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July 9, 2013 at 2:12 am #21433nickParticipant
Can’t say I’m happy to be here, but we can’t change the past right! I was dx’ed in late Jan, had a WLE and SNB in early Feb, and am now trying to cope with my diagnosis. I’m looking for some input on my stage, my path, and mental tips that you guys have used to get by. My dad died in 2010 from a melanoma that spread to his brain, so needless to say, I’ve stayed nervous for the past five months.
Here’s my path results.
Type: Superficial Spreading
Clark’s Level: IV
Host Response: Non-Brisk
Mitosis: 0/10HPF (another pathologist labeled it >1.)
Vascular Invasion: None
Perineunal Invasion: None
Surgical Margins: Focally extending to the peripheral margins.
After this biopsy, I had a WLE and SLNB performed. The margins on the WLE were clean and the SNB was negative (three nodes removed).
While I understand this is stage 1a, I am nervous because of my father’s history and the fact that the initial punch wasn’t clear giving it time to spread (wle was clear). I can not shake the anxiety.
I’ve read survival rates anywhere from 85%-96% depending on the study. What is the accepted standard from someone with the path report I have? Also, what mental tips do you guys suggest to help cope?
Good health to all,
NickJuly 9, 2013 at 9:39 am #617227spiderParticipant
Hey Nick, I’m John. Mine was about the same as yours .88 ClarkIV > mitosis everything else the same. Had the WLE and SLNB last April, 4 nodes checked came back clear. Freaked out last year. My skin checks have been good and my mind is better. I just decided I luckily got on it early and got to pay attention to my skin and do whats recommended. Really short and sweet. I refuse to let it consume me and I live my life and do what I do. Far too many things can wipe ya out in a flash, so I just decided to deal with it and stay informed and try to comfort others in the same boat.July 11, 2013 at 12:34 pm #61723Catherine PooleKeymaster Take lots of deep breaths. Concentrate on your breath to relax and clear your mind. You are indeed LOW risk and it is perfectly normal for you to be anxious! Counseling with someone who specializes in cancer/psychosocial area might be helpful to get you through this time. We listed a free service here which I will repost for you. I am a big pusher of mindful meditation of which there are many Utube videos and books etc on. Jon Kabat-Zinn of Harvard, studied this for people with cancer and other illnesses and it is learning to live in the moment. Forget the past and future, and meditate each day, clearing your mind of negative and scary thoughts. It is proven to help if you practice daily. Btw, I’m 24 years out from a .76, 1 mitosis, vertical growth phase, ulceration present, etc. No SLNB as it wasn’t available. But you will get through this, just remember we only have the moment to control and make it pleasant. Easy concept, but tough to do! (Anti-anxiety and antidepressants can be helpful too with counseling.) Keep in touch with us. You are not alone.July 13, 2013 at 12:07 am #61724WorrywartParticipant Hi Nick,
I am sorry you are feeling anxious. Don’t worry about the fact that the lesion was intersected during biopsy. Mine was too, so I get it. But there are other things to focus on. All the evidence so far says that doesn’t increase risk. Focus on the low risk aspects of your path report – 0 mitosis, clean snb, no ulceration.
Put your energy into something else right now, set a goal and achieve it. Throw your effort into that, rather than into your diagnosis.
Time is the best healer!July 14, 2013 at 3:40 am #61725scienceteacher89Participant
Hi there…sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I was in your shoes just a year ago. I was diagnosed last July. The anxiety and panic was tremendous. I took some advice from many people and then made the conclusion that I needed to stop worrying so much or I would probably die from a heart attack. Get your check ups, stay vigilant with your skin, and focus on the positives. I know its hard to do that, but everyone on this site is or has gone through it. It will get better. I didn’t think it would, but it has been. I wish you the best and thank God for this site. There are so many wonderful people here that have helped so many of us. God Bless!!July 17, 2013 at 1:29 am #61726unclescarParticipant Hello Nick,
Sorry about your melanoma. i was .75 clear lymphs also. It took awhile to deal with the idea have having cancer. The worse part was going out into the sun for an extended period of time ( golf fan).Two years out and it get’s a lot better. Do the check ups and be aware of any changes. Being anxious sucks, been there. You got treatment early before it got deeper, so count your blessings. Good luck to you Nick. This board got me through some rough spots.July 19, 2013 at 5:04 am #61727casey188Participant
I am just over three years out. I sought out a second opinion on my in situ (stage 0) and received a .48 diagnosis with 1 mitosis. That sent me into a tailspin. I finally got so tired of worrying about the “what ifs” that I just pushed forward and kept myself busy. A few months after diagnosis I was much more at peace with it, but I put myself through hell. It is easier said than done, but here is my advice: accept where you are and be glad it wasn’t worse. Instead of being afraid to go out in the sun, embrace the UPF clothing and sunblock and have fun! It will suck at first and you will be worried about any bit of color you may think you have. My family still thinks I am a little out there when I ask them if I look tan! Trust me, I am not. The point here is that you have to get back out there as long as you are sun safe. There is only an 8 to 10 percent chance you will ever have to deal with melanoma again. I have a friend who has had 3 (lots of atypical moles and genetics involved’) and she is out there living her life. Good luck to you. I know it is not easy, but you can get through this.
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