PamK's Journey with Skin Cancer - Melanoma

Survivor: Skin Cancer - Melanoma

Patient Info: Newly diagnosed (has not begun treatment), Diagnosed: almost 6 years ago, Female, Age: 59, Stage IIA, BRAF mutation positive: Don't Know, c-kit positive: Don't Know

  1. 1
    • PamK
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    over 5 years ago
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    Misdiagnosed

    Oh No

    I had an "age spot" on my forehead at my right temple that seemed to change with time. I brought this to my doc's attention over a year ago, but she declined to treat it. I returned ten months ago (last Feb) to have more AK's frozen, but I saw her PA, who also declined to treat that spot. When I returned in Nov. she treated more spots but said "I'm not touching that" and said she'd refer me to a dermatologist.

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  2. 2
    • PamK
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    over 5 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    I guess I wasn't too surprised when the diagnosis came back "melanoma". This happened the Mon. before Xmas, 2011. The following Thurs. I met the surgeon, Friday I had a full PETscan & CAT scans from my head down to my pelvis.

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  3. 3
    • PamK
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    over 5 years ago
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    Wide excision surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    Friday after Xmas I had Wide Excision surgery, Sentinal lymph Biopsy which involved removing my parotid gland, and a skin graft taken from my thigh. I don't even want to talk about the night I had to endure in the hospital.

    Went as Expected: Not Specified
    Minimal Recovery: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
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  4. 4
    • PamK
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    over 5 years ago
    PamK's Avatar

    Other

    Decision Point

    The surgeon removed an area slightly larger than a silver dollar above my right eye. The margins were clean, but the "depth of invasion" was 2.29 mm (T3). I have been able to deduce that stages my melanoma as a Stage IIb. The biopsy of my lymph nodes was normal. My scans were also normal. I think my bloodwork was also normal? My dermatologist, however, says I am at an intermediate risk and wants to refer me to melanoma specialists in San Francisco. This would involve at least a four hour drive each way. I do have the alternative to be referred to a local cancer center or do nothing & have her monitor my progress in the future. Am very unsure what is the best choice for me. If I do go to S.F. and the doctors decide on a clinical trial, I know we can't afford the travel expense that would involve. But can I afford not to? Are the local oncologists as well informed of the latest & greatest innovations as are the "specialists"?

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  5. 5
    • PamK
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    over 5 years ago
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    Celebration

    This person has yet to add any details about this experience.

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  6. 6
    • PamK
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    about 4 years ago
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    Other Care

    This person has yet to add any details about this experience.

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  7. 7
    • PamK
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    almost 4 years ago
    PamK's Avatar

    Milestones

    Am coming up on two years post diagnosis/surgery. I still wonder if I truly dodged that bullet. After reading about others' journeys, I realize that the possibilities are endless...my cancer could come back or I could develop new melanomas. So no, I am not home free but I can't live my life worrying about it. It is what it is and i guess I'll deal with it if or when.

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