at my records. Short history: failed Yervoy, failed Mek combo and now failed Keytruda. Does chemo seem like the next logical step? Any advise is appreciated. I am feeling unsure and scared. Thank you


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Shaneswife's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 2/22/2017 - 11:31am

Well we got Shane'seen results today and it was very much a big old mixed bag of news.

Lungs: almost a complete cr. 1 lesion 3mm on right lobe is all that's left of the 15 between both lungs.

Liver: still innumerable tumors however the biggest 3 have shrunk each by 25%.

Brain: not great news here. Progression noted on many of the bigger tumors. Still has innumerable tumors even after wbrt and 6 weeks of braf/mek.

New metastases found in his vertebrae at t7, t8, and l4.

So he's progressing in brain and variable response in the body.

Doctor has no idea what to do next so sending us to Princess Margaret Hospital to a melanoma specialist. Hoping for an appointment next week. For now maintaining the braf/mek and dex and we go back to waiting again.


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Anonymous's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 2/22/2017 - 2:52pm
Replies by: J.bun, UBContributor

I've been on taf/Mek for 17 months with amazing results until this last month I had 4 new brain mets. It seems to be working in my body still but not my brain. I also just started ipi/nivo combo and my doctor wants me to continue taking the BRAF meds for at least another month. I'm a little nervous about toxicity with all of this in my system. Does anyone have any experience with these taken together? Or know of any articles or studies combining all 4? Thanks for the help!



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snow white's picture
Replies 35
Last reply 2/22/2017 - 4:55pm

It is with a very heavy heart that I have to relay this news.  Our dear friend and warrior Paul passed away on Friday 2/17/17.  I have been in touch with his daughter and she asked me to relay this news.  I am so very sad about this.  He gave me and my family so much hope, he was fighting so hard just to get back to LA to start the trial.  I had been keeping in touch with him via text after I met him in person at The Angeles Clinic. Such a great guy and will surely be missed, especially him humor!  His daughter has asked me to let all know that his services will be on Saturday at Pine Lake covenant church in Sammamish.  If you need more details I am happy to text her.  I know his family was a great support to him and will miss him dearly.  I will miss his posts on here so much.

xo Jen

Jennifer-- Dad has stage IV Mel. No primary. Treatment: Gamma Knife,15 brain mets, Craniotomy to remove 3 large tumors in brain. Receiving treatment @The Angeles Clinic

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Coneflowers's picture
Replies 6
Last reply 2/22/2017 - 10:33am
Replies by: Coneflowers, Ed Williams, AshleyS, Anonymous

My daughter who is a child has now been on Opdivo for over a year. She has been stable for almost a year!! Which is so great! Just wondering if there is anyone out there that has moved on from stable to NED? I have read a few stories, and I know everyone is different... I of course also worry that it will stop working. Her case is extremely rare and no one really knows what to expect.


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debwray's picture
Replies 13
Last reply 2/22/2017 - 3:40pm


Have had 3 doses of ipi nivo over 15 weeks, delays due raised AST ALT so have had one 6 week drug hol and dose 4 should have been yesterday, but back on 50mg pred as numbers raised again in spite of 10mg pred daily after dose 3.

12 week scan showed liver progression..but that would be a compare to reference scan 5 weeks before treatment start and after 2 doses plus 6 week drug holiday BRAF wild type and in the uk.

Mood music from docs is that they think true progression rather than psuedo progression, and took a blood to test if eligible for immunocore trial

Anyone out there with experience of "late " response to combo with diffuse liver mets ?

Feeling a bit punch drunk as the bad news keeps on coming- anyone been transitioned to nivo solo with grade 2 liver probs with suspected progression ?

Any experience / info good or bad welcome. Was sort of hopeful for a response with mild vitiligo and with  some superficial skin lesions fading away. Back in the waiting game now as I think next scan will be used to determine next steps

The white knuckle ride continues......

Wishing you all well


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Anonymous's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 2/21/2017 - 4:28pm
Replies by: Anonymous, BillMFl, jennunicorn, Fen

I'm waiting for my biospy appointment currently. I've sever depression from this as I'm assuming the worst. I just know I have nodular melanoma (black dry raised mole) it's 2mm in diameter. I don't know how to cope with this anxiety, especially when looking to my little girl tears can happen easily also I'm getting strange headaches which let me think that it's now in my brain. How i can prepare my self for the diagnosis? Any advice would be appreciated.Thanks

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Melodygrace's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 2/21/2017 - 8:08pm

Hi all,

Has anyone here ever had a melanoma that was first misdiagnosed as a dysplastic nevus?  I had a dysplastic nevus removed last year.  It had to be sent in to UCSF for a second opinion because the first results were inconslusive.  This, combined with the fact that a dysplastic nevus looks similar to melanoma, has me wondering if it actually could misdiagnosed.  

I know someone who had a mole removed six years ago, results came back as a spitz nevus.  They got a surgical excision and then got on with their life.  However, six years later, this person discovered a lump under their arm.  It turned out the spitz nevus diagnosis was wrong and it had been melanoma the whole time.  

This made we wonder if this happens with dysplastic nevus moles as well. I have a family history of melanoma, so I am just a little concerned.  I did have the mole surgically excised when we found out it was dysplastic. 

Just curious to hear if anyone has any personal experience with this.

Thank you!



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JoshF's picture
Replies 22
Last reply 2/22/2017 - 5:18pm

Hi Everyone! It's been awhile and I've been staying in touch with Paul but figured it's time to update. So I did TIL beginning in February. Ended up with 14 billion cells which the PI for trial said was reasonable. I guess the trick to TIL is having the "right mix" of cells. My TIL cells had good viability so hopefully they can get some work done. I definitely need it. I'm scared, anxious...all the above but doing best to live life. I'm not thrilled about having to go back to Houston every 3 weeks for keytruda. Since I failed Nivo, didn't think it was good option but it's part of trial and doc says new immune system can provide different results. I'm praying that's the case. Outside of that I'm trying to get strength back. TIL does take it out of you for sure.

On another note, I lost a friend while in hospital. He was doing bio-chemo and his body gave out. It's hard part about this disease, you meet people and then they're suddenly gone. I'm heartbroken....he would've been 40 yesterday. I guess it's why I've been staying away from this forum. Too much suffering. Not to mention I haven't heard from Paul in 2 days. 

Anyway, I'm hopeful and not ready to leave my kids so I'll fight on but I'm not going to lie, I'm wiped out. Cmon TCELLS!!!!


Let's work for better treatments....for a cure!!!!

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Replies by: J.bun, jennunicorn, Mark_DC


Can anyone explain the Ipi infusion process and length of time for the infusion?

Does Ipi get infused through 1 catheter site or multiple?

Does the infusion take a few minutes or more than an hour, or multiple hours?

Anything else about the infusion which you recommend(e.g. Bringing music and headphones, bringing a book, eating food beforehand or fasting beforehand)?


thank you

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stevenallenschwartz's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 2/21/2017 - 3:01am
Replies by: Patrisa, Mark_DC

Had my 4th infusion today. Almost postponed due to higher liver enzymes than normal. So far no reaction. Scheduled for my 5th infusion in 3 weeks than the petscan to determine the efficacy. Taming my fear by staying active.

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Anonymous's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 2/21/2017 - 2:07pm
Replies by: geriakt, Anonymous, jennunicorn

Hello All,

I was recently diagnosed Stage 1a at a depth of 0.23mm about two months ago. I am still dealing with the stress and anxiety from this diagnosis, but I want to help beat this thing for all of you stage 3 and 4's out there. I feel so bad when I read all of your stories and what you are going through it breaks my heart. I realize I am in a very good spot with my prognosis, but am still scared. Anyhow, I wanted to start donating to research to help cure this dreadful disease. I have been on so many websites and I am just not sure which to donate to. Where do you guys think the majority of our money should be going? I wanted to invest in breakthrough treatments and such that have been made in melanoma, not necessarily a site that spends all their money on education. I think research is where I want to donate my money to and wanted to hear your guys thoughts on what you think is the best place to donate. Let me know your thoughts, thank you. 

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Anonymous's picture
Replies 6
Last reply 2/20/2017 - 7:06pm
Replies by: Anonymous, skousal, MichelleRHG, debwray, momof4boys


Does anyone have any advise on how to unclog the JP drain from a complete lymphnode dissection. I have stripped the drain hundreds of times with no luck, I can see the tissue clogging the drain. The fluid is running down my leg.. please any help. 


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