Recently Diagnosed and Traumatized

Did you just receive a melanoma diagnosis? This is the perfect moderated forum to obtain information about pathology as well as get your most important questions answered.
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vocalvee
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Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:19 pm
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Recently Diagnosed and Traumatized

Post by vocalvee » Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:31 pm

Hello all,

I am 29 years old, newly married and newly diagnosed.

I am olive toned, Mediterranean and I come from a pretty moly family. Out of my siblings though, I always have had the most moles and I did sunburn easier than the rest of my family. Melanoma does not run in my family at all, in fact, I don't even know anyone with Melanoma. These last couple of years I have seen the number of moles on my arms nearly double, but I was always told it's normal to develop new moles up until the age of 40 years old.

The last few months, I noticed an angry looking mole right under my right rib cage. It was practically screaming at me. It was so different from the rest of my moles. Aside from the fact that I could have sworn it was never there before, it was really black (almost blue black), it looked irritated and it was the only mole on my body that was raised. The rest of my moles are flat, and brown or dark brown. I went in and saw my dermatologist for the first time regarding my moles, and she immediately said that mole needed to be taken out. I still didn't think it would be melanoma..I thought maybe severely dysplastic at most.

The day before thanksgiving I got a call from my derm...low and behold...it was melanoma. It was stage 1a, .43mm, no ulceration, Clark level III. I nearly passed out. I had my WLE last week, and got the call that my margins came out clear (Thank the Lord). I know that I am one of the lucky ones that it was caught early but I will definitely say I am so shaken up. My anxiety has been really bad, and on top of it, I have lost 2 family members and I am fearful for my aunt who has been battling stage 4 colon cancer who's not feeling well at the moment. The last thing I needed was this dx.

I know that I have to see a derm every 3 months for the next year or two, before I can be downgraded to every 6 months a year, so I decided to change my derm from a private practice to a highly rated derm from a top cancer hospital here in my city. My first derm's practice was focused on cosmetic procedures and my mole surgeon who did my WLE, admitted she's had melanoma when she was younger and was reassuring that I would be okay, however she hesitated when I asked her if she's seen melanomas in people my age before. She said "uhhh....I don't just do WLE's, I do surgeries in general, so I don't really see many melanomas." Even though she did a fantastic job on my WLE, that was a sign for me to become monitored elsewhere.

I made an appointment to meet with my second derm the first week of the new year and to remove a couple more moles that I am now paranoid about.

I have a few questions - is it worth seeking a second opinion on my pathology with this derm? What are the chances that my path will be different?

Also, a big reason for my anxiety is that I want to become a mother this next year or so. My surgeon said there's no reason why I should wait, but did caution that my moles *will* change during pregnancy and that I should see my derm every couple of months during pregnancy.

I have been reading horror stories online, and joined FB groups, but those people freak me out with their stories and they're not really positive...this is where I turn to this site.

Has anyone gotten dx when they were younger and then become pregnant with a couple of kids and turned out okay? I've had so many emotional break downs over this. I know, I am lucky but my soul has been crushed.

point30
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Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:37 pm
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Re: Recently Diagnosed and Traumatized

Post by point30 » Tue Dec 11, 2018 2:27 pm

Vocalvee,

First I am so sorry for your diagnosis. I've been there. And I can tell you the first months are definitely the hardest. Even for me, 2 years later, I think about it [3 more years to go before I am finished my semi annual oncology visits].

Second opinions are always good if you are concerned. What I found, for me, is learning all about the pathology report which sounds like you have in most part [with the exception of mitotic rate].

Try and avoid google. I know it's hard. Instead i'd suggest asking your doctor directly and if you need additional support come to this forum and ask people like Catherine questions or just vent. It's much better than reading stories especially out of context.

I will tell you, from reading your report you are in really good prognosis because it was caught very quickly!

Catherine Poole
Posts: 11145
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:09 am

Re: Recently Diagnosed and Traumatized

Post by Catherine Poole » Thu Dec 13, 2018 8:27 am

Great advice. Yes, your life has been threatened by a mole! Silly as it sounds, it is terrifying. I know how it can be. I took to yoga, and other forms of meditation to help. I also saw a therapist. The scare passes after time and especially if you learn to live in the moment. Feel free to vent here and look for support. We have a helpline too. Take good care.
Catherine M. Poole, President/Founder
Melanoma International Foundation

Catherine Poole
Posts: 11145
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:09 am

Re: Recently Diagnosed and Traumatized

Post by Catherine Poole » Thu Dec 13, 2018 8:28 am

Great advice. Yes, your life has been threatened by a mole! Silly as it sounds, it is terrifying. I know how it can be. I took to yoga, and other forms of meditation to help. I also saw a therapist. The scare passes after time and especially if you learn to live in the moment. Feel free to vent here and look for support. We have a helpline too. Take good care.
Catherine M. Poole, President/Founder
Melanoma International Foundation

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