September 20, 2017 at 12:11 pm #14436AnonymousInactive
Hi, I was diagnosed yesterday with melanoma. I have an appointment next Monday to increase the size of the removal of tissue around the site. I also have another site that needs to be biopsied as well. I was told by the Dermatologist that it has been caught at an early stage. I am going through the roller-coaster of emotions however – angry, sad, scared, shock and disappointment. Any words of reassurance would be appreciated.
September 20, 2017 at 6:31 pm #14438
Welcome to our forum. I know that you are scared, shocked and anxious. No one expects a diagnosis and it can really send us into shock. It is a lot to absorb, so don’t be hard on yourself if you are feeling this range of emotions – all normal. I am heartened by your dermatologists jumping on this and also reassuring you that he/she feels it is caught early. Once the biopsy is back, you will have more information to go on. The good news is that the majority of melanomas are caught early and the need for the added excision of tissue is just the standard of care depending on the depth and presentation of the lesion they cut out. They need to absolutely check for clear margins. However, 80 to 90 % are early stage and require no further treatment other than healing. Take a deep breath and try to distract yourself from too much worry about it – don’t go crazy on the internet as there are many stories and situations that may be totally unlike yours. Baby steps. Let the pros do the work they need to and then you will have a better sense of where you stand. I would be reassured by what they are saying – hang in there. Early stage is where you want to grab it. We have a melanoma booklet in the patient resources section that explains much more about melanoma – Melanoma, what your need to know. It is downloadable as well – explains about what they are doing and some questions you may want to ask your dermatologist. If you can’t find – email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Feel free to ask us questions anytime and we do have support groups and patient peer support as well if you feel you need to speak with someone.
Annette – MNC
September 20, 2017 at 9:06 pm #14439AnonymousInactive
Thank you so much Annette. I have been scaring myself with the internet. I need to stop. I have left a message for the patient peer support coordinator today. I greatly appreciate your words.
September 21, 2017 at 9:00 am #14441
Not a problem at all. We have been in your shoes so have a good sense of where you are at. Know all the bad habits too 🙂 I will make sure Cheryl follows up with you and we can connect you with others. In the meantime, hope you next surgery isn’t too bad and you heal quickly – usually they do a pretty good job and it heals really well. Where was the original primary located? Are they planning on the other biopsy at the same time?
September 21, 2017 at 9:08 am #14442AnonymousInactive
The primary site is my shoulder. The other spot that needs to be biopsied is on my eyelid. I was asking the Dermatologist if she would would remove the second spot at the same time as the “re-removal” when she became angry with me – this was the diagnosis call. I am shutting down – not sleeping well and not eating. I have an appointment today with my family doctor and arranged an appointment with the Counsellor from the family health team (also today).
September 21, 2017 at 9:48 am #14446
I am so sorry that she seemed angry when you asked about the second biopsy. I assume you are having a surgeon or plastic surgeon do the secondary surgery or is it with her? It would be more convenient for you if they could do the other biopsy at once. Eyelid – that is always an awkward spot. Did she suggest that it be biopsied or is it something you have noticed changing and would like it done? It is common to feel overwhelmed and that every spot or bump is a potential melanoma (been there :))- she should be able to assess that and let you know whether it should be biopsied or not. It sounds like they are taking the proper steps – never fast enough for us! You may want to ask for a copy of your pathology report when there – it is good for your records and perhaps start a file or save on line for future reference. The initial pathology will give you the basics. The final, after the surgery is done, will give you your staging of the disease, which will also determine if there is any further treatment required. If it is early stage, which it sounds like, the surgery is all that is needed, plus annual visits for life to a derm for follow up. Recurrences, if at all, normally will show up as a pea-like hard lump around or close to the original excision. But checking your skin for lumps or bumps around arm pits or neck (where a lot of the local lymph node basins are located) is good too. Chances are they have got it all, but checking monthly (not daily ,or hourly – don’t make yourself crazy), on the 1st of every month will help bring some peace of mind.
September 25, 2017 at 2:30 pm #14471AnonymousInactive
I was scared too. I went through the exact same feelings you are going through almost 1 year ago.
Did you get a copy of your pathology? The more I did research, the more I learned what I was dealing with and where I was in regards to prognosis. Then ask as many questions as you can directly to your oncologist about it. There are also many people here that can likely help you cope, as they did with me. I will be the first to say that it was not easy to hear.
You can read up on my posts here:
All the best to you, and here to listen.
September 25, 2017 at 11:14 pm #14485AnonymousInactive
Thank you for your message of support. Today I had the surgery to remove more tissue from the site. I have to return in 10 days to have the stitches removed and review the pathology report. I feel as if I am still in shock and disbelief. I am so glad though that I went to the dermatologist to ask her about that specific site. Still hoping that it has been caught early.
I will read your thread now.
September 26, 2017 at 10:16 am #14486
Well, I hope it went ok and that you get good results news back. The waiting is so hard sometimes. As your derm was so positive that you caught it early, I am very hopeful that is the case and you will then be monitored closely and check yourself monthly. Wishing you the best outcome!
September 26, 2017 at 11:34 am #14488AnonymousInactive
I echo Annette’s thoughts.
Look I understand the anxiety. I am still feeling anxious at points, especially the unknown. It’s awful! So if you need to come on and vent there are people that went through exactly what you are going through here to listen as well.
It sounds like it was caught early, fingers crossed you get a very good prognosis after your final pathology. Keep us updated.
October 2, 2017 at 3:51 pm #14555AnonymousInactive
Update: I had a much larger piece of tissue removed last week – six stitches and a very through examination. I return to the dermatologist this thursday for removal of the stitches and the final pathology report. However, I saw my family Doctor today and he told me that he received a letter from the dermatologist stating that my melanoma was in-situ. I guess if you are going to get melanoma this is the best type. Grateful!! I am still on the emotional roller-coaster. Thank you bluejay and Annette for your support.
October 3, 2017 at 9:00 am #14563AnonymousInactive
November 7, 2017 at 9:23 am #14874AnonymousInactive
I was wondering if anyone knew if using a therapy lamp for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) increases my risk of melanoma on my face and eyes? (especially since my diagnosis of melanoma). Thanks in advance.
November 7, 2017 at 2:21 pm #14876
You have a good question! Actually there is a difference between Ultra violet light and sunlight.
UV makes up a small portion of sunlight (generally under 10%). In selecting a light therapy device, you should consult with your doctor or eye specialist (to ensure you are protecting skin and eyes). You want to look for one that has a UV filter or says it filters UV. Generally, the light box should:
– Provide an exposure to 10,000 lux of light
– Emit as little UV light as possible and you may want to wear sunscreen just in case. It is not a tan you are seeking, and you likely wouldn’t get that from a good quality device, and it should have a UV filter on it to be healthy. Hope this helps.
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