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Topic Newly diagnosed

Are you newly diagnosed with cancer? Read our series of blogs with information about cancer and its treatment, how to take control of its side effects and tips to help you to focus on wellbeing.

  • 87 conversations

Melanoma new diagnosis

Started by Anonymous on 23 October 2016 at 22:44

Hello,

After a real struggle to get an appointment with a specialist, I was finally diagnosed last week with melanoma (stage 1a). I say 'finally' because it was a big relief to start off with. My consultant was very positive, and made the next stages sound like no big deal.

However, when I saw him the next day he was much less positive and the whole experience was distressing - he won't listen to me, talks over the top of me. I have been given no information or sources of support. I know I need a WLE but was told there's no rush for that. Also having an ultrasound of my lymph nodes (one is very slightly enlarged and has been since 2009 - but I didnt get the chance to explain that). 

I have so many questions about the surgery but no one to ask. My feelings are naturally all over the place and it's being made worse by not having anyone to ask about the specifics of my situation. 

Comments (5)

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Displaying 5 comments

  • From Anonymous
    18 May 2017 at 17:53

    Hi Freckle

     

    It's a lot to process isn't it? I was told for over a year it was fine, but I knew it wasn't. There's a strong family history of melanoma and I had a good idea what it looked like. 

    My checkups are every three months, but probably like you, I check regularly myself. The balance for me at the moment is trying not to be paranoid that every mole is 'odd' or that every ache and pain is something sinister. 

    I had my WLE under a local as well, and I'm glad I did. Hope it goes smoothly and you heal up quickly.  


  • From Anonymous
    18 May 2017 at 14:13

    Hi Katypips,

    Great that you're online! My diagnosis came completely out of the blue (the doctors all kept telling me that it was 'probably nothing'), so I'm struggling to process it at the moment.

    At least I know what to expect from a WLE now, so the next one shouldn't be too bad (and this time it will be under local, rather than general). 

    I didn't realise that genetic testing could be done! How often are your check-ups? I have a less common type of melanoma that looks quite different to all my other moles - but I've always had lots of weird moles, so I've requested that they are all checked out.  

     

     


  • From Anonymous
    18 May 2017 at 14:03

    Hi Freckle

     

    Thanks for your message. I had my WLE and am in the checking up phase. Waiting for news about genetic testing. 

    How are you feeling? 

    Katypips


  • From Anonymous
    18 May 2017 at 13:52

    Hi katypips,

    I realise that your post is quite old now, but I stopped by to say that I have recently been diagnosed with melanoma too. Mine is invasive (and gynaecological) - I have already had a WLE as part of a diagnostic biopsy, but I will need to have another operation to create larger margins.

    How are you getting on?


  • Picture of SusieQ
    From SusieQ  
    24 October 2016 at 09:43
    Edited on: 24 October 2016 at 09:45

    Hello,

    I imagine it has been a distressing weekend for you - left with so many questions, and a feeling of not being listened to. There would be the initial sense of relief at finding the diagnosis is of a very early cancer - but then the reality is perhaps kicking in, that this is real, and perhaps feeling more serious than you first imagined.

    There are some very useful and reliable websites for information, which may help you get your head round what is happening. If you look at Maggie's Cancerlink's section on 'Melanoma' you'll find some useful places to start.

    The treatment should simply be a wide local excision, and perhaps a sentinel node biopsy, to ensure lymph glands are not affected. (You may find reading this section on 'Surgery for melanoma' from Cancer Research Uk helpful).

    Having an ultra sound of your lymph glands sounds a normal part of the pre op procedure, especially if one of your lymph glands has seemed a little swollen. It's frustrating that the consultant didn't seem to hear your explanation that it's been like that for years - but it's a non invasive test, and can give you peace of mind.

    What may help to give you some reassurance is to contact the hospital's specialist nurse for skin cancer. You may have met him/her at your first appointment? If you didn't, do phone the consultant's secretary and ask for the contact details of your specialist nurse. They would be able to look at your notes and explain in more detail about what is going to happen, and you can mention the issue of the swollen lymph gland...and that it felt like the consultant hadn't perhaps heard what you'd been saying.

    I'll message you to introduce myself, and hopefully you'll feel less scared and alone...it's natural to be finding the news an emotional time...a horrible feeling.

    Warm wishes

    Sue

     


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