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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bikerwife's picture
Replies 0

It's been awhile since I posted and I read the post daily. I was heart broken when I read kevins post. He is a inspiration to us all as well as so many others on this board. I came here so many months ago looking for help and I found a family that cried the same tears I cried felt the same emotions and gave such encouraging words.

Tonight as my thoughts are with each of you know that I cherish the bond we have and pray for you daily.

Lynn starts 4th month of z tomo. He's doing well still hasn't gained his weight back and has some joint pain hair loss and awful skin issues. We are going to dr wed. For checkup not sure when we scan again.


What God leads u to he will. Lead you through

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Marilynn Eiken's picture
Replies 6
Last reply 9/24/2012 - 9:27pm

My husband is on his second 2 week dosing of Leukine.  The first round went well til about day 5.  Everything I read warned that injection site reactions were very common.  Which is what happened.  On day 5 his belly started swelling, welting, etc.  He suffered threw it til the end of the 2 weeks but when we started the injections this time the reaction was immediate.  The welts are the size of my hand, including my fingers, and mind you I am not a dainty handed girl.  Is this what most have experienced with Leukine?  I am a nurse and keep reminding him that his side effects could be so much worse compared to many treatments but after 14 days of injections Im not sure if he will have an unwelted area left on him.  We are using hydrocortisone, ice, heat, ibuprofen, caladryl.  Any other tips/tricks anyone could suggest? 


Thanks a bunch!



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Anonymous's picture
Replies 6
Last reply 9/24/2012 - 7:50pm
Replies by: Maereard, mlbjab, Janner, Anonymous

Hi All Again,

I'm sorry but I have another question and any response may help me sleep.  I just recently had a spot on my back removed.  It was a freckle that appeared out of no where and started to get bigger and reddish.  It came back as melanoma.   It was only .25mm breslow depth so they did wide incision surgery only and did not check my lymph nodes because the oncologist said it was not needed.  Of course now I am seeing spots everywhere.  I have not even got the stitches out from the wide incision and I have discovered a freckle on the same shoulder that is mysteriously raised.  I am not a moley person but I do have a lot of freckles and to my knowledge this is the only one that is raised.  The oncologist did look at this spot for a breif moment when I went in last week but he said that I only have the one primary spot and that was probably it.  I have like a 2% chance that it will ever come back and I should be happy.  But I still terrified.  Can it appear as a raised freckle because if you google raised freckle you get melanoma?! Has anyone had more than one primary?  and this may be a stupid question but can one be deeper than the other?  This mysterious raised freckle has me very concerned.  I understand I should be happy about .25mm breslow but from what I have read there was a 4% chance that I would ever get melanoma in the first place so the 2% chance of it coming back seems pretty likely to me:(


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Rinn2012's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 9/24/2012 - 10:42am
Replies by: mel123, Linny, Rinn2012, Anonymous


I just found out recently I was diagnosed with stage 1 melanoma.

They said they will probably do a wide margin biopsy, and possible lymph node biopsy.

Can anyone tell me the details on the lymph node biopsy?

I am a little nervous and scared about this whole diagnosis ect.  It was a huge shock.

I see the surgeon on Monday to discuss the treatment ect.  But was curious about the lymph node in case I have to do that.

thanks in advance

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NYKaren's picture
Replies 16
Last reply 9/23/2012 - 10:40pm
Replies by: MeNDave, NYKaren, shellebrownies, LynnLuc, sjl, sharmon, Anonymous

Hi everyone.

I recently completed 6 weeks of Temodar and am going for PET scan tomorrow.  From the looks of things, I've had a partial response (so what's new?)

I realize that chemo is usually a temporary measure, and we're looking for stabilization until I can get into an anti PD-1 trial.  You never know, though.  since I've partially responded then advanced on Ipi, IL-2 and radiation, who knows what might happen on chemo.

Dr. Wolchok has said that we'd talk about adding other chemo drug(s) or switching regimins, so i'd l'm looking for any positive experience with Temodar and other chemo drug combos or other combos that have worked, even temporarily for people.



Don't Stop Believing

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Tim--MRF's picture
Replies 6
Last reply 9/23/2012 - 8:41pm


Two pieces of breaking information today that you may hear about.  Neither are about new treatments, unfortunatelty, but both are very exciting for their potential to make a difference.


First, Congressman Bilbray, and Congresswomen Maloney and DeLaura are submitting legislation today that, if passed, will provide extended patent protection for investigational drugs that are tested in combination.  This will provide a major financial incentive for industry to do the kinds of studies they now find difficult but which offer the best hope for melanoma patients.  

This legislation came out of meetings MRF had with Congressman Bilbray, whose daughter has Stage III melanoma.  We proposed the idea to the Congressman and provided a background document showing how similar action in pediatrics and some infectious diseases has resulted in tremendous progress in drug development.

Most doctors agree that real advances in effective treatments will only come through combining two or more drugs together.  If these drugs are already approved, doing studies like this are relatively easy.  If they are not yet approved--still in clinical trials--they are very difficult.  Companies worry that any side effects that arise from a combination study will "taint" the data of their drug and hurt its chances of approval.  And they are reluctant to collaborate with other companies on these studies.  This legislation will add a "carrot" to the mix and will help accelerate these important studies.


Second, the new lead of MD Anderson decided to embrace a select group of cancers around which they will build major comprehensive programs.  The idea is to find ways MDA can have a major impact on these cancers, from prevention to cures.  They call the concept a “moon-shot”, hearkening back to the day that President Kennedy made a commitment that the USA would put a man on the moon.  

Everyone at MDA has worked to put forward a proposal that their particular cancer will be part of this initiative.  Those cancers chosen will receive significant new funding for research and outreach.  In that process, MRF has worked closely with key melanoma people at MDA to discuss both what a melanoma program could look like and how we can collaborate to make such a program successful.  Today MDA announced that melanoma will be one of the cancers chosen for this major investment of resources.


Neither of these announcements are new treatments or cures, but both developments have the potential to have a major impact in the fight against melanoma.  All in all, a very good day.



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NatalieZLea's picture
Replies 6
Last reply 9/23/2012 - 3:14pm


Hello all!

I was wondering if anyone could share their experience with Zelboraf.  In particular, I would like anyone's insight/experience with foot calluses and related pain.  My mom was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma last May.  Since then, she has undergone a lung resection, biochemotherapy, and most recently three craniotomies in three months' time.  Currently, mom has six brain tumors, a lesion in her liver and also disease in a lymph node near her pancreas.  Two and a half weeks ago, mom's oncologist at MDAnderson here in Houston started her on Zelboraf.  Since then, she quickly experienced side effects--notably sun sensitivity, a terrible rash all over her body and unbearably painful yellow calluses on the bottoms of her feet.  Her oncologist decided to suspend treatment for a week because mom's rash was so terrible and foot pain intolerable, and we will re-visit everything on Monday.  I was curious whether others have had the same experience as my mom regarding the excruciating foot pain and if so, how long does it last?  What remedies were used to releive the pain?  Also, any other contributions regarding your experience with the drug would be most appreciated. 

Kindest Regards,

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this is brenda writing on behalf of kevin....

first i wana say that you all have been an ispiration to kevin, and are the reason for his positive attitude and strenght.

i took him to the E.R on friday because he wasnt doing too good.he had an mri and the results showed a significance increase in the amount of tumors and the size of the previous ones he had.he went through whole brain radiation and it seems like it wasnt effective.we talked to the doctor today and she said that he has began to bleed in his brain, and unfortunately theres nothing more we can do.

as you can imagine our hearts are broken. he has been so strong and brave through this journey, but its time for him to go HOME. i truly belive he came into this world to inspire and show people how to be  caring loving compassionate human beings.

he's not in any pain, but he is on pain medication because it helps him relax and sleep. when the medication wears off he's able to speak to people fine. hopefully he'll be able to write a personal message later on.

please, please dont be sad, or sorry. i cant express how much love he has for you all. and since hes going HOME i know he will watch over each and every one of you, think of him as your personal angel because thats what he will be. 

i wish you all strenght and healing. and when your feeling down and out and it seems like theres no hope, please ask yourself what would kevin do?

and i promise you, you will get the strenght and motivation that you need.


love, brenda.

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sjl's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 9/23/2012 - 12:50pm
Replies by: NYKaren, Gene_S, Tim--MRF, Linny

Well, here I am again with more questions.  My husband is currently stage 3c mucosal melanoma and is responding exceptionally well to carbo/taxil.  Plus he feels good.  The doctor intially said it would have no durable response but after the first treatment they think there's a chance that it might just work for him.  Some of you have pointed out to me that all too often the response is only temporary.  So, what might plan B be?  He's been told that he can't have IL2, is BRAF and CKit negative, and can't do clinical trials because of a seconday primary lung cancer.  Yervoy was the one they were going to try but because his tumors were so extremely aggressive they went with the chemo to get things under control and then move on to something else.  I just checked our insurance company's formulary and Yervoy is not covered.  There is absolutely NO WAY that we can pay for it.  The expenses are hard enough as it is already.  Anyone have any luck getting the insurance to pay somehow?  We have PPO Blue - Highmark Blue Cross Blue/Shield.  If Yerovy is not an option then what in the world is left for my husband?  Initally they were going to do interferon and radiation but that plan went out the window when the tumors popped up overnight and took off like wild fire.  The radiologist who is treating the lung cancer mentioned that he may, at some point, radiate the neck area where the tumors popped up.  Honestly, I don't know how all of you good people handle this.  It's been 5 months and I'm still a basket case.  Thankfully, my husband is a "go with the flow" type of guy and is handling this far better than I.  I'm scared out of my mind but I try my darndest not to let him know. 

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lrkg1234's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 9/22/2012 - 7:45pm
Replies by: lrkg1234, Beth, Phil S


My husband Scott was diagnosed a little over a month ago with stage 4 mucosal.  The cancer has spread to the liver, but not big time.  The source (primary) is the esophagus and it's inoperable.  

We found out that he was C-Kit positive and that there was a Dasatinib trial for C-kit patients going on 2 miles from our house at IU methodist in Indy. 

He started taking his pills Friday.  So far no side effects. Has anyone else tried this and how did it go?  How long do you think it takes to do anything?  They will do blood tests soon and then every 2 weeks. Scans will be every 6 weeks. 

He is so uncomfortable sometimes.  He is still working and carrying on as usual, but I know it's exhausting and painful at times. It's so hard to know this misery is going on and that I can't do anything to help.  He doesn't say anything about it but it's not hard to see.  I hope this stuff works!

For now he's just taking hydrocodone for pain and it works fairly well, but he's already getting used to it in just over a week.  Any suggestions??

Thanks, Lisa

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My husband is on his second 2 week dosing of Leukine.  The first round went well til about day 5.  Everything I read warned that injection site reactions were very common.  Which is what happened.  On day 5 his belly started swelling, welting, etc.  He suffered threw it til the end of the 2 weeks but when we started the injections this time the reaction was immediate.  The welts are the size of my hand, including my fingers, and mind you I am not a dainty handed girl.  Is this what most have experienced with Leukine?  I am a nurse and keep reminding him that his side effects could be so much worse compared to many treatments but after 14 days of injections Im not sure if he will have an unwelted area left on him.  We are using hydrocortisone, ice, heat, ibuprofen, caladryl.  Any other tips/tricks anyone could suggest? 


Thanks a bunch!



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POW's picture
Replies 7
Last reply 9/22/2012 - 11:49am
Replies by: POW, Rocco, deardad, lhaley, jmmm

I have read a number of comments on this forum talking about how awful it is to be on steroids and how anxious people are to finally get off them.  It's scary to see so many strong, determined people who go through chemo with nary a wimper say how difficult it is to be on steriods. What's the deal with steroids, especially dexamethazone? What do they do to people?

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LynnLuc's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 9/22/2012 - 10:57am
Replies by: Anonymous, Laurie from maine, awillett1991

My friend has been doing outstanding on the BMS Anti PD 1 trial since March 2011. Everything has completely shrunk to near nothing or vanished completely. She had one area that has had stubborn is a spot by her stomach in the fat is wrapped around the main artery so they can not do surgery. Through the course of this trial it has not shrunk or grown....until now. She had her scan results today. The melanoma has grown by 20% and a new met was found in her spleen.

She was taken off the trial and now referred for Ipi.

I have been in the trial since fall 2010 and have been NED for 2  1/2 years.

Just wanted to let you all know Anti PD 1 has its flaws....I am kind of upset about this. I hate for my friend to go thru IPI and the side effects. She had previous surgery and had  1/2 of large intestines and all of ascending is gone and 1/2 of transverse...that is 3/4 of large intestines removed. I don't know how she is going to handle the colitis or the skin rashes...ugh.-  Lynn

Advocate for your own treatment.. Stage 4 Melanoma NED Surgery,Radiation, Temodar 300Mg July 2009-March 2010, then "Phase I Study of Anti-PD-1 Human Monoclonal Antibody MDX-1106 and Vaccine Therapy"

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himynameiskevin's picture
Replies 11
Last reply 9/22/2012 - 10:21am

It's been pretty rough times, with the WBR and this steroid they've got me on. Luckily I'm tapering off, should be off completely by the end of the month I think. Hopefully I won't have too many withdrawal symptoms, I've had quite a bit of lower back/adrenal gland pain? Not sure but only occurs when I get stressed real quick. Also tons of fatigue, you know the steroid causes insomnia and basically a restless body syndrome. So that on top of the WBR. Oh just tireeddd and fatigued.. Just want my body to shift back to some what normal. By the way I have a Pet Scan within the next week and an MRI of my brain on the first. Hope. Sorry if I seem a little out of it and not quite myself, I guess I'm not right now.  :/   ;) As far as therapies, for the time being I'm on 120mg of temodar once a day. So far so so good. With hopes to keep things stable and maybe try IL-2 again since it "kinda" worked once.

I truly love you all. Thanks for being there.


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Wendi Lynn's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 9/22/2012 - 9:46am
Replies by: Linny, swissfarm7

Hi All!
I am Stage 3b, and had a PET on 8/31 that came back with a spot on the uterus that they wanted to check. Went in for ultrasound on Tuesday and results were ovarian cyst. Normally I would take that for what it is, but my mom died from ovarian cancer. My oncologist said to wait it out another 3 months and do the ultrasound again. Am I wrong in wanting to have this checked now? I called the oncologist office and said that I'd like to have a CA125 blood test and they said it wasn't a good idea. At this point I'm thinking about calling my primary doctor and getting a second opinion. I guess I'm looking for a sanity check. Am I overreacting?

I appreciate your thoughts on this. It's hard to be objective and sane when you're scared and angry.

Wishing all the warriors well!

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