Melanoma: Any Other Mommy Survivors?

Updated on August 25, 2010
M.B. asks from Colorado Springs, CO
8 answers

Just curious.
I was diagnosed a yr and a half ago with melanoma in situ (or stage 0 melanoma).
Sometimes it feels like no one understands how scary a cancer diagnosis is!

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

I just wanted to add that I asked the oncologist if Melanoma in situ was 'precancerous' and he said No, it was Cancerous. That precancerous referred to dysplastic moles / atypical moles. Melanoma in situ is cancer and approx 5 people per 100 will diefrom this melanoma in 10 years. He was blundt adn freaked me out! The odds of getting melanoma are somethiang like 18 in 100,000 so 5 in 100 sounds scary to me considering I already beat the odds in getting it. And I am early 30s so I have my whole life to avoid cancer.

More Answers

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T.C.

answers from Colorado Springs on

I understand - I had a melanoma 21 years ago. When you hear the "C" word your life flashes before your eyes and you start thinking about all the things you're going to miss. At that point I was only 20 and I didn't even have a boyfriend so all the things I most hoped for (husband, children) I felt I wouldn't ever have. But then I calmed down and handled what was at hand. Mine was caught very early. I had surgery but didn't have to have any further treatment (radiation, etc.). I followed up on my yearly checkups for awhile - but quite honestly I grew lax with that. Just this year I jumped back into my skin checks because I discovered a WONDERFUL dermatologist because my father-in-law was diagnosed with a melanoma on his face. Watching the horrible surgery and resulting skin grafts on his face reminded me that that was something I definitely DIDN'T want to go through. So I made my skin check appointment. The Dr. did biopsy one spot on me but it turned out to be nothing. So hang in there - cancer is scary, especially melanoma because it CAN be deadly. Keep up on your skin checks - the earlier things are found the better. Good luck!

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C.T.

answers from Denver on

no doubt hearing you have cancer is scary!! I completely understand how it is to not feel validated when we're scared over something. Take heart and stay calm - your body has amazing healing powers and it appears you caught this very early. Do you part getting your skin checks done regularly and get whatever treatment you need done right away. The good news about your diagnosis is that some docs consider melanoma in situ as a precancerous state and not even cancer.

This video was pretty informative I thought. I came across it when looking for information for my sister who deals with skin cancers alot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BdTvb2IuDk

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C.T.

answers from Pocatello on

My mother was daignosed about the same time as you. Maybe you guys can chat with each other. Sometimes it really helps to talk to someone who knows what you're going through. You may be going through different treatments but still it may help. Her name is Jenne, her email is [email protected]____.com

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D.D.

answers from Boston on

i just come back from the dermatolgist and my eightyearold daughter has to go fot surgery on monday for a black spot on her ear they think it might be melanoma how long does it take for the test to come back?

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J.L.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I am 35, and was diagnosed with a melanoma stage 1A 1 year ago, about 6 weeks after the birth of my second son. I didn't have to have any chemo or radiation, but I did have some pretty rotten surgery and a couple of lymph nodes removed and biopsied. I completely understand! It is a terrifying experience...1 year later I am still pretty scared of anything new I find. I just went in to have a new spot checked, and I was SURE it was something bad. It ended up being nothing, but I was so freaked out until I knew it was ok.
There are others out there like you...you are not alone!

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L.W.

answers from Colorado Springs on

Hi!

I'm a mom of three as well. Three years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer ... stage 3. It's really, really scary. I'm a survivor! Remember what you have to live for!

If you'd like to email me now or anytime, please feel free.

Bless you & Merry Christmas,
L.

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C.Y.

answers from Grand Junction on

Cancer is cancer! I was diagnosed with melanoma when I was ten weeks pregnant with my fourth daughter. It's the only cancer that can penetrate the placenta. They were able to remove everything through surgery and removing some lymph nodes. I'm still an absolute freak about moles. I even made my husband get two removed just to be safe! My poor children are terrified not to wear sunscreen! You should use your stress/fear/concerns to help fight cancer, support those going through it, and remind people most melanoma is preventable!

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C.K.

answers from Colorado Springs on

I was diagnosed with melanoma back in 2003. At the time I wasn't married, had no children...so I really didn't think it was too big of a deal. Although I was still scared. Especially when I had to go thru all the testing to see if it spread, and then the surgery to have it removed. I was lucky, it did not spread to any other organs, and they were able to remove it all in the surgery. It was on my upper left arm, so in addition to removing the melanoma, they removed my lymphnodes on that side thru my arm pit. So I have two pretty ugly scars from the surgery, and the lymphnodes being removed still causes pain in my underarm to this day. The fact that I had melanoma became more scary to me when I had my first son. I started fearing constantly that I would have a recurrence. And the reality of the seriousness of it all really set in. I wouldn't always go to my 6 month skin checks with my dermatologist, but now I do. And I am terrified every time I go for a skin check. They say that after 5 years your chances of a recurrence are greatly reduced. I am at the 6 year mark. However, due to an increase in migraines, and an unknown onset of abdominal issues, my dermatologist ordered a full slew of tests to make sure I wasn't having a recurrence. It IS terrifying!! And you have to live with the fear for the rest of your life. All tests have come back normal. But I agree with you, it is very scary. I've just learned though that instead of sitting back and waiting for something to happen, I need to be more proactive. There is no way I'm going to let another spot on my body turn into melanoma. I have several pre-cancerous spots on my body removed since the melanoma at my 6 mo. skin checks. Especially with this last scare...thinking I was having a recurrence and that maybe it spread to another organ. My son is 3 years old and all I can think about is him...I need to be around as long as possible for him, so I'm taking better care of myself. I religiously use sunscreen, as high of an spf that I can find. I apply when it's sunny, when it's cloudy, summer, and winter. I also make sure my son, who unfortunately inherited my fair skin, has sunscreen on whenever we are outdoors. It is scary, but I also believe knowledge is power...make sure you study your body and are aware of anything odd that shows up on it. Know what you are looking for. Do a lot of research on melanoma. And find a good dermatologist and stick with them. You are not alone! Your dermatologist is a GREAT resource...if you ever have questions, concerns, or just want to talk out your fears with them. They are the ones that understand the seriousness of it. Not sure if I helped or not, but I do understand what you are going thru. Stay positive!

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