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August 20, 2012 at 6:06 pm #20564Jackie62Participant
I was diagnosed with a stage 1b melanoma in November 2011 (non-ulcerated, 1.1 Breslow depth). I requested and received my pathology reports but filed them away and haven’t read them. I’m continuing all check-ups with my dermatologist (in fact, one today, the next in 4 months and another scheduled six months after that) and oncologist (6-month schedule right now) and I know that’s really all I can do right now. I’m a little afraid that if my pathology shows a high mitotic rate or regression or other negative factors, I’ll just worry more and still won’t be able to do anything more toward a more positive outcome. Am I “putting my head in the sand” or just coping with this melanoma in a way that’s right for me?
My best to all, JackieAugust 20, 2012 at 8:18 pm #56071Catherine PooleKeymaster
Well you did the first step, you got the copy of your pathology. Did you have the Sentinel Node Biopsy done? For your depth, that would have been recommended. If it would help you, share your results with us here and we’ll support you through them. Knowledge is actually power!August 20, 2012 at 10:01 pm #56072Jackie62Participant
Yes, I did have the sentinel node biopsy done and it was negative, resulting in my stage staying at 1b. I guess I question whether there’s any benefit to knowing all of the pathology details even though my treatment plan won’t change. I have seen some people who obsess and worry endlessly over details when they only indicate risk but can’t really predict 100% whether the melanoma will recur or not. I think I could be one of those people if I had those details rolling around in my little head!
Thanks so much for your role on this board. I literally have educated myself on melanoma here. Like so many others, I knew very little about melanoma before my diagnosis.August 20, 2012 at 10:22 pm #560737spiderParticipant
Jackie, I was also diagnosed stage 1b back in April. I understand what you’re saying about over analyzing the path reports. It’s important to stay on top of things and keep up with the checkups, but I think it’s important to try and keep your mind at ease as well. If I start worrying about every little thing and asking ” what if ” too much I’d drive myself and everyone around me nuts.August 20, 2012 at 11:25 pm #56074Catherine PooleKeymaster Oh, ok, I understand. Funny thing is, I didn’t really know that much about my path report until I went over it in detail with our webinar and Dr. Mihm. I was a lot higher risk than I realized in hindsight! So leave that path report in a safe place and may be pull it out when you feel comfortable doing so.
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