• What Do I Do Now/Next?

    Asked by Meg933 on Wednesday, March 4, 2015

    What Do I Do Now/Next?

    Just received my diagnosis today. Don't know what happens next or where I go. What are my options?How to help hubby cope. I am the "strong one" in my family. What now? Every year on a regular basis I go to my dermatologist and every year get a mammogram. This growth just seemed to have shown up literally overnight. As far as I know there is no history of this type of cancer in my family however my Mom did pass away 13 years ago from Leiomyosarcoma. I was never a die hard sun worshipper but did spend some times in it. Just any words of wisdom will help me. Also, is a "Level" the same as a "Stage" in this type of cancer. Thanks in advance.

    11 Answers from the Community

    11 answers
    • Traceypap's Avatar
      Traceypap

      Hi Meg933, first thing, take a deep breath. There are really helpful posts on here to prepare for the road ahead. I'm sure those with the links will respond soon. Find out all you can about your type of cancer so you feel prepared and well informed. Ask your oncologist lots of questions and it's good to write them down before you go in as your mind might be like mush when first diagnosed. Mine was. There are lots of natural healthy things you can do for yourself to help you through the journey and chemo. I'm sorry you have to go through this but you will get plenty of support, good advice and ears and eyes to listen to you on good and bad days. Take care

      almost 5 years ago
    • cam32505's Avatar
      cam32505

      My ex-husband has had multiple occurances of skin cancer (basal cell and melanoma). They seem to just do surgery each time. Hopefully, they've caught yours in time and that is all the treatment you will need. Obviously, you will need to wear sunscreen for the rest of your life, if you don't already. I'm assuming you had a biopsy and are waiting for a referral for someone to do surgery? If so, the surgeon will explain the procedure to you. As I understand it, they remove it layer by layer until they get clear margins (no cancer cells in the last layer).

      almost 5 years ago
    • created's Avatar
      created

      I have never been a sun-worshiper either...blonde and fair. They found my melanoma quite by accident while plastic surgeon was checking for breast re-construction...it was on my back! Went to dermatologist and it was taken out in the office. That was it! I do not know what your stage is,,mine was in situ. But try not let it knock you off your feet. Find out from your dr. just what to do next. If you trust him, do it! Am praying.

      almost 5 years ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      When do you see your surgeon and/or oncologist? They will be able to direct you regarding your next steps.

      If you possibly can, take a deep breath and relax a bit. Worrying isn't going to make it better. And, try not to read stats or anything online. Those will scare you unnecessarily.

      Melanoma is serious, but thank God they found it and you are getting it taken care of ASAP.

      Best of luck!! And big hugs. It is soooo hard to learn you have cancer. Keep coming here with questions and comments. I have a different cancer so can't really answer much specific to melanoma, but lots here can. We are all pulling for you!

      almost 5 years ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      I was never a sun worshipper. The sun called my name, sang love songs to me, sighed loving that i needed to surf in California and Hawaii, that 18 hours rounding up cattle on an August day was wonderful, (note: I got sun-burned through a heavy long sleeve shirt at times) .

      most people are diagnosed at pre-cancerous or stage one. They just cut it out, then if called for-do a second biopsy to get clean cancer free edges. My brother has had 6 removed. It didn't stop him from USMC active duty. I had only one, but it looked odd, so it incubated for about 30 years-then it was bad. I tried military and civilian doctors-all specialties- I'm in remission and doing well. I had surgery and radiation.

      almost 5 years ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      Here is a link to a resource that I wish I had had when I was diagnosed with cancer #1 It is an excellent Guidebook complete with envelopes to keep your important documents and calendars to keep track of appointments, http://www.livestrong.org/we-can-help/guidebook/

      almost 5 years ago
    • barryboomer's Avatar
      barryboomer

      Have they surgically removed it and the area around. IF it is very beginning stage like ME all they do is remove it and it's 95 % cured....SO what is your story?

      almost 5 years ago
    • Dick_K's Avatar
      Dick_K

      Meg, I’m so very sorry you are asking these questions. As others have written, stage IV is not a death sentence; I myself am 5 ½ years since my stage IV melanoma diagnosis. That having been said, I hope you are missing something. Your profile indicates you are stage IV and you do not know if you are BRAF positive. You have nothing posted in your journey so it is a little hard to help you.

      An older measure used in melanoma staging is the Clark’s Level. Clark’s level IV is very often confused with staging, THEY ARE NOT THE SAME. If you are stage IV, you more than likely had melanoma found in an organ (lung, liver, etc.) or a distant lymph node from your primary. If you only had a mole removed, a surgeon would have done a Wide Local Excision to ensure clean margins. In my personal experience, having all this done in one month is a very aggressive schedule.

      Now, if it is stage IV, you need to get tested for BRAF. There are several FDA approved medicines for BRAF positive stage IV patients. If you are stage I, you will probably not even have an oncologist. There is a very high success rate where your only ongoing issues will be staying smart with the sun and continuing to be monitored.

      almost 5 years ago
    • HeidiJo's Avatar
      HeidiJo

      Take a deep breath. You must have a million things going through your head right now. It might help to prioritize things. Lean on your doctors right now, things will begin to make sense to you, then you will know what questions to ask. Keep a note pad with you and write down thoughts, questions, vent, etc. That will get some things off of your mind. And remember, us What Nexters are here for you.

      almost 5 years ago
    • anw0307's Avatar
      anw0307

      Try to bring someone with you to your appointments b/c your mind is going to be going in about a million directions and half the time you won't remember what you even discussed once you get out of your appointment. I also agree that if you have any questions that you really want answered to write them down in advance b/c trust me you will completely forget them when you are there. The next piece of advice that I can give you is to just rely on those closest to you for support and encouragement and try not to deal with it on your own and definitely check out others posts on here. Many of us have gone through what you are going through and know how you feel, so use us as your added support system and know that we are also here for you! Good Luck to you

      almost 5 years ago
    • daca1964's Avatar
      daca1964

      I have Stage IIIB Nodular Melanoma from using Tanning Beds. I never was a sun worshiper either, but using tanning beds before I went to the islands for vacation. Bring somebody with you to your appointments or make sure you write things down. They say so much and it's easy to forget what they say because you hear that word CANCER and everything goes out the window. Get a second opinion too. If you don't feel comfortable with the out come. Good Luck.

      Deb

      over 4 years ago

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