crosstrainer's Journey:

Survivor: Skin Cancer - Melanoma

Patient Info: Finished active treatment more than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: about 21 years ago, Female, Age: 60, Stage I, BRAF mutation positive: Don't Know, c-kit positive: Don't Know

  1. 1
    about 5 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    I had a small mole on my thigh, that my mother thought looked suspicious. (She, too, had had melanoma 10 years earlier.) So, I listened to my mother and went to my dermatologist, who thought it was likely nothing but biopsied the site. In a week, she called to say that it was melanoma. That next week was huge for my husband and I. This diagnosis encouraged us to talk through how we wanted to live our lives moving forward..."no regrets, yet planning for tomorrow."

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  2. 2
    about 5 years ago
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    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    I was fortunate that my dermatologist was connected with UPenn. She referred me to a plastic surgeon who said they would need to take a 2 1/2 cm margin which would require a "flap" graft. When I objected (as I had heard that only 1 cm would be required), he said "you should feel lucky, they used to cut legs off with this diagnosis." Yikes! some bedside manner...However, my doctor contacted the head of Pigmented Lesion at Penn who strongly stated that the latest research indicated that for my cancer, a 1cm margin (which only required a simply, though large, incision) was required. I now have a scar on my thigh that is barely noticeable. But I learned early on that it pays to make sure you have the latest information on appropriate treatment for the type of cancer you have.

    Went as Expected: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Recovery: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Agree
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  3. 3
    about 5 years ago
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    16 years melanoma free and peace of mind in routine follow-up

    Celebration

    It has been 16 years since my diagnosis of melanoma. I follow-up faithfully with twice yearly full body checks (and have full body photos from the time of my diagnosis against which my current skin can be compared), and know that those checks are my link to finding any new melanoma early if it occurs. I am so grateful to have access to good dermatologists, as they are what give me peace of mind every day.

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  4. 4
    about 5 years ago
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    Decision Point

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

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  5. 5
    about 5 years ago
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    Clinical Trial

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

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