Hello there, this looks like a brilliant site. I hope I can share my burden and get some support.
My mum is 79. She had her original melanoma on her upper arm several years ago and had it completely removed. Another lump appeared a few inches away, a year later, and again, all removed with no spread.
A few weeks ago she found a "breast lump" in the upper right quadrant of her left breast. This was diagnosed as a metastatic spread and she was sent for CT scan.
I read some research and feared the worst. I went to the follow-up appointment with her, and she was delighted and fully relieved to hear her major organs are all clear, the consultant told her that "there are some glands in your groin, but we will scan you again in 4 months, just to keep an eye on you, there are many reasons why your glands might be swollen".
While she was in the treatment room having an assessment with the nurses I spoke to the consultant and expressed my surprise at how the melanoma can metastasize with no lymph/blood involvement. He then told me that "it's very serious, but I see no benefit in your mum knowing this". He is quite right in his assessment of my mum, she will COMPLETELY LOSE IT if she gets a poor prognosis. She watched both parents die from cancer and is petrified of it to the point it's really ruled her life for the last 40 years.
Her lump has now been removed and she's quite happy, but I spoke to her yesterday, and she's found a hard lump under the skin near her anus. I reassured her, but I wonder if this is further spread now.
I can imagine she won't be a candidate for treatments, she's BRAF negative, and even if any were available; she has other health problems and is a heavy smoker.
So, what am I asking for? I don't really know. Is this a typical mode of spread? She lives several hours away, and I feel I need to be making plans for "when the time comes", but what are the timescales likely to be? Please don't worry about cushioning the truth for me - I'm very much supported emotionally, I just feel frustrated by distance and lack of access to her consultant.
Thank you so much for any help, Bella