Newly diagnosed, multiple early primaries.

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Newly diagnosed, multiple early primaries.

Postby modelt1978 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:29 pm

Hello! Looking for some advice and glad to have found this forum. Here is my story. I used tanning beds in my younger days and always went for skin checks because of that. I stopped going to tanning beds, 9 years ago when I got pregnant with my oldest. I went for my annual skin check back at the end of November. I switched Dr's as my old Derm was skipping over moles that I was concerned about. My new Derm, took off those moles. One of them came back as a Stage 1a, Superficial Spreading melanoma, 0.4mm, less than 1/mm mitosis, no ulceration, no lymph node involvement, etc. Had a wide local excision done on that one and that came back with clear margins.

She took off a few more after getting those stitches out and one of those came back as melanoma in-situ. Had another WLE done and again, received clear margins. Both of those in December. Beginning of Jan, when taking out stitches, she biopsied a few more. Again...another melanoma in-situ. WLE done and received clear margins. So far (and I hope that's it), I have had 3 separate primaries in 2 months. Last biopsy of 3 more moles, 2 weeks ago did come back as mild atypia. I had 2 more moles removed today and should hear results at the end of the week or beginning of next. If those come back ok, I can go to every 3 months for my skin checks. No family history of melanoma either.

I am having such a hard time dealing with this. I am only 39 with 4 little ones. My Dr. said I was a surgical cure but I am wondering how long does it take to feel ok again? I am afraid of recurrence, etc. I will always be on guard from now on, I just want to be able to relax a little and not worry all the time. I am so grateful that these were caught early! I have my good days where I realize that but some days, I get so scared and set myself back and just cry. I am so afraid of the sun now. That is going to be hard with little ones who are going to want to go to the zoo, etc. Sorry for rambling on, it helps to talk though with ones who understand.
Last edited by modelt1978 on Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Newly diagnosed, multiple early primaries.

Postby point30 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:36 am

So here is the good news. #1 you stopped tanning beds. #2 your melanoma was very early onset. #3 you are now made aware to be extra vigilant in scanning your body by professionals on a more regular basis.

In terms of your anxiety, I think every single person on here can relate. The more you learn, the more you recognize and stay on top of checkups, and over time the anxiety does get better. And coming on here and talking and venting will help because we've all gone through a similar experience in one way or another.

My only suggestion is keep track of all of your pathologies (and their locations) and continue being extra cautious. I don't think every 3 months is unreasonable request to have a professional scan your body. Let us know how it goes and your pathologies!
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Re: Newly diagnosed, multiple early primaries.

Postby modelt1978 » Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:35 am

Thanks point30 for your reply! I really appreciate it! Yes, I do have copies of all of my pathologies. It was very scary and overwhelming to read. I have educated myself since and asked lots of questions. My Dr. has been reassuring so far. That only lasts so long though, especially when you have anxiety. Still am waiting results of my most recent biopsies. Should hear something tomorrow or Monday. Lots of nerves until then. I will post when I hear something.
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Re: Newly diagnosed, multiple early primaries.

Postby JennyMK0908 » Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:53 pm

Hello Modelt1978!

I had a similar diagnosis as yours just 6 months ago. A .43mm Stage 1A, non-ulcerated, 0 mitoses lesion removed with WLE with clear margins. I just came back from the derm today for my second 3 month check up. Thankfully, all was clear. She tells me that I don't have many moles, so I will be easy to keep track of. However, when I look at myself, I see hundreds of moles...I know this is an exaggeration, but after such a terrifying diagnosis I see each and every tiny little dot as potential melanoma. Like I said, it's been 6 months, but the unbearable fear is still very new. I am 49 years old with 2 adult sons and a husband who have all been incredible supports for me. My dermatologist and my primary doctor are both very reassuring. They tell me that hopefully within a year, I will be able to start having calmer thoughts. I do have days when I am in a very good place, but then there are days when I look in the mirror and still can't believe that this diagnosis happened and I break down and cry! It's cathartic to let those emotions out. I've decided to take it 3 months at a time, one dermatologist appointment at a time. Today, I am okay. I know vigilance to my skin and my body is key. I hate to let this diagnosis rule the rest of my life, and hopefully, someday I can say it was all just something I can chalk up to life experience.

One day at a time...

All my best...Jennifer
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Re: Newly diagnosed, multiple early primaries.

Postby Catherine Poole » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:54 am

I would just remind folks that atypia or dyplastic nevi are not to be confused to actual melanoma. Some dermatologists and PCPs take a lot off wholesale without just watching them. You are not destined to melanoma because you have a lot of moles or atypical ones (dyplastic) So make sure your doc isn't doing too many biopsies where they aren't warranted. Photography is the best way to follow moles to look for a change.
Catherine M. Poole, President/Founder
Melanoma International Foundation
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Re: Newly diagnosed, multiple early primaries.

Postby modelt1978 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:14 pm

Hi Catherine! Thank you! I received the results of my biopsies today. One came back as moderately dysplastic and the other, came back as an Atypical Intraepidermal Melanocytic Proliferation. I had the nurse read what the pathology said, I will get a copy when I go in next. I had one of those on the palm of my hand and another Dr in the practice, did the excision on it. My Dr. said that she will just re-shave deeper, this most recent one.

Hi Jennifer! Thank you for reaching out! Wow, our diagnoses sound very similar. I also don't have many moles and should be easy to track for any changes or new moles. I was told though as we get older, we should not be seeing new growth. Has your Dr. said that at all? I too have good days but some days, it's like day 1 all over again. I hope that we have more good days as we go on. I'm also trying not to google as much. I read comments on a melanoma page on Facebook a couple of weeks ago...Oh my word, I was in tears in what I was reading from others. I had to stop. It took me a few days to settle down. Just trying to take things one day at a time too. Feel free to vent anytime! I appreciate you reaching out!
Last edited by modelt1978 on Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Newly diagnosed, multiple early primaries.

Postby JennyMK0908 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:54 pm

Hello again!

I have also been told by my derm that I should not be seeing new spots. As a 49 year old woman, I have freckles and age spots, also, that I have to keep track of. I feel better knowing that I found my melanoma myself, but terrified that, if there is a next one, that it will sneak past me. Last week, I had my second 3 month check up which came back clear. My derm again attempted to reassure me that I was low risk & easy to keep track of. I sure hope she's right!

Each day gets better, but it seems like when I get in a good place, something pops up. Luckily, my doctors all humor me when I go in with a new "problem". Thankfully, everything has been "normal" so far, and I pray everyday that it continues that way. Vigilance is key...

Feel free to vent to me anytime. I find the "company" reassuring...unfortunate for us. :(
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Re: Newly diagnosed, multiple early primaries.

Postby Gordknight » Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:54 am

It gets easier with time. Trust that. I would look into your pathologies and see if they tested for BRAF. If not there is a test you can do. If your melanomas are Braf positive it means you are genetically predisposed to developing melanoma more than someone else. Of course it is more likely that it was the tanning beds that did it.

Just be vigilant, but not obsessive. Anything new pops up or a mole changes cut it off.. no questions asked. Youll be fine. Im 4 years out from my 1a diagnoses and have had countless moles removed even when my amazing Derm said they were fine. Did it for peace of mind and of course he was right every time.

Again check your skin yourself once a month and take pictures to compare in the same lighting if you are really that worried. Dedicate ONE day a month to checking then forget about it.
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Re: Newly diagnosed, multiple early primaries.

Postby modelt1978 » Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:43 am

Hello Gordknight! Thanks so much for your response. I did ask about the genetic testing and it would be $225 per melanoma. I think I will have it done, just in case. Glad to hear that you are 4 years out! I just reached the 3 month mark after my diagnosis. It has been bumpy but doing ok for now.
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