Home Forums Melanoma: Stage III Newly diagnosed

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    I had an atypical mole and went to my primary doctor, she told me she thought it was a blue nevi and not to worry but to get a second opinion with a dermatologist. She said I didn’t need to rush but if I didn’t get in within the next 3 months to let her know and she’d refer me to another dermatologist.

    The dermatologist took a shave biopsy and it came back abnormal. Due to it being on my breast I was sent to a specialist to have it removed for biopsy. Well the biopsy came back melanoma.

    I just got the results from the sentinel lymph node biopsy which was positive.

    Wednesday I am scheduled for pet scan.

    Still waiting on gene testing on mole.

    The 22nd I have the rest of lymph nodes removed for biopsy.

    How do you all stay positive? I hate the saying but it really is so unfair. I see people that are so tan it makes me sick. I feel like who did I piss off that would wish this on me? Because it doesn’t run in my family, so why me?

    It was easy in the beginning, I believed the results would come back negative and this would be all over with. But I just realized that this is now just the beginning.

    Everyone keeps saying ‘you are such a strong person that you will pull through.’


    Hi, Kellysue. There’s no way around it….it’s hard. Very hard. I, too, am new. Just since December. We’re doing OK but I’m not sure if it’s being handled well or just still in the Twilight Zone. If you can manage it, humor, a good laugh, goes a long way. Gather as many qualified opinions as you can. The choices will eventually be yours to make. You’ll get a lot of “if only ” and “you should / shouldn’t have ” comments along the way. To hell with them. I’ve made up some really bizarre diets and life styles to counter these statements with. It usually shuts them up and it’s fun. There’s great experience and knowledge on this board – make use of their experience. All the best. Clint (carvin1)

    Shirley Z

    Hi Kellysue,

    Clint is right. It is very hard, especially in the beginning. The word cancer is scary. You go from living a normal life to being thrown into a world of of the unknown. There are tests, scans and surgery. Perhaps treatment after that. The best advice I can offer as a stage 3C patient is to take things one day at a time. If you think too far ahead you can become overwhelmed.

    The hardest part is waiting on surgery and tests results. I had a deep groin LND almost 7 yrs ago. Although you will be having the nodes under your arm removed I know how it feels to be undergoing something like this. If you are like I was, you probably won’t relax until everything is over and have a plan in place if any.

    I know its hard to believe right now, but it does get better with time. Hang in there and keep us posted.

    Shirley Z


    Thank you Shirley Z and Carvin1.

    How do u deal with missing so much work? I am an over achiever and hard worker. To miss the amount of days I have in just 2 months upsets me. Today I wanted a normal working day and I couldnt even get that. I got so light headed and dizzy I had to go home early. Which in turn just upset me more.

    I hope with research and time I learn to accept and become stronger. I want to be more positive and help others that have been newly diagnosed instead of feeling so down and all about me.

    Shirley Z


    Don’t be so hard on yourself. You are doing as well as can be expected after

    going through what you just have. I think I was in a daze until after my surgery.

    I worked up until the day I had surgery . At the time my dad was terminally

    ill and I was working full time and doing the 5hr round trip to see him every weekend.

    Plus taking care of a house and a hubby. You just have to take a deep

    breath and get your priorities in line. Your health comes first.

    The hardest part for me was telling my parents. Now besides my dads illness

    they were dealing with mine. I had to limit my trips home and for the first time

    in my life I had to put myself first.

    I was unable to go back to work after my surgery. Talk about a let down. It still bothers

    me but I just have to keep reassuring myself that I’m here and sometimes life doesn’t always

    go as planned. We just have to make the best of what we have.

    It will get better. I promise you. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen overnight.

    Hang in there. You can vent anytime you need to. We have all been there.

    Shirley Z

    Catherine Poole

    It is very normal to be depressed and anxious after getting this diagnosis, it is called the “flight and fright” reaction to a potentially life threatening experience. Some tips for you: make sure you are going to a top notch melanoma experienced center where they do research and see a lot of melanoma. Ask how many nodes are positive, this is important! Get help for your head since it works closely with your body. Here is a free service: This referral program aims to connect cancer patients and their caregivers to psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, social workers and counselors skilled in the management of cancer-related distress.

    If the Helpline staff cannot find local support services and there is an immediate need for help, an APOS mental health counselor from the Helpline will continue to support them by phone while they seek professional help with coping in their community. Counseling sessions will be scheduled at the discretion of the Helpline counselor according to patient need.

    To request a confidential referral, please call: Toll Free 1-866-276-7443

    (1-866-APOS-4-HELP) or you may send an e-mail to the Helpline.

    Keep in touch and ask us for support when you need it.


    Your doctors are correct you should stay cool you will surely get rid of it with some time i mean usually it is an infection on the skin and happens.

    Its better to take that lightly wash your skin keep it clean and use a good suggested ointment.


    A melanoma diagnosis can shake anyone to the core.

    My mental state was so bad that it alone was the cause of me taking a leave from work. I could not concentrate and feared that my lack of concentration could also result in a car accident so I even gave up driving.

    I can normally pull through anything and have prided myself on having helped others through difficult times. But this was more than I could take. I ended up asking my doctor for something to help me over this hurdle. She prescribed Celexa, which helped. After a while I found I no longer needed it so I weaned myself off it. Some good friends also came to the rescue as well.

    BTW, melanoma doesn’t run in my family, either.

    And yes, I’m driving again and went back to work after I recovered from my lymph node surgery.

    Things will settle down after your lymph node surgery, I promise. After the results are in you will know where you stand and can move forward from there. It’s the state of limbo you’re in at the moment that’s the most difficult.

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