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February 22, 2015 at 7:04 pm #22383sunnyinmnParticipant
I just recently had yet another spot removed and had to return to have more of it removed. It went back to pathology because it was so close to being melanoma that they fully expect this larger sample to come back with a positive diagnosis. I am 32 with 2 young girls, and this is terrifying. There’s so much space that these moles can attack and it seems impossible to stay on top of it. I guess, I am just looking for support and experience because with each of these abnormalities I know I am closer to getting that positive pathology diagnosis. I do not tan, and haven’t in years. I wear spf 30 or higher even in the winter. I do self checks monthly and take pictures of my moles so I can really compare them. I have been doing my own research, but there is so much contradictory information. I am especially interested in any foods that have been proven to help with these growths. Also, any doctors or clinics around the country that you would recommend. I like my dermatologist, but he seems to be okay with just keeping up and I am determined to stay ahead of it.
Any advice would be much appreciated. Prayers and hope for everyone on here!February 23, 2015 at 12:08 am #66603Catherine PooleKeymaster
It sounds like you are doing all of the right things! You caught this early and that’s what is important. What part of the country do you live in? do you have more than 20 moles? Are they dyplastic moles (nevi?) You may want to have professional photos taken and go to a pigmented lesion clinic for exams. But there are no foods I know of that prevent melanoma. You should take a vitamin D supplement to keep your immune system in good shape.February 23, 2015 at 3:51 pm #66604sunnyinmnParticipant Thanks. I feel like I am staying on top of it. I do have more than 20 moles, but most are just being monitored at this point. I am in the midwest, and have the Mayo Clinic nearby. I have never heard of a pigmented lesion clininc, but something I will definitely look into.
Thanks!March 12, 2015 at 11:35 pm #66605toastwaveParticipant
I am not on here much these days because it keeps my anxiety in check to just check in periodically. I usually check the forum about every three months when I go in for checks after the appointment and then around the waiting period and the call-back for the rather frequent biopsies. Because, that’s when it is most helpful! So, I’ll be around for the next few weeks as I just had a biopsy today. And, well, let me tell you about it because I think it may help. First, I used to freak out (and I mean cold-sweat, tightness in chest, tunnel vision levels of freak out) at each and every appointment after my initial diagnosis. I was diagnosed with an exceptionally shallow .15mm severely atypical mole/melanoma (two opinions- doctors disagreed). At the time, I had a 10mo. It floored me. I’d noticed the very dark mole growing during pregnancy and just had not made it to the derm. I have light-ish skin and a terrible history of sun exposure as I grew in the Caribbean and my family did not consistently sun screen me. Consequently, in my 20s, I also did not take care of my skin as I really did not understand the importance of it at all.
Anyway, the point is that today, as I was driving to my appointment, that anxiety was barely a blip. I do monthly skin checks. My partner looks where I cannot see. We note irregularities. Anything really weird, I go in. Otherwise, I am now on a 3-6 month schedule matching whatever I feel comfortable with. I could be on an annual schedule but I’d rather have extra eyes on my skin. I have sun spots and moles. New ones pop up all of the time. I just note them, track them, and get them photographed at the derm if they are odd. Beyond that, we wait for change and deal with it when and if necessary. So far, I’ve had over 10 biopsies, 2 wide excisions (I had a second severely atypical mole about 2 years after my inital diagnosis), and about 5 moderately/mild atypicals that required a bit more taken out. You can barely see those scars. I am probably overcautious. The thing is, we catch a lot. With this level of monitoring, it would be really difficult to miss something. It could happen, of course, but so could getting hit by a car on a walk, having heart attach, having an aneurism, getting some other kind of cancer, etc…you get my drift.
I guess what I am saying is that your feelings are completely normal. But, that, you will eventually stop waiting for the other shoe to drop. And, the sooner you do that (while being cautious and smart about sun protection and regular derm visits) the better as it will allow you to get on living your life, which is the whole point, right? Wanting to live life as much as possible?
Now, don’t get me wrong, I had a mole excised today and thus I am on here because there is definitely that tiny voice in the back of my head that freaks out. But, the more you can compartamentalize that, probably the better. For me, I have gone on to see my daughter be a pre-kindergardener. She will turn five this summer. She also has a 20mo sister. So, I know how terrifying it is to have small children and be going through this. But, trust me, chances are you will be completely fine. Make sure you have a few dependable people to talk to that really understand that this is not “just skin cancer” and use these folks here- they are amazing and were an absolute godsend to me when I was in your place.
Take care and I’ll be back to check in the next few weeks in case you have any questions. Oh, and, like Catherine said- find a person that deals with moles and has melanoma experience. And, also, that you feel comfortable talking to and asking about every single spot a bazillion times. I have found that derms that work on pigmented lesions (I have had 2 fantastic ones) and have patients who have had a diagnosis can be wonderful at being responsive to the two parts of the disease, the lesion itself AND the anxiety/depression that can be completely overwhelming.August 26, 2015 at 2:11 am #66606MomfromEuropeParticipant
Unfortunately I am here too:-(
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