Home Forums Melanoma Diagnosis: Stages I &II When to stop the six months visits….

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  • #21890
    hillcountrygirl1
    Participant

    Hi all,

    I’ve been living life! I’m not worried at all about melanoma anymore, and I just slather on the sunscreen, seek shade and wear long sleeves. All is well. I had a scare with a lung “thing” but after a CT scan and a PET scan, my oncologist (whom I adore) is just going to watch the size of it with CT scans (next one next month)…but no one is worried. I even had genetic testing and that went well. In other words, I feel HEALTHY. I was first diagnosed in 2009, followed by another mel in 2011 (I think), and since then have only had basals diagnosed. I am so ready to be DONE with the six months’ check-ups, since, to be honest, they stress me out. What do you think? Can I go to a year? My doctor will probably be ok with it, since she is the most laid-back of all the doctors I see. She was suggesting going to yearly when the second mel showed up, and so we stuck with the six months check-ups, but to be honest, we aren’t even doing full body checks. She mostly asks if I have any worries, and I point out spots, and she either says “that’s nothing” or biopsies.

    I only ask because I will be seeing her on Tuesday. It will mark five years since the first melanoma (Stage 1, .43 Breslow, Clark’s Level III, one mitosis).

    I feel that now, year five, I am sort of in a good place and can go to yearly checks. Does anyone feel strongly about this? I do love advice from this forum.

    Thanks all, and I hope you are all having a great spring. It’s been the coldest winter I remember–are we allowed to say we are looking foward to some SUN?

    Betsy

    #63930
    marti
    Participant

    Just like you, I was heading for my 5 year mark, I visited 2 derm’s every 6 months, and the surgeon once a year. Happily enjoying life, wearing long sleeves, hiding for the sun at peekhours etc., but no worries any more.

    Whilst every visit the onco-surgeon was saying that my melanoma ( 0,6/ 0,64 mm, no mitosis) was such low risk, the surgeon did offer to quit the checkups after 3 years. The derm still wanted 6 months. I was feeling a bit guilty to over-use our health-system, but I insisted for the check-ups anyhow. In my country thats easy ( so far), and was seen in 2 different melanoma centers. The surgeon checked only the scar and feeling for nodes, the derm does a 100% checkup. And yes I am seeing 2 different derm’s ( 2 sets of eyes)

    Last January it was the onc.surgeon who spotted a tiny black point hidden in the scar-tissue, like a tiny black-head, and after the WLE diagnosed as. a “1,5 mm recidive or satelite mitosis from the original (low risk) melanoma). my story is under “recurrence”

    Hope that all your check-ups will be fine, but my advise: just keep them twice a year, and have them 100%, not just some areas.

    Marti

    #63931
    Joanie60
    Participant

    Just my experience, but wanted to share. My grandfather and mother both had melanoma so I knew I was at risk. First diagnosis was in 2000. Just got my second one (2014). First was Level 1a and Second appears to be Level1b. Going in for another wide excision because there was melanoma on the margins.

    I have been going to the dermo for 6 mo checkups ever since I can remember. I like to think that is why both melanomas were caught early. Now I will also be having checkups with surgical oncologist and I am thrilled for extra set of eyes.

    There is such a difference between catching Melanoma early and catching it later, that for me, it is well worth the six month visits. I feel the damage was done my first 18 years (no tanning but lots and lots of sunburning!!) plus genetics, so I can only do so much. But getting checked is one thing IN my control.

    I asked my surgeon, since this is my second bout, what were the chances of a third? He kind of laughed…like not if, but when.

    I hope you decide it is worth the inconvenience (and the worry, I get that!!) to keep going twice a year.

    Best to all of you forum peeps~ You lift my spirits tremendously

    Joanie

    #63932
    hillcountrygirl1
    Participant

    Thanks for the advice! I had a good check-up again (no biopsies!) and was really thinking about going to yearly check-ups, but I think you are both right. Catching it early makes all the difference. My main problem is that when I approach check-up time, I get nervous, I start worrying and melanoma gets the better of me again. I hate that so much!

    I also love these forums…everyone is so great with advice and concern for each other. I can’t say how many times people have cheered me up when I was down about a diagnosis or a worry.

    So, for now, I’ll keep going every six months. Ugh, but yes, thankful.

    Cheers!

    Betsy

    #63933
    Joanie60
    Participant

    Yay! That makes me happy. Let’s keep as many people as possible on the “Melanoma Diagnosis: Stage I & II” as possible! That means early detection!

    Joanie

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