Home Forums Melanoma Diagnosis: Stage IV Lymph Nodes in Face

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  • #21585
    Joshf
    Participant

    I’m looking at a possible recurrence. I had melanoma excised from rt cheek in May 2011. Just had excisional biopsy of rt cheek on Tuesday. Surgeon removed 2 masses, one was 7mm…the other 4mm. He said they were white and felt they were lymph nodes. I’m guessing it has to be recurrence in lymph nodes…just never heard of it being lymph nodes in cheek. Anyone have any experience out there?

    Josh

    #62541
    Gilly
    Participant

    Hi Josh – sorry for your worries – there are a few lymph nodes in your cheek along from your mouth and then round to near your ear – more in the jaw line – they are in chains so keep an eye out for any more – at least there they are relatively easy to feel – I hope they have got rid of all that was lurking. All the best.

    #62542
    Joshf
    Participant

    Thanks Gilly. Seeing that lumps were under my previous WLE scar, I’m assuming melanoma has to be culprit. What else could make lymph nodes swell?

    #62543
    Catherine Poole
    Keymaster

    See this diagram for lymph nodes in your facial area from NIH: http://www.nhlcyberfamily.org/images/head%20nodes.jpg

    Nodes swell when they sense something is invading the body that is foreign. For instance, bacteria or viral infections but also cancer cells. Let us know how things turn out.

    #62544
    Joshf
    Participant

    Catherine-

    What are chances lymph nodes could have been enlarged from intial surgery in 2011? They aeren’t very palable and I found them really by accident. Doctors always pushed on scar as I did…felt like scar tissue. Doc said he would call today with path results but still waiting….almost 5 here in Chicago. I feel for melanoma patients….cancer patients in general. I hate having these feelings again.

    Josh

    #62545
    Prd10
    Participant

    Hey Josh,

    I’m guessing you didn’t hear back yet so I thought I would add my non-expert opinion. I can’t answer specifically about the lymph nodes in your face. Although that sounds really small and pink is good.

    I had a recurrence in January to the axilla. I really couldn’t feel it, it was picked up on CT. I see Dr. Kaufman at rush, which is why I have been following your posts. Never did meet Dr. Richards but curious how you like him.

    Anyway, what I wanted to tell you bc I can relate to the waiting hell is that Dr. Kaufman told me that typically the longer the wait the better the results. Seriously don’t want to give false hope or bad advice but I waited 10 days and he just explained that the pathologists are looking through every slice very closely to determine what is going on. He said that usually if it’s bad they can see it right away and they call right away. Hoping for the best for you.

    #62546
    Joshf
    Participant

    I did get path results and 2 lesions both melanoma…7mm and 4mm taken from right under the scar. I’m just stunned. I did see Kaufman up until end of 2012 but he dropped my insurance….I can’t go on what ifs. Kaufman definitely was much more diligent with me and wonder what differences would be…if any. I’ll be moving to Northwestern for treatment…or at least surgery. Richards is fine…just think he felt I was low risk recurrence….Kaufman disagreed. That’s why I saw both through 2012…hedge my bets. Hopefully PET is clear….thats my biggest concern right now.

    Josh

    #62547
    Prd10
    Participant

    Sorry to hear this Josh. I had a reoccurrence at my 18 month check up, it just totally sucks. No looking back. It sounds like you caught this yourself. I know my recur felt like it came out of nowhere and it definitely grew fast. Chances are good that your PET will be clear if you just had a clean CT. I know it’s hard but try to stay positive. I know that’s easier said then done, I needed some anxiety meds to help with that – perfectly reasonable I think. I don’t like to compare bc we are all different, but for me my recurrence didn’t change my stage or prognosis just reset the clock and I do scans every three months instead of graduating to six month scans. Hang in there.

    #62548
    Joshf
    Participant

    Thanks for response. I did find them myself. Not sure how fast they were growing or how aggressive they were. I could only feel the one in there…surgeon found second one which was small. He said he got it all out but need to go through scanning process again and have surgery. Are you doing and treatments or clinical trials?

    I am taking Xanax….until scans are done I don’t think I can control my anxiety. Really praying for them to be clear!!!

    #62549
    Prd10
    Participant

    I am not currently doing treatment. When I was diagnosed I went into the MSLT2 trial and was assigned to the ultrasound arm which meant no complete dissection in the short term. Of course I then recurred in the axilla. I will always wonder if the cancer was always there in the beginning or not. I also opted to do the interferon at original diagnosis. I knew this was controversial but I was diagnosed two weeks before my 29th birthday and I had a 6 month old so I was willing to do anything. When I recurred I had radiation to the axilla and Dr. Kaufman wanted me to do the ipi v interferon trial to try to get the ipi but I couldn’t get in bc of prior interferon use. We also briefly discussed interferon and we both agreed it wouldn’t really be beneficial (he said not beneficial and I said no thanks!). Surprisingly, and you will probably agree since you have met him, he really wasnt that worked up about the recur. I was pretty upset that maybe we hadn’t followed the right steps from the get go and was having some real regrets. I am only a year post recur and time will only tell, but I am starting to feel more optimistic. The recurrence has been much more difficult for me to mentally recover from but time doesn’t feel like its standing still this time around if that makes any sense. I wonder what northwestern will offer. I doubt radiation in that location but maybe the ipi/interferon trial. Hoping for clean scans for you too.

    #62550
    Joshf
    Participant

    That’s horrible…29 and new baby. I can only imagine. I’d like to just treat everything as water under bridge but I know the feeling if 2nd guessing and regret. I hated losing Kaufman as a doc…though he was odd I felt comfort with him. Believe me I’ve had flashes of anger about him in past day. I changed my insurance cause he was dropping current and then he ends up dropping my current insurance and signs contract with Aetna. Nothing I can do…I am at where I am. Do scans, hopefully clear and have surgery and other treatment. Hope to beat this crap. Did you have Pet after recur? As I mentioned this really has me amped up. Very nervous. I hope you do well and never worry about this crappy disease again! I hope we both do as well as many others. I’d like to see my son & daughter become adults and grow up to be good people. All the best…tell Kaufman I said hello and I miss him. You’re in good hands with him.

    Josh

    #62551
    Prd10
    Participant

    You know the timing is never good. I hope and pray I won’t have to tell my son about my cancer until its something that happened when he was a baby and likely won’t happen again. I understand your feelings. I just want a normal boring life. I tell myself that they are getting closer to figuring this thing out and if we just have the luxury of more time we will all be okay. It might not be healthy to live life from scan to scan but I don’t know how else to cope.

    I didn’t have a pet until after my surgery and radiation. I had an MRI before surgery though. My pet was mostly for a baseline and bc I was having panic attacks about every little lump and bump so at my three month post surgery check up we did ct and pet.

    I got an opinion at u of c at my original diagnosis and liked them too. I also though kaufman was a little strange but have really grown to like him and understand him and I trust him which is so important. I am sure northwestern will be great. My Derm recommended Richards but he was out of town and I didn’t want to wait.

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