Home Forums Melanoma Diagnosis: Stages I &II New here, glad I found you!!!

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  • #20811
    Jess_TN
    Participant

    Hello all! This site has been extremely helpful and comforting. I’ve been pouring over it’s pages for a couple of weeks now. I decided it was time to join, and post.

    I was diagnosed with melanoma in April, 2012. The spot appeared a little over a year before I got it checked out. I noticed it, but just kinda figured it’d go away. I had my doc take a look at it at my yearly exam, and he sent me to a dermatologist. My derm biopsied it, and a few other places, but commented that she felt like it was just an atypical mole (dysplastic nevus). Based on the pics of melanoma I found online, I felt pretty confident.

    My “spot” didn’t look anything like any of the pics I found. I should probably point out that I am a redhead, with fair skin and blue eyes. My “spot” wasn’t dark brown or irregularly shaped like most. It started as a round pink spot, that looked as though it had a deeper pink ring in it (almost like ringworm). As the months passed, the lighter pink turned dark, and the deeper pink turned even darker, almost purple. I’m including info this because I think it’s important to make sure that people understand that melanoma’s appearance can completely differ from one person to the next. Some people may already be privy to this info, but I feel certain that I can’t be the only one who wasn’t. Apologies if I’m preaching to the choir.

    At any rate, I recieved that dreaded call and was scheduled for a WLE (Stage 1B, Breslow .55, Clarks Level 2).

    I see my derm every 3 months. I’ve had 4 more biopsies, two were identified as dysplastic nevus.

    Now that you’re all caught up on me, I’d like to present you with some questions/concerns…

    I can’t seem to find any info on what recurrance at the excision site looks like (not that my original Google search did much good in April anyway ha!) I’m asking because I’ve been watching an area of my scar. The first few months after surgery, I noticed a darker area in the scar, but knowing that the scar would go through different phases of healing, I’ve just kept an eye on it and kept my fingers crossed. The spot has since changed from looking like a darker area of scarring, to a brown streak. Yes, brown streak. Weird, no?

    I showed it to my derm at my last appt (early Oct), however, it hadn’t turned brown at that point. It was still a deep reddish-purple. She suggested that we continue to keep an eye on it for any changes and possibly biopsy it at my next visit. Well, now that its brown, I’m certain we’ll go ahead with a biopsy. So, I went ahead and contacted my derm and moved my appt from Jan to Dec (not only will I start the fight earlier, I’ll also keep from having to meet my new deductible after the first of the year YAY!)

    So… I’m freakin out over here. Trying, really, really trying to stay optimistic. I am a fighter, make no mistake…. but, I have these moments/days when I can’t keep the fear from creeping in or the thoughts from running wild.

    I would love any insight you have to offer. Do any of you know where I can find more detailed info on recurrance? Most of what I’ve found is scary… not that ANY part of this isn’t. I guess, like everyone else, I want a crystal ball. The not knowing, the waiting, the wondering… it’s brutal.

    Again, thanks for sharing all of your stories/worries/suggestions. They’ve been a tremendous help. I’m looking forward to hearing back about this topic… and good vibes are always welcomed.

    Sending well wishes to you all. Keep your heads up and keep your hearts strong!

    #57842
    cohanja
    Participant

    The scar will go through a lot of changes, color changes, etc….so don’t let that freak you out. I always would think every color change in the scar was some sort of recurrence. It wasn’t, it was just the scar changing a lot. Doctor said recurrence would not be that fast, first of all. I actually had a biopsy done on an area of the scar that was colored darker, but turned out to be ruptured hair follicle.

    You said .55, Clark 2. . so why 1B instead of 1A. . mitotic rate?

    #57843
    wpatterson4
    Participant

    You did well in joining this site. It’s a great forum. Ms. Poole did us all a great service.

    Looks like you’re going through a WLE scar panic. I hope it turns out to be nothing, and I expect the same. I have a “bullet-hole” on my scar where a shave biopsy was taken for something that turned out to be folliculitis. That was one expensive zit, but having it biopsied did allay my fears. Go ahead and get this thing taken off and tested. It’s more than likely something ordinary, but being rid of it will give you some peace.

    #57844
    TreeFrog
    Participant

    Hi Jess,

    Glad you found us! :) Since you’re already planning a biopsy, I expect your fears will be put to rest soon – but until then it might help to know that scars of all sorts frequently become pigmented as they heal. Sometimes the pigment is permanent. Just Google “pigmented scars” and you’ll see how common it is. It seems likely this is what has happened with the streak in your scar.

    Best wishes,

    ~Wendy

    (Stage 1a .47mm in 2010)

    #57845
    Jenni
    Participant

    Hi and welcome!

    I just wanted to add that I have a brown line that goes across the width of my scar, it is thin, sorta medium brown and both derms I have seen say that it is nothing to worry about. I forget what they called it but it is harmless, so they say. I never biopsied it but is hasn’t changed in over a year now so I am not worried anymore (about this). We all have our moments of worry, I still do and my mel was found 3 yrs ago. BUT it will get better with time! Stay strong!

    Jenni

    #57846
    krissy424
    Participant

    Here is one brief article with a small number of participants. Not sure it’s of any value.

    http://im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/ub/citation/2362029/Pigmented_streaks_in_melanoma_scars_

    Jess, my melanoma sounds a lot like yours.

    SSM, breslow .55, clark ll, radial growth, mitotic rate 0, no ulceration.

    upper right side of back. June 15, 2012

    Mine is 1a, what factor made yours 1b?

    Best wishes, Kris

    #57847
    Laurie
    Participant

    Jess – Welcome to the club (although sorry for the reason you joined)! As you can see by the posts to your post, we have all experienced something similar and your reaction is normal. It’s ok to freak out; that’s why this site is here. You are doing all the right things. Kudos for moving up your appointment (and getting it in under this year’s deductibles)!

    My second in-situ was not a ‘typical’ melanoma looking spot either. Slightly whitish, sometimes scaly, itched sometimes, hurt sometimes – pointed it out to the derm; he didn’t think it was anything to worry about, but I pushed to have it biopsied & low and behold another in-situ. My derm now believes in ‘woman’s intuition’.

    You have the right attitude – a fighter. You will always be your best advocate in this disease and in life. Good luck with the appointment in December and let us know how you make out. Laurie

    #57848
    Jess_TN
    Participant

    Thanks so much for the replies! I appreciate the encouagement.

    cohanja,

    I’m definitely familiar with the different phases of healing to be expected with scars and how each new or changing color/texture tends to draw one’s attention… and cause worry. I have been reminding myself that recurrence most commonly occurs at 18-24 months. However, as we all know, there are no hard and fast rules concerning the behavior of melanoma. It’s finding the balance between being optimistic and realistic that sometimes eludes me. :) Also, I believe I fall into the 1B category based on ulceration. Fortunately, mitosis was <1.

    wpatterson4,

    Thank you for the warm welcome!! Your comedic candor put a smile on my face. :D

    Wendi & Jenni,

    Thank you both for the warm welcomes too!!! I think seeing and hearing about similar situations that have had positive outcomes does a great job setting my mind at ease. There are good stories and bad stories out there… I know life can take me in either direction at anytime… I may as well keep focus on the stories that bring me joy! Thanks for sharing. :D

    #57849
    Jess_TN
    Participant

    Hi Kris… Hi Laurie!!

    You guys slipped in as I was posting replies to the others. Lets see…

    Kris,

    The only differences we have really are ulceration… and location.. mine is LOWER right side of my back. Ha! Thanks for the link… I’ll check it out now.

    Laurie,

    Isn’t it amazing, that women’s intuition we have? :) I’m glad you posted. Maybe when others start their online search for information, we will have shed just a little more light on the complexity of this cancer. I’ll definitely stay on top of keeping you guys posted!

    Thanks for the well wishes… right back atcha!!!

    #57850
    hillcountrygirl2
    Participant

    Hi! I just want to say you found a great forum…I know you will get good news. I had a lump in my finger that required actual surgery…it was nothing, but, boy was I glad to have it out! I am just going to say…I hate the waiting!!!!

    And….stupid melanoma!

    Cheers! Best wishes!

    Betsy

    #57851
    toastwave
    Participant

    Hi,

    Glad you moved your appointment up. It will hopefully lead to peace of mind over the holidays. I had a brown/black freckle on top of my WLE and went in. They biopsied it. And, while they were at it, let me know that there was a lump underneath that I had no idea was even there! So, I sweat it hard for a little under one week and got a WONDERFUL phone call saying that it was a stitch making it’s way to the surface, over a year later, might I add. Here’s wishing you something equaly benign!

    Scarlett

    #57852
    Jess_TN
    Participant

    Thanks Betsy!! I appreciate the encouragement. :)

    #57853
    Jess_TN
    Participant

    Thats great to hear, Scarlett! I have actually read a few similar stories. I’m feeling good about this. Thanks for sharing. :)

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