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March 5, 2013 at 6:29 pm #21078amcm1984Participant
Hi everyone. I am looking for some first hand information and advice about my fathers battle with melanoma. I’m an only child and he is divorced so I am the primary care giver and want as much information to help him as possible. If you guys could offer any insight it would be greatly appreciated! Here is his back story… My father has had several small melanomas removed throughout his life most likely due to being a rancher and oil man and out in the sun way too much. However in September of 2011 a small black and ulcerated melanoma with a thickness between 2 and 4 millimeters that was ulcerated and spread into the top two layers of tissue but not the muscle. He had a PET scan that was surprisingly clear and they did a wide excision with clear margins leaving a large dent and a 5 inch scar. He went for his regular check ups and everything was ok. Then this week March 4 2013 he called me and said his back hurt where his surgery site was and asked me to look at it. Its in a spot you cannot see yourself. What I saw was very alarming. At the site of the wide excision is one lump the size of a ping pong ball and another above it but attached to it the size of a quarter. They both protrude from the skin and are red and the largest one is ulcerated. He says it is very painful and he cannot lay on it or stretch his arms and pull on that area.I made an appt with the dermatologist right away and he will be seen this afternoon. This seems to have happened very quickly yet they are so big. This disease is nasty and quick I guess. Has anyone had a larger reoccurence at the original site and does this most likely mean we will find it spread to other places. Another thing to note is his health is not good in the first place and it makes it hard to notice things that could be caused by a spread of the melanoma to an organ. He has severe COPD and developing early memory problems which have been worse the last several months. He does have a family history of Alzheimers and is about to turn 69. Any help or insight is appreciated. I know we will not know anything for certain until the Dr sees him and we get more tests, but does this sounds pretty bad? It sure looks awful and I’m scared but able to face the harsh reality that we could be in for a fight here. Thanks again!March 6, 2013 at 11:51 am #59458GillyParticipant
sorry for your situation – it sounds like your dad has a great carer in you – in situ recurrence is not uncommon and sometimes it grows very quickly – the important thing is to see a specialist asap – do not waste time with non specialised doctors – there are some good treatments appearing now but you need to get it sorted now. There is a lot of info on here and i am sure many more knowledgeable people will help. If your dad is forgetful he will need you to sort things for him – all the best.March 13, 2013 at 12:32 am #59459CeceliaParticipant
Amcm–take a few minute to browse the stage four forum and you will see that there are many people who were diagnosed four or five years ago and are still very much in the game. Margaret’s oncologist told us that for the first time in her career there is real hope and excitement around melanoma treatment. It’s not easy or simple, but you will find a great deal of help here. I always have. Take a deep breath. Let it out.
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