Update on me since having my daughter and lymph node dissection

Posted By
Kelly Smith
4/23/2014 9:17am
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Replies: 8

I haven't been on here in a while, but I wanted to stop by and let you all know how I'm doing. You have all been so great and uplifting to me, and really helped me through so far. I was induced on March 13th, and gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby girl. I was very happy to meet her, although melanoma loomed in the back of my mind the whole time. On March 21st, I had PET/CT scans done, and got the call on March 24th that they were all clear! Right in time for my Fiance's birthday on the 25th, so we went out to eat and celebrated both the good news, and his 26th birthday. It was a very good night. But I knew I had to have the lymph node dissection done still, since one node had micromets found after SNLB. I had this surgery on April 2nd. WOW...I did NOT expect that much pain. The groin area is NOT a place you wanna have surgery...and I guess the fact that I had the surgery about 2 weeks after delivering my baby made it even harder to recover. I spent one night in the hospital and am still recovering at home. I did develop a very nasty staff infection 2 weeks after surgery, which landed me back in the hospital, and then at my oncologist's office every day for a week for IV antibiotics. It's all cleared up now. So far, very little swelling/lymphedema. I actually ONLY get it when I wear my compression stocking. Weird...also, the rest of the lymph nodes taken were ALL CLEAR!!! This was the first time I could really breathe in months. It was a wonderful moment. I do know that I always have to look out for melanoma now though, for the rest of my life. But I am hopeful that I will beat the beast. This has by far been the hardest journey of my life, and I want to bring love and support to anyone else out there who is also battling this. ESPECIALLY if you are diagnosed while pregnant. I never, ever want anyone to deal with that awful awful stress. The stress from a melanoma diagnosis ALONE is enough to just drive you insane, add a melanoma diagnosis during pregnancy...I cannot even describe the despair I felt. I am doing so much better now, and I start Interferon on Monday, April 28th. I know it will be a VERY tough road, but I'm ready.

Hi Kelly, I'm happy for the good news. Your case is very similar to my husband. Stage III is a real limbo!!

My husband was diagnosed in 2012 stage3a melanoma , (was diagnosed with melanoma (ankle) in june 2012(Breslow 2.3 mm without ulceration, less than 1 mm2 mitosis), we are living in hell, unfortunately the result of the sentinel node biopsy (groin) gave positive 1/4, so he hada surgery on groin node dissection and lymph node biopsy in the stomach, all clean.)  because he had micrometastasis in the sentinel node , the rest were clean. He had in 2012, 38 years old.

Doctor offered interferon pegylado (new treatment) or wait and watch, my husband started on 29 October with pegylated interferon treatment as adyudante. Treatmentis difficult,has many side effects

 Pegylated interferon  is a variant of Interferon, which according to statistics is more effective than interferon alfa , and is more tolerable. Should be to consult the doctor about pegyldo interferon (intron or sylantron )

MY husband is with pegylated interferon since October 2012, he has a normal life , working full time. The  most annoying symptom is fatigue. My husband is now 40 years old, he  has its scan every 6 months and blood checks , the last scan showed enlarged lymph then made ​​a PET_CT

 The PET showed some hot spots in the enlarged nodes SUV 2.5 do not know if it's the inflammatory effect of interferon or recurrence of melanoma. At the end of this month to repeat the PET , hopefully everything like this .

the effects of interferon are different for each person

transcribe a post I wrote about treatment with interferon

You can ask me whatever you want.

You are very  young, you should be able to tolerate interferon


I will tell us  my husband experience with pegylated interferon since October 2012.

Side effects that my husband has after the first month and still continue:


dry skin

problems with vision and teeth

joint pains

loss of muscle mass


fatigue, fatigue and fatigue! this is the worst


some anemia

increased triglycerides

increase in transaminases (liver damage)

sometimes dizziness and memory loss

loss of concentration


The first two months were high doses, then half of the dose.

Despite all He is living a normal life, and  working full time.


While there are no guarantees, my husband wanted to do the treatment.


Greetings from Argentina




I am so happy to hear that your scans were clean and you are past the lymph node dissection!  I had an inguinal hernia and I can sympathize with you on the groin pain.  Yikes!  I hope that the interferon treatment will not be too hard on you and you can focus on that precious baby.  

Strength and Courage,


Wow, that is great news! Enjoy your time with the baby of yours.

Hello Kelly,

Congratulations! What great news for you and your family! I can't imagine how difficult your situation must have been. I was diagnosed with melanoma while pregnant (with a baby girl too) last year. I realise all too well now that I was lucky having 'only' an early stage melanoma. But it was an extremely stressfull time for me nonetheless filled with anxiety, worry and sadness. It's not how you envisualize your pregnancy beforehand. Especially the waiting parts (after excision and re-excision) were awful. I am still processing everything emotionally, even though it has almost been a year now. A lot of people tell me to get over it, 'it's gone now' , but they can't understand what a life altering experience it has been for me. Give yourself time for the emotional healing. I wish you all the best and hope that you'll enjoy lots and lots of wonderful time with your precious daughter!

Barbara (from the Netherlands)

Congrats to Kelly.

Barbara, The "It's gone now" which may be true or may just be a hope is never a 100% statement.  For a low stage Melanoma person, it may be GONE.  What the outsiders do not understand is that unlike most cancers, 95% of melanoma cells can travel undetected, to other places in the body and over time reproduce to form detectable tumors.  This time can be years or even decades, depends on how well on es immune system can keep the rouge cells under control.  This is why one can NEVER say with certainity that melanoma is gone.  We need to not be paranoid, but always remain vigilant for melanoma.  This is one of the reasons I push the NED does not mean that one is free of melanoma, but that it means "No Evidence of Disease - ON SCANS".

    hOW DO WE GET OTHERS TO UNDERSTAND THIS?  Not sure that most outsiders will ever understand that we have the feeling of "will the other shoe drop?" for the rest of our lives.  If it does, we need to be watchful and ready for quick action.

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

"For a low stage Melanoma person, it may be GONE.  What the outsiders do not understand is that unlike most cancers, 95% of melanoma cells can travel undetected, to other places in the body and over time reproduce to form detectable tumors."


THIS is why even low stage people still worry and have a lot of stress and anxiety about it.  Even though we're always being told "low risk" "you're worrying too much" "chances are you'll never deal with this again" etc.....  I would like to see where you got this "95% of melanoma cells can travel undetected" and what does that mean?  Does that mean anyone with melanoma, even an early thin lesion, that 95% of the cancer cells in that tumor will travel in the body? 

Congratulations on the birth of your daughter.  You are one tough lady, can't imagine going through all that while pregnant.  good luck with treatment and to many more years with your family!


Jackie <3

Hi Kelly,  I know this is a pretty old post, but I was thinking about you and wanted to see if everything was still good for you.