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  • #22367
    georgec1
    Participant

    I went to our family doctor 1/30 and showed him a growth. He said it was nothing but he wanted me to see a dermatologist. I saw him on Monday and he took pictures and then cut it out. He made a deep incision so he could get all of it. I asked if I should be concerned and he told me that he would have a biopsy done and let me know. Friday I got a call from both doctors and both wanted to see me. The family doctor wanted me to get a ptscan and the skin doctor wanted me to see a oncologist asap. He named a couple of places and I picked Sloan Kettering. He said he was very concerned because the growth was very thick. I asked on a scale of 1 to 10 how concerned he was and he told me a 7. I read the report from the ptscan and it talked about inflammation around the wound site and in the right lower lobe aveolar. I assume that’s my lung. What they said to me is not very specific inflammation could be anything from a tumor to a common cold. I discovered this site and I found in the past that when something bothers me to talk to someone who has been through it usually helps me through it. I have kept my mind occupied during the day and made sure not to think about it. I’ve been told my mind is a dangerous place and not to go there without adult supervision. When I think too much all the thoughts eventually turn negative. (I think even my blood type is B negative). Seriously during the day I’m fine but when I go to sleep I have nightmares about it. Well it’s nice to have a place to dump this stuff. Thanks to anyone who reads this.

    #66369
    tbeau
    Participant

    Hi George.

    I am sorry to hear of your diagnosis. This is a scary time as there are so many unknowns. Do you have an appointment at Sloan Kettering yet? They are a melanoma center of excellence which means you will be in the very best of hands there. I assume you will need a wide local excision where the tumor was located and a Sentinel Lymph Node biopsy to assist with staging you. This is a great forum and I’m certain Catherine and others will respond to you soon. In the mean time look through this website to become more familiar with melanoma and try not to look on the internet in general for answers as it can freak you out. I would also suggest asking your primary care doctor for a sedative to help you with sleeping until you get more answers from your medical team.

    tbeau

    #66370
    Catherine Poole
    Keymaster

    You’ve come to the right place for support and scientifically backed information. The Sloan Kettering team is also a good place to start. You may need a sentinel node biopsy which you can read about on this site. For the mind, we recommend using mindful meditation (Jon Kabat-Zinn is excellent and has CDS etc on Amazon) Anti anxiety meds are useful too along with anti-depressants can be helpful. Don’t hesitate to ask for help with your mind as it is very normal to be anxious! Let us know what you find out and how we can help guide you. (your sense of humor will be great too) Sometimes aerobic exercise is useful for anxiety too.

    #66371
    georgec1
    Participant

    TBeau and Catherine

    Thanks for writing. I have an appointment at Sloan at 945am tomorrow. I’ll let you know what they say. As for humor It’s almost always good. I say almost always because I was telling the dermatologist my family doctor said he would bet his life that the growth was nothing and I mentioned that it was my life he was betting. Moral of the story don’t make your doctor laugh when he is holding a scapel.

    #66372
    winterlong
    Participant

    georgec1 wrote:

    I’ve been told my mind is a dangerous place and not to go there without adult supervision.


    :D :D :D

    yeah,

    I haven’t even had mine ripped out and I hear ya!

    Best of luck with this George.

    sending positive thoughts your way.

    winter.

    #66373
    georgec1
    Participant

    I went to sloan kettering yesterday. They plan on doing a wide excision and a sentinel node biopsy. The only thing they told me that alarmed me a bit is that the original growth was 7mm thick. The doctor tells me not to worry as long as the lymph node comes back clean. The procedure will be done next Tuesday the 24th. Seems like all you do is wait with this.

    George

    #66374
    Catherine Poole
    Keymaster

    Yes, and it is a good time to pick up mindful meditation. Also, be kind to yourself, get a massage, do lots of fun things, watch funny movies. This time will pass quickly. You are in good hands.

    #66375
    georgec1
    Participant

    Thanks to everyone who has replied to me. Dr. Coit said that although the melanoma was 7 mm thick he won’t know anything till he gets the results from the sentinel node biopsy and he said not to be too concerned yet. About a half hour before my family doctor asked me to see him I heard a guy giving a talk on something. What he said really hit me and I had not heard the diagnosis yet. He said (all will be well in the end, and if all is not well it’s not the end yet) Those are words I plan on living by from here on in. You mentioned mindful meditation. I looked it up it reminds me of something that I learned and that helps me stay in recovery of another disease I have and it is simply staying in the moment. Yesterday is a memory I can learn from and tomorrow is not guaranteed to anyone so plan for it but don’t worry about it.

    Again thank you all

    George

    #66376
    winterlong
    Participant

    georgec1 wrote:

    About a half hour before my family doctor asked me to see him I heard a guy giving a talk on something. What he said really hit me and I had not heard the diagnosis yet. He said (all will be well in the end, and if all is not well it’s not the end yet)

    George

    George..

    Have you seen ‘The Best Marigold Hotel’ movie?

    I suggest you rent it…

    you’ll get a nice surprise. ;)

    Hope you are holding up ok with the waiting.

    winterlong

    #66377
    tbeau
    Participant

    Hi George:

    You are so right with your thoughts. Good luck to you on the 24th. And keep us posted. I am going to check out the movie Winterlong mentioned. Sometimes we all need reminders.

    Tbeau

    #66378
    winterlong
    Participant

    it’s one of those movies you can watch quite a few times. :)

    The sequel is coming out very soon, if not already..

    it’s called

    ‘the second best exotic marigold hotel’. :D

    stay strong George.

    our thoughts are with you.

    #66379
    georgec1
    Participant

    Hello everyone

    Tuesday the 24th they did lymph node mapping and removed 2 lymph nodes. They also did a wide excision which turned out to be much wider than I thought it would be and it also went in several different directions. Now the waiting begins for the results from the lymph node biopsies.

    In general this wasn’t very hard to do at all since I was asleep the whole time. I’ll let you know what the results were in a couple of days. Thank you all for your support.

    George

    #66380
    georgec1
    Participant

    The doctors office called back with the results. The chest area where they removed the melanoma is cancer free. They removed 3 lymph nodes. One was cancer free and one wasn’t the third one they still haven’t received the results back yet. The next doctor visit I will get a pet ct scan. All my life I’ve been luck or may be blessed is the right word. I know that today this diagnosis is not as serious as it would have been even five years. I still feel that this will all work out but I am really surprised that it spread to the lymph nodes. Again thank you one and all for giving me a place to vent.

    George

    #66381
    winterlong
    Participant

    Hi George,

    So sorry about the positive node, but relieved for you re the chest!

    How are you doing?

    It’s such a roller coaster having a cancer diagnosis isn’t it.

    I have been very fortunate as far as my melanoma dx, but I can empathise with having a positive node result.

    I think it really helps to talk with others who have been on the same path, or are facing it now.

    cheers

    winterlong.

    #66382
    georgec1
    Participant

    I have been reading up on this and have come to the conclusion that I may be stage 3a. The original melanoma was 7 mm thick non ulcerated. They removed 3 lymph nodes and found only one with melanoma. I will be seeing the doctor again march 16th and getting a chest ct the 13th. His nurse told me that when I see him he will lay out a couple of different treatment plans and they want me to pick which one to pursue. I will tell the doctor to pursue the one he would use on himself if he had the same problem. This truly is a roller coaster ride. I find myself forgetting things and I’m having mood swings like you wouldn’t believe. I’ve been through the mood swings thing before when I gave up drinking. This too shall pass. Again I want to thank everybody for their support.

    Thanks George

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