Home Forums Melanoma: Newly Diagnosed – Stages I & II Recently Diagnosed and Traumatized

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  • #23434
    vocalvee
    Participant

    Hello all,

    I am 29 years old, newly married and newly diagnosed.

    I am olive toned, Mediterranean and I come from a pretty moly family. Out of my siblings though, I always have had the most moles and I did sunburn easier than the rest of my family. Melanoma does not run in my family at all, in fact, I don’t even know anyone with Melanoma. These last couple of years I have seen the number of moles on my arms nearly double, but I was always told it’s normal to develop new moles up until the age of 40 years old.

    The last few months, I noticed an angry looking mole right under my right rib cage. It was practically screaming at me. It was so different from the rest of my moles. Aside from the fact that I could have sworn it was never there before, it was really black (almost blue black), it looked irritated and it was the only mole on my body that was raised. The rest of my moles are flat, and brown or dark brown. I went in and saw my dermatologist for the first time regarding my moles, and she immediately said that mole needed to be taken out. I still didn’t think it would be melanoma..I thought maybe severely dysplastic at most.

    The day before thanksgiving I got a call from my derm…low and behold…it was melanoma. It was stage 1a, .43mm, no ulceration, Clark level III. I nearly passed out. I had my WLE last week, and got the call that my margins came out clear (Thank the Lord). I know that I am one of the lucky ones that it was caught early but I will definitely say I am so shaken up. My anxiety has been really bad, and on top of it, I have lost 2 family members and I am fearful for my aunt who has been battling stage 4 colon cancer who’s not feeling well at the moment. The last thing I needed was this dx.

    I know that I have to see a derm every 3 months for the next year or two, before I can be downgraded to every 6 months a year, so I decided to change my derm from a private practice to a highly rated derm from a top cancer hospital here in my city. My first derm’s practice was focused on cosmetic procedures and my mole surgeon who did my WLE, admitted she’s had melanoma when she was younger and was reassuring that I would be okay, however she hesitated when I asked her if she’s seen melanomas in people my age before. She said “uhhh….I don’t just do WLE’s, I do surgeries in general, so I don’t really see many melanomas.” Even though she did a fantastic job on my WLE, that was a sign for me to become monitored elsewhere.

    I made an appointment to meet with my second derm the first week of the new year and to remove a couple more moles that I am now paranoid about.

    I have a few questions – is it worth seeking a second opinion on my pathology with this derm? What are the chances that my path will be different?

    Also, a big reason for my anxiety is that I want to become a mother this next year or so. My surgeon said there’s no reason why I should wait, but did caution that my moles *will* change during pregnancy and that I should see my derm every couple of months during pregnancy.

    I have been reading horror stories online, and joined FB groups, but those people freak me out with their stories and they’re not really positive…this is where I turn to this site.

    Has anyone gotten dx when they were younger and then become pregnant with a couple of kids and turned out okay? I’ve had so many emotional break downs over this. I know, I am lucky but my soul has been crushed.

    #70820
    point30
    Participant

    Vocalvee,

    First I am so sorry for your diagnosis. I’ve been there. And I can tell you the first months are definitely the hardest. Even for me, 2 years later, I think about it [3 more years to go before I am finished my semi annual oncology visits].

    Second opinions are always good if you are concerned. What I found, for me, is learning all about the pathology report which sounds like you have in most part [with the exception of mitotic rate].

    Try and avoid google. I know it’s hard. Instead i’d suggest asking your doctor directly and if you need additional support come to this forum and ask people like Catherine questions or just vent. It’s much better than reading stories especially out of context.

    I will tell you, from reading your report you are in really good prognosis because it was caught very quickly!

    #70821
    Catherine Poole
    Keymaster

    Great advice. Yes, your life has been threatened by a mole! Silly as it sounds, it is terrifying. I know how it can be. I took to yoga, and other forms of meditation to help. I also saw a therapist. The scare passes after time and especially if you learn to live in the moment. Feel free to vent here and look for support. We have a helpline too. Take good care.

    #70822
    Catherine Poole
    Keymaster

    Great advice. Yes, your life has been threatened by a mole! Silly as it sounds, it is terrifying. I know how it can be. I took to yoga, and other forms of meditation to help. I also saw a therapist. The scare passes after time and especially if you learn to live in the moment. Feel free to vent here and look for support. We have a helpline too. Take good care.

    #70823
    Esztea
    Participant

    Dear Vocalvee,

    How are you doing since december?

    I have almost the same diagnosis, only a little bigger .48 mm.

    I am 33, with a 6 months old baby boy.

    We also want to have other babies and I am just do scared… the doctor only said that hmmm… ok… try to avoid pregnancy for 3 years… she did not mention that it is because melanoma mainly reoccures in the first 3 years.

    I just fel so sad about the situation that I got in. It is also hard for my husband and family, they try to make me happy/calm, but I can see that it us hard for them ad well.

    I hope you managed to calm down and doing well.

    #70824
    Catherine Poole
    Keymaster

    When I had melanoma, I was told to wait two years before becoming pregnant again. This is just being cautious that you would not want to deal with a recur and be pregnant. I hope you find some peace of mind soon. You might want to try meditation which is scientifically proven to help overcome stress.

    #71232
    vocalvee
    Participant

    Hello!

    I apologize that I took so long to respond. I have an update. My health anxiety has gotten better. I am 1.5 years out since my stage 1a melanoma diagnosis. I now see a dermatologist who’s a melanoma specialist at a top rated hospital here where I have. She is now chief of the entire melanoma/skin malignancy department.

    The first derm that I saw who initially diagnosed and treated me (who is not a melanoma specialist) was more fear-mongering. She said I had to wait two years to wait to get pregnant, and had to be on two forms of birth control. She then proceeded to use that opportunity to throw in a thoughtless plug in for me to go on Accutane for my Back Acne “since you are waiting two years!”. That was when I knew I needed to be treated elsewhere. Fast forward to my current derm.

    When I asked her, she said “ehhhh, if you WANT maybe wait a year. But the two year recommendation is extra conservative.” She said there were no studies that linked both.

    I also asked my OBGYN and she said as long as it was treated, and your status is currently healthy, there was absolutely no need to wait. “Don’t let this stop you from having your baby!” is what she said. She’s a 30 year vet and has seen it all. I am going to trust my melanoma specialist and my OBGYN over that private practice derm.

    I hope this helps!

    #71264
    Catherine Poole
    Keymaster

    Please ignore all spam and do email us if you have an issue that you would like help with. We are closing the forum to new posts due to spam issues. Thanks for your understanding. Catherine Poole

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