Home Forums Melanoma Diagnosis: Stages I &II I am new to this forum

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  • #21964
    FreckleFace
    Participant

    I was diagnosed in December, 2013 with melanoma. I had surgery for removal on Christmas Eve morning – the surgery removed the melanoma and the sentinel lymph node was checked and came back clear. I have had a 3 month check up and it was ok. It concerns me that the surgeon asked me how long I plan on working, told me I was a perfect candidate for melanoma, and if it returns, it is usually between the 3rd and 5th year. I am having a very hard time functioning on a daily basis due to worry and depression. I am scared to death. So much to learn about melanoma and I just seem to think about my situation all the time. I welcome any comments or ideas how to cope with this new chapter of my life? Thanks.

    #64358
    Catherine Poole
    Keymaster

    Ignore the surgeon, maybe you misunderstood him, we often hang on every word our doctors say and they often didn’t mean anything. So move on from that and maybe you should try some mindful meditation, Jon Kabat Zinn is the pioneer and it really helps with depression and anxiety. I would also check out counseling to discuss your concerns. You are not alone, we’re here to help you.

    #64359
    FreckleFace
    Participant

    Thanks so much Catherine. I will look into both the meditation and counseling.

    #64360
    Worrywart
    Participant

    First of all, what was the depth of your melanoma? That gives you a better indicator of risk. With that said, none of us know what the future holds. Asking how long you plan to work seems ridiculous. It gets easier with time!

    #64361
    FreckleFace
    Participant

    I went to the dermatologist for a yearly check up in November. My doctor couldn’t see me because she had the flu so I saw a new doctor in the group. He was done checking me over and I asked him to look at this spot on my collarbone. He said “oh, what is going on”. Told him that I thought they had removed it the prior year and it grew back. He took a pretty good scoop to get all of the spot to biopsy. Come to find out they had never touched that before but removed a spot on the other side of my neck. He would have totally missed this spot had I not drawn his attention back to it. 10 days or so later the results of the biopsy showed melanoma just at the border of 1 millimeter deep. Said because it was so right at the cut off of 1 mil., would like the lymph node checked. Surgeon removed 6 inches from top of shoulder, across the collarbone 2cm deep to the plate that covers the muscle. Said it was In situ with clean margins. They removed a lymph node under my armpit and it came back clear. I was told by my surgeon that he could see so much fear in my eyes and couldn’t stress to me enough how important it is to have a positive attitude, that our bodies produce a hormone to help with our immune system, etc. and when we are stressed, it doesn’t get produced. I am wanting to gain all the knowledge I can from books, this forum, etc. to help me deal with this cancer stuff.

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