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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Snickers60's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 12/12/2012 - 5:57pm

Has anyone found anything that helps the fatigue of the ZEL ?    Vit.  B-1 (benfotiadine) has done the trick for his neuropathy shooting pains in his legs/feet at night and day, but he is still fighting pretty bad fatigue.   The B-1 saved him from taking that nasty neurotin, so that was a huge blessing.

Anyone come up with anything that helps that ???   He's still working 5 days a week and we keep our DATE DAY on Sat. to do lunch/movie or something, but it pretty much wipes him.   He's been anemic for a while.   (He's also taking a B-50 Complex).   Any suggestions or experience would be appreciated. 


Nancy (devoted wife of 3 X warrior Wayne)   <><

Matt. 15:13 "Every plant that my Heavenly Father hath not planted shall be pulled up by the roots". "With God all things are possible" ! Keep the FAITH !

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POW's picture
Replies 7
Last reply 12/12/2012 - 5:25pm
Replies by: madeclaire, POW, awillett1991, jeffjohn78, Anonymous

My brother's melanoma recently started to become resistant to Zelboraf so I am looking into clinical trials on his behalf. I have found a number of sites similar to that present a summary of the trial-- which drug(s), length of time of study, inclusion/exclusion criteria, etc.

What I can't find is the details about exactly what the treatment regimen will be. Are these oral medications or injectable? Will the patients be hospitalized or not? If hospitalized, will the protocol be 1 day or 5 days and then home for 3 weeks? Will they have to come in for blood tests or scans every week or every month or what?

Transportation, mental confusion, and the "hassle factor" will be very important to my brother when choosing a trial. Does anyone know where I can find such details?

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Anonymous's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 12/12/2012 - 4:15pm
Replies by: mcanova, PSD

This might sound like a crazy question, but I had 2 nodes removed after they did the lymphangioscintography with radionuclide injections surrounding the melanoma excision site.  In the pathology report they describe the nodes as "yellow-tan, pink-tan" lymph nodes.  Wouldn't the nodes they removed, if they removed the right ones, be blue in color (from the radionuclide)? 

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EricNJill's picture
Replies 17
Last reply 12/12/2012 - 11:03am

I just wanted to update you.  After being denied by the insurance for the Yervoy, Eric's Oncologist had us submit assistance paperwork through Bristol Myers.  Bristol Myers contacted United Health Care and got them to approve the coverage of the drug!

So don't give up, even if the insurance says they will not cover the drug Bristol Myers will work with your insurance company to get it covered.

Good Luck, JillNEric in OH

Login or register to post replies.'s picture
Replies 3
Last reply 12/12/2012 - 12:27am
Replies by: Josh, Anonymous, FeistyD

I was just diagnosed with Stage 4, mets to lung, spleen, chest wall. Can anyone advise best centers or oncologists  in Southern Californa that I should consult? I live in San Diego. Thank you..

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Caretaker's picture
Replies 15
Last reply 12/12/2012 - 12:15am

I wrote at the end of October when my beloved, three months on Zelboraf, started exhibiting Alzheimer type symptoms. Everything spiraled out of control thereafter, until he literally lost his mind and died a violent death on Nov. 17. As my sweetheart patiently waited for Zelboraf to work, it stopped what little it was doing. He had 10 new brain lesions and the melanoma was in his spinal fluid. I actually lost him weeks before his death, as he was hallucinating, needed a "sitter" while in the hospital, and couldn't talk or meaningfully communicate. Two grand mal seizures landed him another hospital stay, during which he lost all faculties, including the ability to swallow.
At this point, there was nothing left except to take him home and watch him starve and dehydrate to death for six days. He had another seizure four hours prior to death, at which point green bile constantly oozed out of his mouth. Immediately following his last breath, black liquid came out, causing the hospice nurse, a great-grandmother, to declare, "Oh my God, I've never seen anything like this."
In the end, Zelboraf gave him a decent 5-6 days, if you don't factor in fatigue. It stopped working within three months and, as others have noted, the cancer ate him up with a vengeance thereafter. The fellow who wrote that his oncologist told him Z is an end of the road drug & wouldn't let him take it should go kiss his oncologist's feet and praise that person's honesty.
I write to beg you to PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do your research. Question your oncologist; hold his/her feet to the fire. We had absolutely no idea the end would come some quickly and horribly with all options immediately gone, including the ability to say goodbye.
I miss him terribly. He won't see his 60th birthday. We won't grow old together. PLEASE don't let this happen to your loved one/s.

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triciad's picture
Replies 9
Last reply 12/11/2012 - 4:28pm

I was wondering if anyone has heard from LynnLuc.  I believe she was in an AntiPD1 trial at Moffitt and had great success.  I've seen several posts with questions about his new treatment.  I know it't the holidays, but perhaps she will weigh in.  Sending prayers Lynn that you are having continued success.

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Anonymous's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 12/11/2012 - 2:24pm
Replies by: Richard_K, Tina D

I travel a great distance by car to see my onc & to get treatment.

I have been very lucky to get maximum per $300 annuallly reimbursement for mileage from the American Cancer Society. Unfortunately, the $300.only covers approximately 6 months & then I max out at $300.

The Amercian Cancer Society only allow $300. per person per year.

Does anyone know of any other agency that covers car mileage for Cancer patients.



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KMT2003's picture
Replies 6
Last reply 12/11/2012 - 1:02pm

I haven't posted in awhile but I hope everyone is having a good holiday season! I have been taking "Z" now since Oct. 18 and in the beginning the side effects were very minimal. However, now I think the side effects are showing up more...rash, red bumps on skin with a few new freckles/moles that I am watching, very sore feet (soles), sore joints and knuckles on fingers are swollen (can't take rings off), tired more and low grade fever/chills at night only (99-100). On a few of the red bumps on my legs I can feel a small pea size bump just under the skin. Are all these side effects normal and how long do they normally last? I was hoping they would fade away after awhile. I really don't want to have to cut my rings off so I am waiting to see if it goes down. Any ideas, suggestions or input on your experience with Z will be helpful. Thanks!

Stage lV
Fight the beast with all we got!

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Sherron's picture
Replies 1
Last reply 12/11/2012 - 12:28pm
Replies by: Sherron

My name is e-mail in    If you need to talk I am here.......


Take Care,

Sherron, wife to Jim FOREVER

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A couple articles that give hope for a cure.  The first article doesn't specifically mention mel but seems to have some real promise. 

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Snickers60's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 12/10/2012 - 5:55pm
Replies by: triciad, Anonymous

Benfotiamine is a water soluble form of Thiamine = B-1.    It is essential in healing NERVES.   As most of you know Wayne has had unbearable neuropathy in his legs and feet with crying shooting pains at night espeically.    I actually bought this for myself for ENERGY.    Then we really read up on it and saw how much it has helped people with diabetic and chemo neuropahty.  

Wayne started taking it immediately.  He had just gotten his Neurotin script filled he got at MDA last week, but decided to give Benfotiamine a go first.     In 2 DAYS he had little,  if any SHOOTING PAINS and slept thorugh the night wth no waking in that  awful pain.   It has also changed my life in 3 days with ENERGY  - something I had NONE OF.   My pain and his is so much better.     This is in only 3 days !    

DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH ABOUT IT, and talk to your DOC, but by all means, and by all ways, take a look at this supplement they are using for a long list of very hard to treat ailments, but espeically Neuropahty, FATIGUE, Pain....and many other things.. 

We have been amazed, and have ordered 2 more bottles.   I'm sooooo excited that  it looks like Wayne will NOT have to be taking NEUROTIN - a very nasty drug with so many side effects.     GIRLS, it has also CURBED my cravings and is working on my balancing my blood sugar.  

It must be BENFOTIAMINE because the regular B-1 is not water soluble and we cannot get enough in our system.  

I HEARD ABOUT IT ON Dr. OZ  :-)  - and as a FLUKE and DESPERATE for HELP, bought some immediately.   We have been amazed.  Maybe this will help someone else too.   We are early on in this trial, but so far = FANTASTIC RESULTS !       

Nancy (devoted wife of 3 X Warrior Wayne)     BLESSING AND HEALTH TO ALL !

Matt. 15:13 "Every plant that my Heavenly Father hath not planted shall be pulled up by the roots". "With God all things are possible" ! Keep the FAITH !

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thrashter's picture
Replies 7
Last reply 12/10/2012 - 1:35pm

Went to oncologist tonight with all intentions of starting Biochemo therapy. First they tell me because last surgery and melanoma now in soft tissue under arm I am now moved to high risk stage 4. Still some activity they want to watch from pet scan on Monday. They will send scans to surgeon for his opinion. We set next scan for six weeks and see if activity becomes more. No biochemo. We leave with mixed feelings. 20 minutes later in car on way home surgeon calls it is cancer to close to nerves and pectoral muscle. I say to him okay where to next. He says go get chemo now don't wait. What arise. Back to oncologist tomorrow to schedule biochemo. What a night

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Nell's picture
Replies 13
Last reply 12/10/2012 - 12:55pm

Anybody have information on how often stage IIIC travels to the organs?  I have just had a resection of the right axilla..all lymph nodes and surrounding tissue removed...Path report was 4 infected nodes..2 we knew about before we went in as they lit up on the PET/CT  scan...the other 2 were surprises as there was no sign of them on the scan.  Surrounding tissue was clear.  Just trying to get a handle on this..There is not much offered for stage III.  Hard to know what to do.

One voice can make a song; one life can change the world.

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Stage III, Unknown Primary; 1 positive node in left axilla

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