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.

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I was diagnosed on 7-12-12

Had WLE and SNB on 8-1-12 at Emory, just got path report today which is SO confusing.

Clinical stage is IIA, T3, N0

However due to the 2nd node shows scattered subcapsular immunopositive cells and immunistains for S100 are negative there was a comment attached that stated "Multiple recuts and melan-A immunostains do not resolve the issue of whether the immunopositve cells in part B represent metastic melanoma or nevus, metastatic tumor cannot be excluded.

2 pathologists came to the same assessment

This additional information made my surgeon restage my cancer to stage III and has scheduled PET and complete lymph node removal of the groin (20 nodes) on August 29.

Only 2 nodes were removed at SNB.

Margins of WLE are clear and although we thought we had GOOD news with the stage IIA, after she changed it to III we became extremely distraught.

Any info you can give would be appreciated!

God still performs Miracles,


Never give up- God is my healer

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Eileen L's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 8/14/2012 - 3:27pm
Replies by: natasha, Anonymous, Eileen L

Just got my scan results from this past Friday, after being on the BRAF/MEK Roche trial (Zelboraf and a MEK inhibitor) for 12 weeks. The good news: The adrenal gland tumor shrank a bit more and the nodule in the lingular area of my lung is stable, both are basically non-reactive. The bad news, there is a new small lung nodule in my right upper lobe, just 8 mm.  Although non-reactive on the PET, apparantly mets this small frequently don't light up on the PET. Awaiting call form my doctor to discuss. I know that there are frequently non-specific lung nodules that turn out not to be mets, but I am bummed out!!!!!! Will post again when I know more.

Eileen L

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Anonymous's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 8/14/2012 - 1:56pm
Replies by: Anonymous, washoegal

Is it something precancerous?  Does it need further re-excision?

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Krha13's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 8/14/2012 - 11:48am

Hello, we have been lucky and my wife is coming up to 2 years on the Braf3 study having been randomised to Verumafinib. It seems very difficult to get information on complete responders. My wife was desperatly ill with lymphangitis in both lungs , a large left pleural effusion and left pleural mass- only walking a few steps with  Oxygen. Within 16 hours she was walking without Oxygen and has done well (adverse effects allowing). Scans improved quickly and clear at about 3 months. One small pulmonary slow growing melonama recurrence resected 5 months ago

Is my wife one of the longest survivors on Verumafinib?

What happens if the drug is stopped?

Cannot find any report of severe pain only on light or unexpected touch- is this a problem in others?



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sc0tty2's picture
Replies 5
Last reply 8/14/2012 - 8:46am
Replies by: Anonymous, natasha, MichaelFL, sc0tty2, Janner

Was diagnosed last week after biopsy showed .3 mm depth.  WLE tomorrow.  I was told to get an xray of chest and eyes.  Is this fairly common?  From what I've read, it doesn't seem like .3mm would warrant the xrays.  Thanks.



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Aneal12's picture
Replies 1
Last reply 8/14/2012 - 8:30am
Replies by: natasha

About a month ago I had a moly removed and it came back Abnormal.  I went in last week to get a larger piece removed and when I sent back to get my stitches out they said it still came back abnormal and to just watch it.  Has anyone had this happen?  What happened?  I have a TON of moles and I am going to get a full body check, but I am concerned!

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PlantLady's picture
Replies 11
Last reply 8/13/2012 - 10:13pm

My husband, Ron, has been struggling with weight loss, but more frighteningly, muscle loss.  I've posted about this on the board before, when he was having such a bad time with diarrhea from the 2 Yervoy treatments (Yervoy treatment halted).

I've researched (Googled, more accurately) and found that the particular steroid he was prescribed, Dexamethasone (a flourinated steroid) is well-known for causing muscle wasting.  That, while all steroids can cause muscle loss, this drug is the worst of the lot.  Switching from a flourinated form to a non-flourinated steroid (such as Prednisone) could help slow this muscle wasting .   Gee, I wish I'd known that when he was first prescribed a month ago!  We asked if he could be switched, but now that Ron is slowly (frustratingly slow) tapering off, the doctor doesn't want to switch to a different steroid. 

Yervoy can cause weight loss.  Cancer can cause muscle wasting and weight loss.  We really didn't need anything else to contribute to the muscle wasting aspect!

I have started giving Ron more protein.  I make sure every meal contains good quality protein.  We're eating lots of fish (wild caught, good oils) and some pastured poultry/meat.  I'm making him protein shakes twice a day, with MCT oil, BCAA powder, Fish Oil, probiotics added.  We try for around 100 g of protein per day.  This is on top of lots of berries, vegetables, some whole grains, wheat grass juice, and supplements.  It is hard to give him enough calories on a healthy diet, but, believe me, I'm packing them in there!  According to the Life Over Cancer book, by Dr. Block, he should be consuming around 2600 calories to help counteract the weight loss.

I had a hunch that Psyllium might help his diarrhea.  He has 2 servings a day, mixed with water.  This bulked up the stool, which had been watery.  Now the stool is normal.

He has stopped dropping weight!  He has put on a few pounds.

He's still on the Dexamethasone, much to my irritation.

Although he still has a weak voice,  and a bad limp because of Drop Foot/neuropathy, we are hopeful that he can at some point resume the Yervoy therapy.


If you're going through hell, keep going. ~ Winston Churchill

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Snickers60's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 8/13/2012 - 8:09pm

Precious hubby Wayne and I are packing for MDA- Houston - leaving Wednesday.    This is our 6th trip since learning of Wayne's

mets in March - 2012 !   He began ZEL on April 23rd at full dosage (8 pills a day) and at 7 week PET SCAN he was CLEAN and we renamed

him "NED" - dontcha just love that NAME !     

He will do his second PET next week, so we have a little scanxiety going on !   We feel we will get a GOOD REPORT, but with MELLY,

you just never know.   Would appreciate all prayers you might lift up for us. 

He had mets to lungs, liver, sternum, spine, leg/bone.    We found it ACCIDENTALLY (we know it to be Divine)

 while scaning his heart for Plaque during a regular yearly physical.    

His history:    

Colon Cancer with early spread - 1990 - age 40 - year chemo and max radiation

Earlobe Melly in 1999 - 50 years old - cut it off, did Senteniel node biopsy - no treatment - lots of follow up

Melly Mets - March 2012 (13 1/2 years later) to lungs, liver, sternum, spine, leg bone.   

June 14, 2012 - Renamed -   "NED" 



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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lrkg1234's picture
Replies 6
Last reply 8/13/2012 - 4:16pm
Replies by: Janner, lrkg1234, Gene_S, teach

I am writing on behalf of my husband, Scott, 54 years old.  Diagnosed with melanoma today. 

It's a tumor in the esophagus, about 6 cm.  We are waiting on the CT scans, just got the pathology report and a GI Scope.

  We have no idea where to seek treatment.  We live in Indianapolis, but are willing to travel about anywhere. 

We are not sure whether we should focus on a good thoracic surgeon or the rareness of the cancer aspect being so rare.  There is not much information out there. 

So happy to find potential help.


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There is also more info on drugs and trials below the tester.   Gene

Live 4 today. Thank God for all he has done for us. Looking forward to enjoying tomorrow.

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TracyLee's picture
Replies 22
Last reply 8/13/2012 - 3:28am

Hi Y'all, 

Saw Dr. Sharfman today. He does not feel I'm responding to Ipi, but will finish the 4th dose this Thursday.

I AM Braf +, since I have fluid in the lungs, that's the next step for me. 

It is so nice to not feel like death is NOT imminent and that their is hope. Dr. Sharfman is just the best, very straightforward but never gloom and doom.  Always kind and hopeful. 

Even had some necessary discussions with my husband during the drive, but not at all sad or creepy. Made me relax knowing that he is at least thinking about things that keep me awake. We had a nice day together, got some good news, and have a plan to move forward.

Praying that all on the board have a "good news" weekend, we will beat the beast. 

Special thanks to the posse for holding me up when I was so down earlier this week!

Hugs from Delaware!


Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you. Hebrews 13:5 Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares. 1 Peter 5:7 Stage IV 5/16/11 Ipi - 4 rounds May - July 2011 BRAF expanded access trial 8/8/11

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Well, the initial shock of my 5 yr. NED status being possibly taken away from me has finally eased up. So now it's research, research, research time!!!  I'm hearing promising stories of Yervoy and Zelboraf. Someone also suggested I look into Dr. Burzynski. Has anyone had any dealings or experience with his research?  Right now I'm still in the waiting game mode for the next set of scans to see what the lung met does in the next 3 months, with the size only being 5mm they are saying that it will not light up on PET and the CT will tell more in November. I was really questioning my Dr.'s opinion on this until I found out from alot of you all saying that it was the "protocol" with the smallness of the met. Although I do have another Oncologist appt. scheduled in 2 weeks so she may wanna speed things up.  I know my research should have never stopped 5 years ago but when I hit the 3 year NED mark, I just let the M word slip to the back of my mind and thought I was gonna be one of the very few that kicked it with the Interferon.

And of course, this could not have come at a worse time. I just found out that I am gonna be a 1st time Grandma in December and was getting ready to enroll in Nursing school. My father has been ill and He needs me as his care-giver.  So now instead of being able to completely focus on my new Granddaughter, the health of my dad and school, I get side-lined with this crap!!!!!  I know there is a chance of the met being benign but also the chance of it not. Just trying to get my "ducks all in a row" so I can be ready to make some really big decisions. Other than this crap going on I am extremely healthy and a young 45 yrs. old. I blazed through the complete Interferon process  and am ready and willing to Kick Mel's A** Again. I know I can do this but just need the research and thoughts and prayers to go into this battle armed!!!!!


Thanks for listening!!!!


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fcrawford's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 8/12/2012 - 1:20pm
Replies by: ylkay, Snickers60

My mother is coming up on her last few months by is spending her last days on this earth sorting through bills and struggling to pay every day expenses. please click on the following link and help her, every penny helps. also if you can share this link to everyone you know.

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Kellie-T's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 8/12/2012 - 10:05am
Replies by: Richard_K, Ali

Just heading home from Moffitt. Six months on Zelboraf and still NED. My hair that was thinning is coming back curly. Side effects are really stable now. Living life and loving it! Keep fighting!

Life is not by accident. Make every minute count.

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Gene_S's picture
Replies 1
Last reply 8/11/2012 - 11:01pm
Replies by: Gene_S

Here are many articles (2580) on melanoma for my fellow warriors doing research on a cure for their melanoma!

Best wishes to all who are fighting this beast....   Gene


Live 4 today. Thank God for all he has done for us. Looking forward to enjoying tomorrow.

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