Home Forums Melanoma: Newly Diagnosed – Stages I & II Newly Diagnosed and So Scared

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  • #71207
    Mumofboys
    Participant

    Hi. I am 45 yrs old and recently diagnosed at Stage 1a.

    Depth is .7mm, 0 mitosis, no ulceration. My doctor tells me not to worry but I am so scared. The bad parts of my pathology are Clark Level 4, VGP and I read it’s not a good outcome when found on your back. Mine is on my upper back. I have read a lot about melanoma which doesn’t help with my anxiety. I had a WLE but was told I did not need a SNB. I have alot of moles and am seeing a dermatologist next week for a second skin check.

    This diagnosis has taken over me, I’m so scared with anxiety of it spreading at some stage, I read stories of it coming back months or years later. I’m not sure how to handle this, it is so overwhelming. Can anyone help me to come to terms with this diagnosis, I can’t enjoy life anymore and not sleeping very well. I am a mother who worries about not being here for my children.
    Thank you.

    #71209
    Catherine Poole
    Keymaster

    I too felt your anxiety with a .76, Clark IV which has no relevence, VGP, etc. I didn’t have a SLNB and that was 31 years ago. It sound like they caught it early and don’t feel this is necessary. Was there a mitotic rate? That can be relevant to prognosis. I would make sure you have whole body photography to follow your moles properly. Look for any change in your moles. Counseling and pershaps antianxiety meds might help you get through this initial time. Breathe deeply. sorry for the delay in answering you.

    Catherine Poole President/MIF

    #71210
    Mumofboys
    Participant

    Hi Catherine
    Thank you for your reply. The mitotic rate was 0 per mm2. The doctor said SNB was only performed usually for depth of over 1mm. Do you know why having it on your back is a worse prognosis than a limb? I definitely will get body photography to track my moles. I am currently on anti depressants which I was on before my diagnosis. The doctor said the survival rate is about 97% for stage 1a. I am trying to hold on to that hope but of course I focus on the 3%. The uncertainty is so overwhelming.

    #71211
    Catherine Poole
    Keymaster

    I had a similar prognosis and wished for 100% but as we know nothing is a guarantee in life and the SLNB isn’t as touted as it once was. It does leave you with some debilitating side effects too. Uncertainty is part of it. Meditation is also a helpful tool. The mitotic rate is important and yours is excellent, meaning the cells were not active. Go for your check ups and watch for changes. Try to live in the good moments. You can email me privately too: cpoole@melanomainternational.org Be well! Catherine Poole

    #71212
    Mumofboys
    Participant

    Thank you Catherine for your reply and email address. Uncertainty is definitely something that I think we all struggle with when diagnosed. I see my dermatologist this week which is rising my anxiety level as have more moles that need checking but I will regularly get checked and hopefully with time I can feel better about this.

    #71213
    Catherine Poole
    Keymaster

    The best way to follow moles for you and your derm is to take photography of them. Memory can be deceiving but photos can show any change. Don’t forget to breathe when you feel anxious. Good luck!

    #71215
    Mumofboys
    Participant

    Thank you Catherine. I had my first checkup with the dermatologist yesterday and will see him every three months, and my doctor every six months. When I read the understanding the pathology report section on this site it says that melanoma on a limb has a better prognosis than on the back. Do you know why? I forgot to ask the dermatologist.
    Thanks.

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
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