Home Forums Newly Diagnosed Stage III/IV 2 weeks diagnosed, Scared

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  • #21577
    karenelainewhite
    Participant

    Hello,

    I was diagnosised with a melanoma on my left calf on 9/3/13. Here are my Path results:

    Breslow Depth: 2.1mm

    Mitosis: 9

    1mm focus of early ulceration at surface

    Had incision biopsy performed on 09/03/13. I have an appointment with a Melanoma specialist this afternoon. The incision is healing, but my leg is slightly swollen. Is this normal after an incision biopsy?

    I know that I will need a WLE and SNB and hope that happens quickly.

    I have read many different things, good and bad, about chances of the lymph nodes being clear with the depth of my original melanoma. I am trying to stay positive and for the most part am, but I am very scared of the future. I need to hold onto my job as my husband and I had to relocate from California to Las Vegas last year after being laid off. Nevada does not have short term disability (which I didn’t know until now), so I am stressing out about that too.

    Any input and/or advice would be welcomed :-)

    #62499
    Linny
    Participant

    Hi Karen,

    Nice to meet you, but sorry it had to be in a melanoma forum.

    There is some swelling that’s normal after a surgery like you just had. As long as the site doesn’t look pus-filled and red you should be OK. If it looks like that, call him immediately. I would call him anyway, just for peace of mind.

    Since that dreadful day when I was diagnosed, we’ve taken some wonderful trips, gone to weddings, etc. Life goes on! But I have to admit, it took a little time to get back to the same old pace. This board gets a little slow at times but that’s because we’re out there living our lives. :D

    #62500
    karenelainewhite
    Participant

    Linny,

    Thank you so much for your reply! I did contact the dermantologist (by text no less) and sent him a picture. He didn’t seem to be too worried about my leg swelling. He asked if the incision was warm to the touch, it is not and there is no “puss”, so I guess I’m good. Going to the Melanoma specialist this afternoon. Hopefully he can help me find a good surgeon to do the WLE AND SNB. I just want it done so I know what I am facing. I actually have a really good outlook and a positive attitude that I’ll be alright, but every little twinge or pain in my leg makes my mind start going and playing those tricks again :-)

    I’m happy you are out living your life….and I look forward to finishing up mine in style! I am 56 years young, only married to the love of my life for 5 years and we have so much left to do!

    Thanks again for your words, they helped alot!

    Karen

    #62501
    tbeau
    Participant

    Hi Karen:

    Being newly diagnosed with melanoma is scary! But it does get better. There are many people on this forum that are experts and offer great advice. I’m sure they will chime in as they sign on. The WLE and SNB are not that difficult. I had melanoma on my left thigh. I had to have skin graft so I was immobilized for a bit but there was only minor pain associated with the surgery. The unknown of what you are dealing with is definitely the worst part! It does get better but I have found that it is sometimes difficult for your family/friends to really understand what this disease does to you mentally. That’s where this forum comes in. Everyone here is supportive, understanding and quite knowledgeable. Please let us know how you are doing and how your appointment with the melanoma specialist went today.

    #62502
    charissa1969
    Participant

    Hi, Karen.

    So very sorry to hear of your diagnosis. I was diagnosed with melanoma on my left calf in July and had my WLE and SNB on August 12th. I agree with the others that the recovery was not bad at all. I went home that night and I was feeling good within a week though I was still walking with a cane since the skin was stretched so tight that I couldn’t put my whole foot on the floor. Unfortunately, my SNB came back positive so I had a lymph node dissection 4 weeks ago on August 26th. Thankfully, all of the 28! lymph nodes came back clear so hopefully I’m done for a while (though I am so ready for the blasted drain to be out). I think everything happens so fast once you are diagnosed that it’s easy to feel like your life is totally out of control, but the WLE/SNB is the right thing to do and often is all that’s needed. Hopefully, I filled up the 10% slot for the year and you can be in the 90% who have a clear SNB. If you’d like to pick my brain more, please feel free to email me at jcsampson@twc.com. I’ll be praying for you.

    Peace, Charissa

    #62503
    goldfidler
    Participant

    Hi Karen…

    I would like to re-iterate some of the comments sent to you. This forum offers a significant amount of knowledgeable people with similar experiences. Everyone here is very supportive and can provide a wealth of knowledge based on their experiences.

    For me, it seems like such a long time ago, that I was in your shoes. I was recently diagnosed with melanoma, scared, confused, and many other things. For me, that was less than 3 months ago. So hang in there. It seems overwhelming right now but it gets better. It really, really does. This forum was a tremendous help to me. In addition to the emotional support, these people can provide the answers you seek, even if that is just the questions you should be asking your doctor. We have all been sitting exactly where you are sitting. And we are still here, with you. Let our experience help you to make it through this a little easier.

    I was diagnosed in June 2013 after what I thought was a foot infection. My situation was a little different from you. Charissa, who also replied to you, has a similar situation and has been a great support system for me. After several MRI, CT, and PET scans, I had a transmetatarsal amputation on the right foot and an SNB on my right leg on Aug 12th. My SNB resulted in 3 positive nodes of the 5 removed. The largest was 6mm. I decided, after consulting this group for advice and support, to have the lymphadenectomy (groin dissection) on my right thigh on Sept 11th. They removed 8 lymph nodes and all were negative.

    I am not going to tell you that this will be an easy journey. However, it is easier when you have a group like this to rely on. By sharing our experiences, we hope to make yours a little better. I am still recovering. I still have some pain. I have a little swelling right now. But we are here.

    How can we help? We are here for you. Stay strong! You are not in this alone.

    Matt

    #62504
    karenelainewhite
    Participant

    Hello everyone!

    I first want to thank you for your advice, comments and support! Next I would like to apologize for not replying sooner, however….I’m learning how to meditate, relax and keep living. I have a completely different outlook now thanks to people like you and my friends, family and coworkers.

    I finally have my WLE and SNB scheduled for this coming Wednesday, October 9th and am not worried about the surgery or recovery, but will admit I’m a bit nervous about the SNB results. I am going into this with a positive attitude and feeling that everything is going to go as I’ve been praying it will. It’s amazing how a scare like this can change your entire outlook on life! I truly believe that God and my Dad in heaven were just tapping me on the shoulder telling me that I need to start taking care of myself FIRST and other’s second. Lesson received and learned!!! I’m in a good place mentally and will update once surgery is done and results are in.

    Prayers and thanks for all of you who are out there supporting myself and others…you are a Godsend :-)

    Karen

    #62505
    Annieo
    Participant

    Hi Karen,

    I’m sorry that you are going through this journey at the moment. I have been there myself, having had the WSE, SLNB and lymph node dissection. I am doing very well at the moment, almost a year on.

    It was lovely to read the responses from familiar posters like Charissa and Matt and hear how calm and well they are doing now, so soon after their surgeries. (I’m so happy for ye!) It is hard to believe at the time of diagnosis & surgery that you will ever get past the awful hurdle. Things do get easier in time. The support here has been better than any other medical support I have had.

    As I was reading your first post about your job worries, responsibilities etc. etc., you reminded me of myself at the very same stage – I felt I was losing control of everything and feared so much about work, money, plans etc. etc. I wanted to immediately respond to you, suggesting that your priorities would change alot over time and that old worries would no longer hold much significance to you … However, by reading your later/last post, you seem to have discovered these things already! Good for you.

    Life is good – the world is a beautiful place (if you stop to notice it)- family and friends are everything. Enjoy, like you’ve never done before ! Though first, you’ll have to get through the physical stuff – that’s the easiest part.

    I also believe that, in a way, I have been blessed with a message to slow down, live life (not work and stress) and look after my body. I couldn’t see how stressful and uneventful my life had become. Now I don’t do stress! I wake up every day and do what I want to do, with the people I want to be with.

    Keep up the positivity. We might as well be happy!

    Anne

    #62506
    goldfidler
    Participant

    Hi Karen…

    I am sure your head is swimming today but stay strong. Good luck with your procedure tomorrow and let us know how you are doing. Our thoughts are with you so you are not alone.

    Warmest regards and best wishes…

    Matt

    #62507
    charissa1969
    Participant

    Hi, Karen.

    Just wanted to echo Matt and let you know I will be thinking of you tomorrow.

    We’re here if you need us.

    Charissa

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