View Full Version : Help

04-04-2006, 04:02 PM
Hi, I have not visited this board before. I am a little freaked out today. I went to my dermotologist last week to have him look at a place on my neck. It was just a black mole looking place I found. Not sore, not raised, not itching, nothing, just there. He said at the time it was the kind of thing that could turn into cancer, but he wasn't concerned. Numbed it, cut if off right then. I go back today and he is saying it wasn't malignant, but it wasn't just an abnormal mole? I have to go see a cancer dr, and let him decide if he needs to take off more and maybe biopsy limp nodes? Now why would you do this if it's not classified as malignant? Dr said it was evolving? What the heck is that? IT's yes or its no, I didn't know there was a grey area for this? Any of you have anything like this before? Thanks for any information.

Ga Lady
04-04-2006, 04:42 PM
He didn't give you a diagnosis? Did you ask for your Pathology report?

There are three types of skin cancer: Basal, Squamous, and Melanoma. Basal is the best to have if your going to have it. Squamous CAN go deeper and metatisize if it has went into deeper layers of the tissue but Melanoma is the Black Widow of them all. If he said it wasn't Melanoma then I would "assume" Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Which if it's deep then it "possibly" go deeper into the layers of skin.

I was diagnosed with melanoma as you probably have already read through some of the posts. But I got the exact diagnsis upon the day of knowing. I dont understand your doctors strategy of not telling you the name of your diagnosis. We always tell patients what they have when we call them to give them their path reports. I would call them tomorrow and tell them that you would like to pick up a copy of your path report. That way you will know in DETAIL exactly what you are looking at and the pathologists ALWAYS put down the diagnosis. And normally the doctor will send what he "thinks" it is when he sends it off. Mine said Clinical Data: Basal Cell vs Squamous vs Keratosis....then the Diagnosis said: Malignant Melanoma. So try not to "write" more into than it is. I know we sent a man for radiation therapy for his face because his basal cells were involved beyond surgery or beyond using any kind of creams. Did he mention possible radiation to the face? Or just discussed surgery? With him speaking of your lymph nodes I am assuming he was talking surgery. I didn't have to have my lymph nodes removed due to the Breslow Level of my Melanoma being under the criteria of doing so. I did fall into the Clark Level category of a IV which is oft times a critieria for "removing lymph nodes" but I chose not to. I went to an oncologist for my peace of mind. It about drove me bonkers because when they start doing all those scans its like fishing in the ocean...you're going to catch some "oddities" you've never seen. I had spots on my liver and lungs and kidney...Had a Pet Scan done and it was fine. I will keep you in my thoughts and My prayers. God is the great Healer! Always remember that and also remember when youare feeling all alone...You aren't! God Bless!

04-04-2006, 07:15 PM
Thank you so much for your response. He didn't tell me anything and I didn't know what to ask. After I got home, I felt like he gave me the bums rush out of his office. I started worrying that he screwed up by just cutting it off and he just wanted to shove me off on someone else! I am going to call his office tomorrow and ask what the report said. The whole way he handled it was strange. I will let you know what I find out. I hope your doing well. This hit me, I just wasn't expecting it to be anything. I have seen the handouts for years what skin cancer looks like and this was never in the pictures! What doesn't add up, as they said it wasn't malignant?? You don't send someone to a surgeon for nothing?

04-05-2006, 08:45 AM
never trust a doctor who rushes you out of his office.. I've been through one too many of those!!!! I agree to call and ask about what the pathology report said. If you get that back and still don't feel comfortable, go see a different doctor. They may say you don't need it removed. Sometimes though, dermatologists may do a "safer than sorry" approach if the mole is suspicious or they think it may eventually turn malignant and remove it anyway. I had two moles completely removed because they were suspicious and my doc was afraid they could eventually become malignant.

04-05-2006, 02:36 PM
Thank you both for your input. I finally heard back from the doctor. I am not real happy with him. I didn't know what to ask yesterday and he wasn't real forthcoming. He now tells me that is was definately involving into melanoma, but it was caught at the earliest possible form. The doc I have to see monday is most definately going to want to take more tissue just to be sure that there are no left over cells. I will let you know how it goes . I think I am never going outside between 10 and 3 for the rest of my life. It is great that you guys are here to help us less knowledgable people.

04-05-2006, 03:28 PM
I also asked him why he told me yesterday that it wasn't malignant if it wasn't definately evolving into melanoma? He said it was in a grey area in between? The most bizarre thing I have heard. Ga You work in a dermotologist office, have you ever heard of such a thing? I want them to cut out all they want to make sure there isn't anymore.

Ga Lady
04-05-2006, 07:37 PM
I think I know exactly what he is saying, There are Stage 0, 1,2,3,4 with Melanoma. For instance, mine is Stage 1b, (b, because it went to the Clark Level of a IV) If that hadn't of happened then I would of only been Stage 1a. Ok with all that said...

There is a stage of Melanoma called Melanoma In Situ, what this is, is the "beginnings" of Melanoma. The prognosis for this is 100% cure rate. The best there is. With my stage it is 97% cure rate of not ever returning putting me in the "gray area" some, due to the Clark Level going to a IV (four)

What I am thinking...."key word" *thinking*, your derm isn't "secure in dealing with Melanoma" or " feels it's best to send you on to a Cancer Surgeon for your best interest. My derm "specializes" in skin cancers and skin disease. Oft times derms specialize in different things if that makes sense.

I am right here for you. I am leaving Friday to go for a weekend trip with my daughter and mother for some "girl time" but I will be back Sunday.

I am also going to go ahead and say this without really "seeing" the path. But I would say yours is a Melanoma Insitu, and what they will do is going in and take .5 cm margins to make sure all the melanoma cells are out. Then they will send that back for pathology to insure that there are "clear margins" which means no cells outside the excisional biopsy. Mine was .80 in depth, so he took out a 1cm marginal excisional...about the size of a golfball and I had clear margins. I have NEVER heard having your lymph nodes biopsied with a Melanoma Insitu. Only with the other stages above 1b or greater.

Remember that this IS NOT a death sentence. But it's often a flag. Be glad you caught it in time. I am almost POSITIVE this what yours is. You're in my prayers! For peace of mind and For Healing! God Bless!

04-06-2006, 01:47 AM
I cannot tell you what a blessing you are. as you can see by the time, I cannot sleep. I wake up and can't get back to sleep worrying about this. Even if my next biopsy is clear, this is going to change my way of life totally. I have always been an outdoor person. I was laid off from my job 4 years ago and I have spent probably 3 times the amount of time outside doing yardwork (which I love!) I now do not feel that I can be outside during the main hours of the day at all. I have a lot of plans for the future and I don't want to die from this. I know I shouldn't whine and I am really happy that I went and got this checked. It didn't look like anything I had ever seen about skin cancer, but my gut told me to go. I am dealing with menopause on top of everything else! lol! At least you have about ten good years before you get that pain in the butt Ga! I cannot thank you enough for all your information. You have told me more than my doctor. The way he handled this made it worse. When I went back in Tuesday, he treated me like I was terminal and he couldn't wait to get me out of the office! Even yesterday when he called me back, he was an ***. I am supposed to go back to him in 6 weeks for a total body scan, but I really don't want to see this man again. And the thought of him looking at my whole body is an ick! I hope you have a great weekend and will let you know how my next part goes. I hope the next dr I see Monday is more patient friendly than my dermotologist! Again, thank you so much!

Ga Lady
04-06-2006, 06:19 AM
Well, I sound all "bold" and stuff...Don't I? I am going to try to give ya a "run down" of how I "was" before Melanoma. Oft times "words" gives us a different character than we really are, I "try" not to "seem" so bold, because in reality I was totally "blind sided" by this.
When I was 19, I lost my Papa to a brain tumor (Pa pa was my Hero) but it triggered something in me that changed me forever. First of all, I had just had my second child (my daughter Nikki) and I imagine with hormones and all the grieving....I began having Panic Attacks, Severe at that, and I was trying to work, 2 babies and a hubby through all this emotional turmoil. I over came it, but through that process I got it in my head that I "must" have a brain tumor also. (weird how our brains do us, or imagination) the reason I thought this was because I had had migraines all of my life. So the "DR" I was seeing for my anxiety, baby, etc. told me he was going to have me have CT scans ran "for my peace of mind" that landed me in Emory University with the largest arachnoid cyst that they had ever seen on a brain. Yep! No surgery needed. I was born with the oddity! (Hmmm) Life kind of "gathered" itself back to normal somewhat. I became pregnant again, (no I wasn't on welfare LOL) I had three babies by the age of 20, AND A HUSBAND LOL! But I was 'thinking' this time it would be alright. And it was. UNTIL I was 26, The panic and anxiety came at me so fast, that it almost "crippled' me to the point I didn't want to leaveme house (bear in mind....I done everything on my own) But after a 3 month medical leave, I got up one morning, and set myself some goals for that day. But MiddleAged, do you know what my number one fear was? Dying! I was "cancer phobic" and just knew my heart would blow up when it would race so hard (I have to take meds for that today) But 10 years later, I came face to face with my "Fear" and not ONCE did I have a panic attack. Now how weird? Nah, not really, I believe in prayer and in faith. But at the time I was told I had Melanoma you can be sure, I was waking up all hours of the night, breaking down behind closed doors, so my daughter and sons wouldn't see how scared I was. Leaning on my husbands faith. He is such a man of faith. I had none. Zilch! Until, and this was my "BIG TEST" here...My husband and his dad hadnever been on a vacation or anything together in the 20 years of marriage, well guess what happened, they scheduled my scans and PET scan that very week of him being gone. I stood strong. I looked at him and told him "to go on, He was just as good for me there as he was here" and during that week, I felt the "Hands of God" just "Hold Me' (you know that Footprints in the Sand thingy, well, I was there...;)) but anyways, I overcame the "nonsense" fears. I overcame the "ohhhhhhhh we gotta have this done and that done the house is a wreck thing", I live today and everyday as if it were my last. And when I finally gave all my woes to the Lord, and truely LEFT them there for him to fix and not me "trying" to tell him how to fix it...LOL! I am a stronger person. I really am. But I wanted you to know how big of a "scaredy cat" I was. To be faced with life's struggles and troubles, it can be overwhelming...."But Greater is He that is in ME than he that is in the word!"
And I am not going through menopause but I am going through that "perimenopause" My mom went through an early normal menopause at the age of 39, and well, ummm the gyno told me I was in the "beginnings"...those kind of moods that makes you want to pinch the cat to see howloudit will squawl? LOL!

You are in my prayers my dear. I dont know you. But in my heart, I feel a connection, and with that connection, I believe that's when the spirit bears witness for us to help others. God is always here and there. Talk to him...Tell him your fears...Trust me, you'll be surprised at how much you'll feel better just talking outloud to the Lord, driving down the road, and Yeah I think I beat my steering wheel a time or two...but Ummm God still loves me!

I know the fear, I know the emotional trauma, and I also know that this changedmy life in its entirety...You can go outside, but wear sunscreen...Derm recommended, and wear long sleeve shirt of cotton for your arms...and gloves for your hands...and Yep! A cap for your head....

Much Love and Peace going out to you! God says you're Going to make it! (we sing that song at our church) and No, I am not a religious phanitic...I am as human as they come, but I do know the healing powers of our Lord and I know that He is there when it seems the whole world isn't! God Bless!

04-07-2006, 02:53 AM
GA you are such a sweetheart. Our minds can play cruel tricks on us. I was a young mom too. I just celebrated my 52nd birthday and I have a daughter who is not much younger than you. She will be 34 in November. When I was in my late 20's my favorite cousin dropped dead of an annurism (sp). He was on his daily 20 mile bike ride and one of the fittest people I knew. He was also 33 years old. Though in excellent shape, he had high blood pressure and they said he was dead before he hit the ground from the bike. I was very paranoid after that and imagined that I was going to get one. It was then that I quit cooking with salt and started making everyone eat wheat bread! lol! I didn't know what a health benefit those things would be later in life.
I admit that I have always tanned, I have used tanning beds, and I have never been much for suntan lotion because I didn't burn easily. It is one of those things that you always hear about, but you think it won't happen to you. Now I am a statistic. I gather from your id you live in Georgia, I live in Texas and you know how much time you can spend outside in the south! When I was a kid, the accepted suntan lotion was baby oil!
I am sure after talking to my weirdo acting dr, that the second doc is defenately going to do another biopsy, which I want. I don't want to go through life wondering if I am a timebomb waiting to go off. I thank God that I went. I think you are right, this dr does not feel comfortable dealing with this. But the way he acted made me think I was dying.
I know that there is no use obsessing about it. I am a great believer in destiny. What's going to happen is going to happen. I found a company called sun protections that sell clothes that block uv rays with huge wide brim hats. Really pricey though!
I hope I don't have to wait a long time between this visit Monday and when he does another biopsy. They said this visit would only be a consult.
I cannot tell you how much better you have made this week for me. You provided more information and rational insight than I could find anywhere. My doctor made things so much worse by the way he handled things. Even when I called back and made him tell me, I had to say melanoma, he wouldn't even say the word!
I hope that you have a great time on your girls weekend out! I have had my 8yr old granddaughter this week, and she has really helped keep me from getting too upset. There is no greater joy in life than being a grandmother. God Bless you and I will let you know what this one says Monday.

Ga Lady
04-10-2006, 03:27 PM
MiddleAgedCrazy, Now I have thought of you all weekend. And even today. THis was my first "site" of the evning to check out once I got home from work today. I am wondering how things are...wondering if you're ok...and well......WONDERING! LOL!

I had a wonderful weekend. I am tired from the riding but I enjoyed my time with Mom and my daughter and aunts and cousins! We had a "ball" as we say here in the South! Ok...I am going to be waiting to see...........Let me know!

Ga Lady
04-10-2006, 06:01 PM
......<tappin' fingers and resting chin in hand....> Middle Aged Crazy? Where art thou? I am here waiting to hear what they said....Please post to let me know. Ok?

04-11-2006, 05:17 AM
HI ga, I am sorry I didn't post last night, it was late and I was exhausted by the time we got home. I cannot thank you enough for the info you provided last week. Everything you said was true! This doc was a sweetheart with a great bedside manner. He immedicately told me to forget eveything the dermo told me! lol! I got the impression that he had to calm down patients from him before. He said exactly what you posted. Insitu. Not great, not really melanoma. He took another sample as a percaution, but he said he had no doubt it would be clear. No mention of any biopsy of lymp nodes as suggested by the dermo. That man still puzzles me. Apparently he is just an acne and face cream dermo!
You are an :angel: ! You made a really bad week for me so much better. I can't believe how little I really knew about skin cancer. Now I want to tell you about something that I do know about. I read that you are having peri-menopause symptoms. Having been through unbelievable misery with that, my first advice, unless you just have a wonderful doc that you love, find you a women doc. Part of why I suffered in silence for so long was the insensitivity of every male doc that I tried to bring the subject up with. Because I never had a hot flash one, they didn't think I had a problem! And some docs if you push it, they just perscribe you anti depresants, which I would never take. I wasn't depressed, so why would I want those? You do not realize what all your hormones regulate. Low hormones can make your thyroid not work, which makes your cholesteral high, which most docs then want to put you on some high priced meds for the rest of your life. I gained about 30 lbs and could not lose weight despite following a strict, no junk food, fried food diet. I eat nothing but salad, steamed veggies, yogurt, ect. At no time in my life have I eaten so healthy and yet in over a year lost only 16lbs. My doc at the time, just waved his hand at me and told me that I was still just eating too much of those things! What an azz! I went to a women doc that told me about bio identical hormones, made from plant extracts, not pregnant horse urine as the HRT of old. I have been using it two weeks and I have already lost weight! SO find you a good doc NOW that knows about bio hormones and don't suffer as I did for years! In my opinion, no one will deal with this issue like a women doc and this is coming from someone that always thought going to a women doc was icky! This one told me she has taken so many women off anti depressants that they were given by male docs for menopause!
I will let you know about this path. I go back and get my now five stiches out next monday. I only had one stich from the dermo and it hurt like hell when the numbing stuff wore off, these don't hurt at all. I can never thank you enough for help, information and compassion in my time of need. :)

Ga Lady
04-11-2006, 03:27 PM
Ohhhhhhhhhh! I am ever so tickled! I knew it! I knew it! I kept wondering last night....I thought OH MY IT"S BAD AND SHE DOESN"T WANT TO TELL ME...LOL! Isn't it nice to be in the "arms" of a compassionate Dr!? I am thanking God for this! I truely am because you were in my prayers. Really and Truely you were! And you will have clear margins! Yes Ma'm indeed! I am going to find out about those "hormones" you're talking about. I am having "surges" as I call them..not hotflashes but just them flashes of "surge" if that makes sense.? Mom went through early menopause and I am pretty much believing I am too...(pinch the cat and hear it squawl thing)...Today was an obstacle for me to keep my "upmost" composure that I have a reputation for...(always smiling and nice thing) because we had some complete azz's (as you call em) come in the office today who really tried my patience BEYOND what I would allow my own family do but I smiled with sarcasm with each one! LOL! Oh well....Mother Dear said there would be days like this! It's wonderful to be able to help...ANd I am thankful that I could help you. Not patting myself on the back for nothing..But just FILLED UP with happiness that I could help you. I had a "puter friend" who helped me that was terminal for MM (she never told me until the end drew near) and she kept telling me that mine was the "best kind" if I would just do as I was told by the derm and bless her dear heart...She went on to be with the Lord a few months ago. Her's was the deep involved kind ...So we are blessed Hun!

This diagnosis and what you have went through will make you look at life differently; it's one of those things like having a gun to your head and no one there to help...But I look at life as a second chance now...And I live life differently in the ways of HOW I do things and WHAT is priority and WHO I love! You will and probably do! God Bless You and it was a pleasure to correspond with you via the healthboards! Ain't God SOO Gooooooood!?

04-11-2006, 06:25 PM
God IS is good Ga and I truly feel blessed. Blessed to have been lucky and blessed that you are here to help all of us scared and misimformed! One Bonnie Raitt song has a line that I have really understood since turning 50, "Life is kind of precious, when theres less of it to waste." When you are faced with your mortality it makes you realize how much time we all waste on baloney that is not important.
I am so sorry to hear that your friend was terminal. MM is a really scary thing. It can be so bad before you find it. I exactly what you mean about making the cat scream! I spent about 6 years like that! I think these hormones are going to be an excellent move for me. I hope you can find someone good that knows about them. I have found websites on the net where you can search for compounding pharmacies. I was amazed to find one in my town, since I live in a small rural area.
My appointment is earlier next monday to remove my stitches and get the report. I will let you know my final thing. I bought a huge weird hat! lol! I look like my greatgrandmother in it, but I really don't care. I'm not doing yardwork without it or my 35 sunscreen anymore. I hope you don't get tired of doing what you do on this board, because you provided better info than any I found on the internet and waaaaaaaayyyyy better than my ex dermotologist! Have a good rest of the week and I hope all the difficult patients are done with for you this week! :D

Ga Lady
04-12-2006, 07:25 PM
Thank you! I am going to make an appt with my "FEMALE" gyno pretty soon. Got too! LOL! I am "erking" the world off at the present moment. My own daughter who is more like a sister to me told me I was just tooooooo much to handle here lately! LOL! Together you and I can get through all this stuff! I just know it! Yep! Thank you again for your words of encouragement of saying I help, I just know the basics and not all of it but I try to help people with their first fears. I knew the horror I felt and I was grabbing all the info I knew. Some scaredme too much. Others blew it off as nothing while I sat and pretty much thought life was over. WRONG! LOL!

Blessing and Peace tonight..........Love to all

04-17-2006, 05:53 PM
HI Ga, I got the stitches removed today. The path was clear! Thank God! The last few weeks have been a rollercoaster ride and a half! I know I am so lucky to have found this and had it removed. I am also lucky to have found such a knowledgable and compassionate person as you GA. You are a life saver on this board! I hope you have continued good health. You should come by the menopause board. No one knows as much about that subject as you do skin cancer, but we are all muddling through. Sometimes it is just good to see that other people are having the same symptoms as you! God Bless you! :angel:

Ga Lady
04-17-2006, 08:15 PM
Wonderful! I was awaiting to hear those results! I believe I will "swing" my way over there on those menopause boards soon! Thank you for your kind words. God Bless!

05-27-2006, 08:06 AM
HI Ga, I was thinking of you and dropped by. I see you are still being the angel of information on this board. I hope you and everyone here has a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. I will never forget what a life saver you are! :angel:

Ga Lady
05-27-2006, 12:04 PM
Aww! Ty! I just came by thehouse, and actually had you on my mind too, Thank you! My only daughter graduated last night. 2 down and 1 more to go. Very proud Momma here! We are campin' this weekend but just had to really come in and tidy up from last night. Love to you and God Bless American and our Soldiers!