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.

Expand/ Collapse Topic
Replies By
View Topic

My husband has stage 4 melanoma with multiple lesions in  the head.

He had craniotomy in October, Gamma Knife treatment in December and was on Mek/Taff combo for 3 month.

We had to discontinue the combo because he developed very high fever and chills

started on Keytruda last week.

the MRI in December showed good progress - most lesions decreased in size.

but the second MRI in February showed  3 new lesions, so waiting for the next Gamma Knife procedure.

just a couple days ago he started feeling some kind of spasms in the face , back of head and radiating to the neck area.

the spasms are short in duration - less than 1 min. - and do not cause any changes in facial expression.

does anybody experienced this kind of spasms?

Login or register to post replies.

keepthefaith11's picture
Replies 17
Last reply 2/26/2017 - 3:06pm

Quick background. My dad was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma back in July. He had 13 tumors in his brain which were discovered because of the seizure he suffered.

He went through whole brain radiation, which was the only treatment they would do in his home of Sweden. They only do gamma knife on four or fewer tumors. I was firmly against this but we were left with no choice. Two months after diagnosis he had another seizure and two months after that yet another one.

He got through five infusions of opdivo before developing diarrhea and it had to be discontinued. In December he got really ill with the flu and was hospitalized. Ever since then he has been deteriorating. Last week he started running a super high fever and his blood pressure plummeted and pulse went up to 180. He was rushed to the emergency room and they suspected it could be sepsis. They are still not sure if it were but either way he was in bad shape. He came back from that and it's stable now.

His overall condition is now to the point where he is unable to move, sleeps most of the time, and it's pretty much in a daze most of the time when he's awake. He does have moments where he is completely on and will respond clearly and talk. It is like he drifts in and out of awareness.

This is mind-boggling to the doctors since the latest pet scan and MRI shows disappearance of two lymph nodes in the abdomen and brain scan shows disappearance of many tumors and 50% shrinkage of the others. He has been on TAF/MEK the past six weeks. We are all wondering how he can be acting so completely sick when the cancer has gotten so much better. They are discontinuing the anti-seizure medication to see if that could be part of it. They have done all tests on pituitary and thyroid function as well as Vitamin deficiencies.

The latest brain scan did show damage in the white matter of the brain and it looks like fluid is not flowing properly. So today he ended up having a spinal tap and pressure check of the brain. We have not heard back yet. They will put in a shunt if the tests show issues in that area.

The doctor is talking about possible brain damage from immunotherapy which to me sounds completely unrealistic. Looking up the odds of the severity he is experiencing being from immunotherapy it's pretty much unheard of from what I've read.

What do you guys think? Has anybody heard of white matter damage in the brain with brain tumors? Or what could be causing this?

It is so incredible that he has responded so well to the cancer treatment and cancer is not our worry at this point. All the other issues are. We would be on cloud nine with these kind of scans if it weren't for the fact that he pretty much acts like a physically handicapped person with dementia.

Any help will be appreciated!


Login or register to post replies.

BrianP's picture
Replies 13
Last reply 2/26/2017 - 12:04pm

Login or register to post replies.

Bmine102793's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 2/23/2017 - 4:58pm
Replies by: Hukill, Cathy M, Anonymous

Fiance has stage 3A melanoma and will start yervoy in april. Once treatment start he will use short term disability through work on the paper work it states that he can only work 40 hrs a week with 40% taken from each check so financially we are screwed. Is there any other help out there? Im unable to work due to my daughter having an immune deficiency so we're at a loss any enough would be appreciated

Login or register to post replies.

Get real hugs and encouragement from thousands of other melanoma patients, caregivers and their loved ones.  Come April 23rd  to


Login or register to post replies.

jenny22's picture
Replies 15
Last reply 2/24/2017 - 6:53am

I signed on to post yesterday and read the news about Paul and then couldnt...

Woke up today feeling like I wanted to share some good news, but i do so somewhat hesitantly in light of yesterdays tragic news.

As a quick history.....diagnosed 1B sept. 2013, First recurrence in Nov of 2014, in same spot as primary, considered "instransit", restaged to  3B...... did vaccine trial ......had 2nd recurrence Nov. 2015.....same....this time did short course hi dose radiation.....(dec-jan 2016).....then started Leukine injections (march 2016)....though i know most poeple wil say leukine hasnt been shown to have any benefiit when used alone.....i am in my last cycle and about to finish the year long treatment.

Tuesday had Brain MRI, and CTs of neck, chest, ab, and pelvis...

I am thrilled to say they were all CLEAR.....and onc's words were "scans are perfect, you are cancer free".

Will stay on 6 month scan schedule and hope things stay this way....I am now 1 year and 3 months out from last recurrence.....(3.5 years from initial stage 1 diagnosis)  this is a good milestone since first two recurrences each happened about a year apart.

We all know this disease is tricky and can come back any time in any way...

For now though, I am going to enjoy the good news, and try and be a little less worried, at least until the next round of scans.

I wish posting good news didnt make me so sad for so many others here....

Best to everyone....



Login or register to post replies.

RaquelP's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 2/24/2017 - 1:35pm
Replies by: casagrayson, jenny22

Has anyone heard from Kerri? Hoping Jake is doing well!

Login or register to post replies.

Aaron's picture
Replies 11
Last reply 2/24/2017 - 10:47pm

Ok.  So before I go a little further I will give you a shortened version of the whole story, like I always do, for those who are unfamiliar or have forgotten.  

NIVO/IPI combo

1st scan everything reduced by 1/2  Roller coaster high

Pituitary enlargement and vitiligo develops and  put on Prednisone complete only 3 of 4 Ipi and continue on Nivo  Roller Coaster high because I'm thinking I am responding but also low because I want the 4th dose and questioning what my life will look like now on all these new meds to replace pituitary function.

2nd scan no growth no shrinkage; stable  Roller coaster low; questioning if my good responses were over.

Tuesday I had my third scan.  I originally had 20+ tumors and now only have two measurable tumors left and they are shrinking!  Thank God for modern medicine and for being with me and my family through this.  I know it isn't over and that NED is not "cure" but I can't help but feel I am going to beat this.  ROLLER COASTER HIGH!


Wishing the best and for all as always.


Login or register to post replies.

Anonymous's picture
Replies 12
Last reply 2/24/2017 - 2:55pm
Replies by: Janner, Anonymous, UBContributor, J.bun, jennunicorn, Gene_S, Hukill

Is it really caused by Sun exposure? I don't think so. There are many many people enjoying each day in their life soaking up the sun, tanning, not applying sunscreen and never get melanoma, while others never do these stuff and it happens to them in a young age. I just don't know what really causes this disease! It's unfair.I hate it.
Sorry but I'm very disappointed and just want to say it.

Login or register to post replies.

BarbaraF's picture
Replies 1
Last reply 2/22/2017 - 10:21pm
Replies by: jennunicorn

Patient is Stage III C with melanomas on the face, two recurrencies, first involved a skin graft from thigh. Second was within a month and near original site.

We are in the process of choosing therapy - clinical trial or oncologist. Meanwhile two suspicious bumps have appeared --  one that does not break the skin near the original area and another on the leg. Patient wants to wait until the next regular appointment - 2 or 3 weeks from now. I think he ought to go PRONTO. Opinion? Monthly? 


Login or register to post replies.

Dreaf01's picture
Replies 5
Last reply 2/23/2017 - 5:55pm

I pray for everyone on here everyday. I need some opinions please. I had my wle and 2 nodes removed from my groin on 12/29. The nodes were negative (thank God).Right after surgery a golf ball hard lump developed right next to the groin incision and gradually started decreasing. I had an allergic reaction to something (unknown) last weekend, as a result I was put on Prednisone. The prednisone for the most part made the lump dissolve or decrease quite a bit. Im not sure if the lump was a seroma or some kind of post op issue, but my surgeon saw it at my post op apt and didnt seem concerned. Now all I feel is a small hard lump that tends to decrease a little when massaged. It is not painful. Im just concerned because Im not sure if its that same post op lump or a lymph node as it has been almost 2 months since surgery. Has anyone had anything similar? I have an appointment with the surgeon next week, but a little nervous. Thanks!

Login or register to post replies.

Carybaum's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 2/23/2017 - 4:45pm

Hello, fellow warriors. I am an American living in Hong Kong. I was diagnosed Stage IV in June, 2016 and have been on Nivo since July, 2016. It looks like we'll be required to move back to the US due to my job loss here. Is there anyone participating in the ACA Individual Marketplace insurance out there that is being treated with immunotherapy? What difficulties in coverage have you experienced? So far it's a bit of a nightmare trying to match network providers with plans on the Marketplace website. Telephone calls with Marketplace representatives have proven fruitless. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Keep fighting!





Login or register to post replies.

ryanbkyle's picture
Replies 17
Last reply 2/26/2017 - 8:30am

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!

Login or register to post replies.

mdoh's picture
Replies 5
Last reply 2/24/2017 - 2:33pm

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!



Login or register to post replies.

rabbits68's picture
Replies 11
Last reply 2/25/2017 - 10:27am

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


Login or register to post replies.