Home Forums Melanoma Diagnosis: Stages I &II 3 1/2 year check-up

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  • #20693
    hillcountrygirl2
    Participant

    Hi everyone,

    It seems that I have started to post only after (or before) my check-ups. In fact, the forum didn’t even recognize my sign-in! This can only be a good thing when compared with my constant posting in 2009 after my first diagnosis. I have really calmed down and am off “living life”–just as Catherine advises!

    Since my first mel, I have had 3 basals, (and there was one before the mel) and I have already had a squamous…and then at my 2 year check, I had another melanoma which was just in-situ.

    Anyway, yesterday she took two biopsies. She is sure one is a basal, but the other is “worrisome”. She said it might actually be nothing, or it could be something..it’s speckled, like my melanoma was, and it’s close to the site of the original melanoma (on my back).

    I’ll find out in a week, but until then my mind is going to the possibility that it is another primary, early melanoma. That would mean I had 3 primary melanomas, 4 basals, and 1 squamous. Is that scary? Or ok? I mean, I don’t think I’m going to die from this because I go every six months and everything is found so early. But sometimes I just get so tired of all the appts, the biopsies and the cancers. Does anyone else have this sort of thing going on? Misery loves company!

    Cheers,

    Betsy

    #57040
    Laurie
    Participant

    hillcountrygirl2, I am pretty much in the same boat as you, except I haven’t had the basal or squamous. I just had my third in-situ a few months ago (first diagnosis was in 2009 too) and came back here for support and comfort. It feels like my derm and I spend more time together than I do with anyone else – LOL! I completely understand your feelings and I would be lying if I didn’t say I get scared sometimes. I, also try to live life because that’s what everyone should be embracing. At some point, we are all going to leave this earth; so why waste time worrying about when; go out and enjoy what life has to offer.

    A friend of my sister’s who is battling a cancer reoccurrence (breast) has been a great inspiration. She is upbeat, excited about new advances in the last 5 years. Her oncologist nurse encourages patients to ‘manage’ their cancers (think heart disease, diabetes, thyroid issues, where you concentrate on good behaviors – eating, exercising, sleeping, medication, etc.). She is realistic, but her outlook is positive which helps her overall well-being.

    I wish you all the best with the results from your biopsies from yesterday. Please let all of us know how you make out. We do understand and we care. Good Luck and Keep Living LIfe!

    #57041
    hillcountrygirl2
    Participant

    Hi Laurie,

    Thanks for the encouragement. I have actually seen some statistics that point to even better survival rates with multiple primaries. I just need to be sure I have those check -ups and try not to worry.

    I will keep you posted. I am so not in the mood for another WLE!

    Sometimes it just seems so crazy to wonder all the time if one rogue cell is going to move and kill me…..I really hate this skin cancer ride. But let me tell you…back in 1982 I had the best tan ever. Killer tan for the whole decade…..

    #57042
    cohanja
    Participant

    “one rogue cell is going to move and kill me” I have never understood this concept, I’m not a Doctor/Scientist, but I always thought there was a very complex mechanism by which metastasis occurs, and it’s not as easy/simple as one rogue cell getting away, etc. . maybe Catherine or the scientific board can add more, but I thought a whole series of events have to happen, not just one thing like one cell going to move.

    #57043
    Webbie73
    Participant

    I agree with Cohanja. I don’ understand how melanoma spreads but then again I am not sure if the professionals do either. Why some people get melanoma and others don’t. just this morning my husband was helping me change the bandages on my back for yet another 2 biopsies and I commented upon the fact that I keep having something dug out of me and for the last 40 years I have tried my best to stay out of the sun and he hasn’t. Why am I the one with melanoma, BCC and SCC and not him? There is much more to this disease than any of us can understand. I guess we just have to take one day at a time LOL or better yet, one biopsy at a time.

    #57044
    Lisa P
    Participant

    Hi, Countrygirl – First, I’m sorry you’re going through this but, if misery truly does love company as you say — you’re not alone! :-) I have had three melanomas in the past two years. The first was on my butt in 2010 and was .23mm; the second was on my upper right back a few months later in 2011, and was insitu; and the third was on my mid back in February 2012 and was .5mm. So there you have it — three primaries. I have also had things dug out of my on a regular basis and it’s hard not to think about what all this might lead to. Still, I’m grateful to have this place to come to to “chat” with others who understand and who can help peal me off the ceiling in the event that becomes necessary. When do your biopsies come back? Have they ever biopsied anything that’s just dysplastic or has it all been mel, basal or squamous? Just try to relax as best you can and know a lot of us here are sending good thoughts out to the universe with you in mind, Lisa

    #57045
    hillcountrygirl2
    Participant

    Hi again,

    Oh, my “one rogue cell” comment was a total throwaway line reflecting my complete misunderstanding of this whole melanima thing as well. For example, I seldom burned or peeled with my tanning, and my brother did both and yet I am the one with all the issues. And part of me thinks melanoma is cancer like breast cancer is cancer…unrelated to the sun. I know no evidence proves that, but I know 2 people with primaries where they never saw the sun! And we have all heard stories like that.

    I haven’t had anything dysplastic…..just bccs, sccs, and mels. I don’t even have a lot of moles. But if melanoma spreads through the lymph system, you can see where my “one rogue cell ” worry comes from. I will find out on Wednesday. I am thankful that multiple early primaries is really not a huge deal.

    And…thanks for the company! I never feel alone in this journey on this forum.

    Betsy

    #57046
    Laurie
    Participant

    Betsy, I certainly hope your results tomorrow are good! Since my first diagnosis, my derm is really good about getting back to me asap (with good and/or bad news). The longest I’ve had to wait was Monday after a Wednesday biopsy. Last time, it was two days (of course that was not so good news / in-situ).

    We are all here for you and each other! Its a blessing to have someone lift your spirits when you are down and to help someone else who is struggling with this.

    #57047
    hillcountrygirl2
    Participant

    Hi Laurie!

    You are lucky to have a derm who gets back to you so soon! I do remember, that when I had the first mel…(Stage 1), I got a call from my actual DOCTOR, not the nurse. That was a bit of a red flag! ;-) My doctor always says it will be a week, but it is sometimes a day early, sometimes a day late, and sometimes I can’t stand it any more and I call them!

    My biopsies were two moles/freckles/whatevers super close to each other on my back and not far from my melanoma. And my back HURTS! I don’t remember biopsies hurting so much. I guess the middle of the upper back just gets irritated easily, but of course, I also wonder if something “else” is making these two spots hurt more. I can’t wait to get the results.

    I am always glad I can come on this forum and vent. NO one gets it like people here do..even with in-situ’s and Stage 1’s…it’s all just–scary!

    Thanks for the good wishes!

    Betsy

    #57048
    Laurie
    Participant

    Betsy,

    Hang in there! The back can be funny with the biopsies. I’ve had several and most didn’t bother me but every once in a while, they are just in a spot that hurts. Having two so close probably doesn’t help matters.

    Hopefully the doc gets back to you soon with good results!

    I know I can always feel better when I come here, because everyone does know how I feel.

    Laurie

    #57049
    hillcountrygirl2
    Participant

    Got the results from my biopsies…two more bcc’s. Ugh. I’m very glad I didn’t get a mel, but I was hoping for maybe one of the two to be “nothing”. I think that I’m up to 5 and 6 on the basal count. Lovely.

    I guess I’ll need to put all my backless ballgowns in storage now. My back is so scarred up! Ha ha, not that I was showing it off much but still….

    Anyway, I’ll have them re-excised in mid-November. Hopefully she won’t find anything new then and I can forget about skin cancer until April!

    Thanks again for all the nice words (looking at you, Laurie!) :-)

    Betsy

    #57050
    Laurie
    Participant

    Betsy,

    Sorry to hear about the bcc’s. It is alsways disappointing not to have the “all is ok”. Good luck with the excisions. (A friend of mine who just has significant colon surgery this week, has a basal cell on her back that she needs to get excised while she is on medical leave. – Must be the month for it.)

    I have my three month check up at the end of November, so in about two weeks, I’ll start to get antsy.

    Wishing everyone a great weekend (even those of us on the east coast that are watching Hurricane Sandy)!

    #57051
    Webbie73
    Participant

    Sorry about the BCC but like you said they are better than a melanoma. Funny how perspective plays into a diagnosis of BCC and SCC vs Melanoma. LOL

    Hope the re excisions go with out a hitch.

    Laurie, yes Sandy is heading for us East Coaster. I am due to have my stitches out on Wednesday so I hope there is not a weather problem!

    #57052
    hillcountrygirl2
    Participant

    Thanks Laurie and Webbie! I know, how funny…when I had my first basal back in 2000, I was actually WORRIED. Now, it’s just a nuisance and a scar and it costs me money. LOL!

    I’ll be thinking of all of you on the East Coast when Frankenstorm hits. I think when they predict it, it never is as bad as they say. The really terrible storms seem to come out of nowhere. So maybe, maybe…it will fizzle a bit and just be a cozy storm and a reason to stay inside for a day. We can hope, right? Here in South Texas we are just happy for precip of any kind!

    Good luck on your check-up Laurie…I know you’ll start getting antzy the week before or so. I always do.

    Stay warm and dry!

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