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    My father is 74 and has end stage renal failure and has been doing dialysis 3 days a week for almost three years now. September 17, he had a bronc done and a mass was located in the upper lobe of his left lung. It had caused that area of his lung to collapse and it was diagnosed as cancer (squamous cell) two days later. He started chemo and radiation in November for the lung cancer. His girlfriend pointed out a large, black lesion on the back of his right arm, above the elbow, to me a couple of weeks ago. I made an appointment for him to see the dermatologist, but was told by a nurse practioner to get him in sooner to have it biopsied. I took him last Thursday to have the biopsy done and we found out the next day that it is a malignant melanoma. He’s been in the hospital since Friday morning, admitted for breathing problems due to fluid overload. His breathing is better, but they are keeping him in the hospital because of this new diagnosis. See, the biopsy they took is not part of the large black lesion in his arm, it’s about 2-3 inches away from it. They are performing MRI’s, CT’s, and tomorrow he is going for a PET scan. It feels like everything is going in slow motion right now, like it did when he was diagnosed with the lung cancer. I know the doctors are wanting to make sure they get all the information and facts together before they do surgery, but he’s getting frustrated and wants to get the lesion removed and start treatment. I’m worried sick about him. He’s so frail and has so many health issues as it is. I’m hoping they will either do another biopsy on the actual lesion or remove all of it within the next few days so we will extactly how deep it has gone.

    Catherine Poole

    Your father’s condition is very complicated, I hope he is seeing specialists at a good institution. He’s lucky to have you looking out for him. Please feel free to vent here as caretaking can be most stressful.

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