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FORUMS > Melanoma
Replying to Topic: I've been through it
Created On 1/22/06 8:34 AM by Ellee


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Ellee
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1/22/06 8:34 AM
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I was diagnosed with serious melanoma. I had surgery to remove it and two and a half years later I'm here to share my experience, strength and hope with others who may need it.
Please do not ever give up.
 
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Dr. Hoffman
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1/23/06 9:36 AM
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Thank you for sharing your experiences with the other patients.


-------------------------
AD Hoffman MD
 
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rainbow
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2/15/06 8:05 PM
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How did you get it diagnosed???
 
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Ellee
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2/16/06 7:10 PM
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Hi Lucky,
In a nutshell, there was a mole on the side of my knee. I showed it to a dermatologist who sent a sample for biopsy. It was diagnosed in a matter of very few days.
I tend to be a fearful "bury my head in the sand" kind of person. I also have lots and lots of "beauty spots." When I first noticed "the" mole I convinced myself that it wasn't a new one and didn't mean anything. Over time it changed until I had no choice but to check it out.
The most important thing I can tell you or anyone is to pay prompt attention to anything suspicious. It's better to risk feeling stupid than to give this nasty thing time to spread.
If this is something that you are struggling with, please tell me more about yourself and how I can help.
All the best,
Ellee
 
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RoNbOnBoO13
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12/17/06 3:20 PM
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i dont understand this,cancer. i mean ok if u smoke, ull get lung cancer, and if u tan to much u can get skin cancer, but my well gonna be exhusband who is in med school well he is doing his internship, told me that you can get this specific kind from tatoos, the sun, tanning, beds, well almost anything, and not only that i have a birthmark, thats like a lg mole, but it never grew its been the same size since i was born and my dr said not to worry about it, but now that im getting older im starting to worry. soon i will be living on my own,a nd dealing with a divorce and i dont need to add this to my list, so could some1 please explain the causes of this, and also the treatments. thnx a tonnn


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JAMIE UR AWSOME! TIFFANY U R 1 BRAVE FREAK! GET BACK HER MY BABY MISSES HIS MOMMY! I LOVE U BOTH!!!
 
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Sarah-ny
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2/13/07 10:42 PM
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Hi. I am 26 and while at the dermatologist this past summer - out of the blue asked him to do a skin examination. Guess what..turns out melanoma. I have lots of beauty marks and that scared me. BH it was superficial and I got the melanoma removed and I had biobsies of my other "suspicious" looking beauty marks. Turns out I have a second, (BH its also superficial). I have to go in for surgery again but now I am real nervous, reading on the internet about the diff. types of melanomas, that I should look for discoloration under my skin, etc. The dr. also told me to get my eyes checked. Turns out, I have freckles on my iris and in the back of my eye all UV damage, but thank g-d nothing bad. I just have to protect my eyes with sunglasses. I am only 26, was not a crazy sun worshipper, surely did not lay out as much as my friends did and I just dont know how this happened. I dont have such fair skin. The dr. also suggested I get special clothing that are UV protectant. Does anyone have any comments, suggestions, ideas, chizuk to offer, etc
 
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Ellee
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3/29/07 8:33 AM
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Hi Sarah,
I've "been through it," as I posted quite some time ago.
I'm in my 50's. I am far from a sun worshipper. The melanoma that I had was fairly deep by the time it was diagnosed. Like you, I'd always had all sorts of moles and didn't pay them any attention until this one became blatantly annoying.
You are an amazingly bright young woman for having gone in for a routine skin exam. Most don't.
Melanoma is a frightening and potentially serious condition. But it is totally managable if caught early. For me it's been almost 4 years since I was diagnosed and b"H I'm well. With His help, I expect to be for a long time to come.
Do you have a good doctor/surgeon?
If you need any recommendation or Chizuk of any sort - please be in touch with me.
ElleeR@aol.com
 
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Sarah-ny
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4/25/07 12:58 PM
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Dear Ellee,

Thanks for your reply. Do you wear special SPF protective clothing? Am I being a fanatic? Are you also concerned about your eyes?
 
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Ellee
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4/27/07 9:18 AM
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You aren't a fanatic. This is a scary thing to go through and each of us deals in our own way.
I do not wear any special clothing. I use the same level of sunscreen on my face as I would if I hadn't ever had a MM. I wear sunglasses mostly for driving.
Having said this, I do not know the particulars of the melanoma you were treated for. If your doctor thinks that you need to be more cautious, I think it's best to follow his advice.
The place on my body where it was found was not an area that is exposed; go figure ... My doctors didn't think any measures except for the "normal" ones were necessary.
In my experience, the best you can do for yourself is to be vigilant about changes on you skin. For the first three years post surgery I was followed up every three months by the surgeon. Now in my fourth year, I'm down to every six months. In addition to that I schedule regular check-ups by a dermatologist. I find him to be more thorough than the surgeon.
Also, I would advise that any of your first degree relatives go for regular check-ups.
All the best,
Ellee
 
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Sarah-ny
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5/15/07 12:56 PM
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Thank you elle once again. your response was rather comforting knowing that your doctor said that you just need to take "regular" precautions. By me too, the area of my melanoma is not in a very commonly exposed area (thank g-d).

However, recently I noticed a mark on my first surgery scar. I thought it was just a scar and that it would go away. My PCP said it is a nevus and it needs immediate attention. Do you know if it is possible to come back so quickly (within less than 6 months). It doesn't look the same as the original melanoma. I will get it checked.
 
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Ellee
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5/20/07 9:02 AM
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I hope that by the time you read this you've been to the doctor and have been reassured.
The scar left by my surgery is very long and even almost four years later, the site is still slightly numb and swollen. My doctor checks it really carefully when I go. Sometimes it seems to me that there is something there but so far it's been okay, b"H.
One thing I can tell you is that anything at all that occurs on that leg has become reason for my doctors to react strongly. About two years ago I had a swelling that could have been anything in the world, such as a simple bruise. But since it was on that leg I was sent for a needle biopsy and PET scan. Last year I had terrible pain in that knee that turned out to be a very common torn meniscus, but until the dx was made, the doctors acted like I should be setting my affairs in order.
It's the nature of the beast. On the one hand you want life to go back to normal, when a bruise was just a bruise. But the reality is that the best chance we have of beating this thing is to treat every single thing like a potential bomb.
I hope that the nevus you were concerned about turned out to be harmless. Please let me know.
Lea
 
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Ellee
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7/9/07 9:09 AM
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Dear Sarah-ny,
I haven't heard from you in a while. I hope that all is well.
Ellee
 
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Sarah-ny
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10/16/07 2:44 PM
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hi. turns out that the suspicious nevus that returned was b"h nothing but a beauty mark. thank g-d. i just need to go for skin check-ups every six months. i also need to get my eyes checked every six months bec. i have a few freckles on my iris and behind my eye too. thanks and hoping for the best for all!!!1
 
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