hak1385's Journey with Skin Cancer - Melanoma

Patient: Skin Cancer - Melanoma

Patient Info: Currently in active treatment (initial surgery, receiving chemo rounds/radiation), Diagnosed: about 5 years ago, Female, Age: 32, Stage IIIA, BRAF mutation positive: Don't Know, c-kit positive: Don't Know

  1. 1
    • hak1385
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    over 4 years ago
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    Sentinel lymph node biopsy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I had the sentinel lymph node biopsy and this told us that the cancer had spread into my lymph system. The surgery and mapping were pretty easy in comparassion to other things I have had done.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Agree
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  2. 2
    • hak1385
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    over 4 years ago
    hak1385's Avatar

    Wide excision surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    This surgery was pretty basic as well. The only thing that surprised me when I woke up was that I was going to have a Jackson Pratt Drain for a week of my life. I was unaware of this before surgery. That drain was a pain in the XXX!! The second one that I had worked much better.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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  3. 3
    • hak1385
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    over 4 years ago
    hak1385's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    I did 4 weeks (5 days per week) of Interferon-Alpha 2b/Interon A. This was the "hi" treatment. The side effects were headaches, tiredness, sensitivity to light, sound, taste and smell. Slight loss of appitite. Fever, Chills. I am now doing the "low" treatment of Interferon-Alpha 2b/Interon A which is a much smaller amount that I inject myself with 3x per week for 48 weeks (I only have 26 to go). The side effect for this have been interesting. I lost about 1/2 of my hair, I get dizzy/light headed easily, tired (but managable) and I don't have a huge appitite. I have lost about 12-13 pounds since I started. I do have to say that I have been VERY active during the whole process. I was playing volleyball and broomball during my "hi" treatments. And I was able to keep up a really active summer schedule full of softball (almost evey night of the week). I have also been keeping busy with yoga, walking and Jillian Michaels. I think that has really helped me not think about the side effects. So my advice to anyone is to STAY BUSY!

    Easy to Do: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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  4. 4
    • hak1385
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    over 4 years ago
    hak1385's Avatar

    Flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, sweats)

    Side Effects

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

    0 Comments
  5. 5
    • hak1385
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    over 4 years ago
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    Full lymph node dissection

    Procedure or Surgery

    I have an axillary lymph node dissection in my left arm. My doctor did a great job! The recovery time was a lot long than I anticipated, and to be honest I am almost 6 month out and still have some numbness/tightness/cording/swelling (just a little) that I don't know will ever get better. This surgery has impacted daily life, I know this sounds silly but they told me I wasn't allowed to shave my arm pit. When I excercise I can feel my left arm swell right in the elbow area. I don't wear any compression sleeves at this point in my life.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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  6. 6
    • hak1385
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    over 4 years ago
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    Low white blood cell counts (neutropenia)

    Side Effects

    I was put on "house arrest" for my last 4 days of chemo because my white blood cell count was too low. I was told not to go in public basically.

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  7. 7
    • hak1385
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    over 4 years ago
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    Taste change/loss

    Side Effects

    This is so weird. The only thing that tasted good was ice cream! :)

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  8. 8
    • hak1385
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    over 4 years ago
    hak1385's Avatar

    Choosing to have the Lymph Node Dissection

    Decision Point

    There were many different opinions on what I should do here. I eventually choose that have the surgery to remove most of the lymph nodes in my left arm. I am thankful that I made that decision because one more came back positive.

    0 Comments
  9. 9
    • hak1385
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    over 4 years ago
    hak1385's Avatar

    Other Care

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

    0 Comments
  10. 10
    • hak1385
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    over 4 years ago
    hak1385's Avatar

    Celebration

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

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