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Malignant Melanoma: Surgery

Posted by Rick · January 25th, 2004 · 23 Comments

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, about the changes wrought in my life by being diagnosed with malignant melanoma, a potentially-deadly skin cancer. However, writing about it has turned out to be less easy. Perhaps this is because when I write, I really have to do some thinking, whereas when I’m “just thinking about it”, I can easily flit off in my mind to something else when I don’t want to think too much about “it.”

Tomorrow I’m going in for surgery. The expectation is that the last of any residual cancer will be removed, creating a margin around it to ensure I’m “clean”. The only thing is that I’ll never “really” feel clean again; as one doctor told me, “You’re a marked man.” (He did not mean to indicate that I’m certainly going to die from this, only that for the rest of my life, this will be something for which to watch and with which to contend.)

It’s been an interesting road getting here.

First, there was the diagnosis. Then there was the whirlwind of doctor visits; first, the oncologist, then a surgeon and a plastic surgeon. The plastic surgeon — no doubt normally a nice person — created another psychological dip when he turned out to be — well, here’s how it went:

[The plastic surgeon enters the room]

Doctor: “I can’t make any kind of guarantee whatsoever. If that bothers you, you might as well get up and walk out of here right now.”

Me: “Hi. I’m Rick. I guess you must be my plastic surgeon.”

Doctor: “I’m Dr. _______.”

Then there was a discussion of my history and the proposed plan. He did an examination and took a couple of pictures of the site.

At one point during the examination, he went off on a little tirade about how lawyers had ruined America. I tried to be polite about it — after all, this was a guy who was going to be cutting on me in a few days.

Me: “Well, I’m not an attorney, of course. But I think it’s important to remember that lawyers are tools. If you want to be angry at someone, it might be better to focus on the people who hire the attorneys and tell them what they want to have happen.

Doctor: “I suppose you’re right…but still….”

We then continued on with the interview until, at one point, he states “If I’d known you were a law student, I would have refused to see you.”

I responded by noting that, among other things, not all lawyers are the same. I pointed out that firstly, I’m a law student and not a lawyer; thus, I could not have done anything to him yet. On top of that, I said, I’ve no intention of doing medical malpractice law and, if I did, I’d probably come down on the side of the health care provider, since I spent about 20 years working as an orderly, hospital corpsman (aboard a ship without a doctor, the USS Anchorage), emergency medical technician and then, finally, owned a medical transcription service for several years.

That night, I told my wife what had happened and she insisted that he had to be taken off the case. The next morning, I called my primary care doctor — whose husband, coincidentally, is an attorney and graduated from the same law school I’m currently attending.

Another doctor, who I like very much, had previously removed himself from the case because he thought he could not do the surgery. But, as it turns out, there are two parts to my surgery: 1) Wider excision with potential skin grafting from the original melanoma site and 2) lymph node staging. It turns out the part that the plastic surgeon was going to handle can be handled by the original nice surgeon that I liked very much.

So my primary doctor arranged to have him back on the case for that part.

And so, tomorrow, I will go into the hospital first thing in the morning. After checking the room again for spiders (it’s a superhero thing), they’ll inject me, again, with a radioactive substance. Some time later, I’ll be wheeled into surgery, where the doctors will use a geiger counter to find the radioactivity in my lymph nodes. The “sentinel” lymph nodes will be removed for biopsy. A widening of the original excision area will be done. And then I’ll be home, laid up, in bed, for about a week.

We are, of course, hoping that the sentinel lymph nodes will not have any cancer in them. If they do, then it’s more surgery some time down the road and, possibly, some kind of treatment like chemotherapy, Interferon, or one of numerous experimental things like a vaccine. If they are clean — and the oncologist gives a 4 out of 5 chance that they will be given the size of the original melanoma and the results of various tests — then I’ll be sewn up and it’s just “observation” for the rest of my life with scans every few months for the first couple of years.

Today, I’m going out for one last pre-surgical game of golf (I won’t be able to play again for several weeks) with friends. Tonight, I’m going to make one last posting about a new toy I just got. And then I think I might not be able to post anything for some days.

Please think good thoughts for me and my wife. We need them.

And thank you for reading my blog. I hope to return to my regular blogging — and less of this not-so-useful personal journaling! — by sometime late next week.

Oh, one last thing: You’re all welcome to post comments here, as you know. My wife will read them to me if I’m not out of bed yet when they come in.

Categories: Malignant Melanoma


23 responses so far ↓

  • 1 abi // Jan 25, 2004 at 12:53 pm


    I, too, am expecting a medical event soon, but of course they can’t schedule childbirth quite as precisely. (Well, yes they can, but both a C-section and induced labour are still a ways off.) So I’ll trade you – I’ll wish you luck on surgery if you’ll keep your fingers crossed for me in labour.

    (Melanoma vs. baby…I think I do come out ahead on this one in the end. On the other hand, anaesthesia vs labour…hmmm)


  • 2 Bob // Jan 26, 2004 at 8:21 am


    Our thoughts are with you.

    As you know, my wife and I endured the fear of a cancer dignosis and the resultant major surgery just to find out she was clean.

    We understand your fears and the discomfort of not knowing anything. Our only advice is to realize that doctors, with all their best intentions, look for and prepare for the worst. They error to the side of caution in every situation. This takes a huge toll on the patient and especially the spouse.

    From how you have described things, it seems like your chances are indeed very high. Concentrate on that, which is closer to reality, than on the ‘possibilities’ in which the doctors live.

    The doctors have a term called the ‘differential’. This simply means the ‘could be’. They live and think in the differential until cold hard fact takes them out of it. The cold hard fact is that your positive chances are far greater than your negative ones.

    Spend the bulk of your time in those thoughts and you’ll recover faster and the burden will be significantly lighter on your spouse.

    Doctors treat you, you treat your spouse.

    Wishing you the best,


  • 3 Rick // Jan 27, 2004 at 5:23 am

    Thanks for the supporting comments. They really do help.

    The surgery is done. I won’t go into all the pain aspects of it that are partially responsible for my being awake at this ungodly hour.

    Suffice it to say the doctors are happy with the surgery. I’ll get biopsy results Friday.

    Thanks again to everyone who has either posted here or emailed me direct.

  • 4 KIM // Apr 7, 2004 at 9:33 pm

    HI RICK–

  • 5 Rick // Apr 7, 2004 at 10:20 pm

    I will keep good thoughts in my mind for you. Waiting is a difficult thing. I kept wanting the waiting to be over, but also being afraid for what I might learn.

    I had my surgery, of course, in late January. Now I’m supposedly recovered. I say “supposedly,” because although the surgery is over, the scars — both physical and emotional — remain.

    Tonight, for the first time since my surgery, I managed to exercise a little bit on the elliptical machine. I used to exercise one to two hours per day. Tonight, I went about 10 minutes before I had to stop.

    I’m so far very lucky. The surgeon says they got all the cancer. I go now for check-ups every three months for a couple of years.

    Hopefully, we’ve seen the end of it.

    I’ve managed to return to most of my “normal” activities. I’ve returned to work; I’m back in school; I’ve even started playing golf again, although sometimes the scar pains me a little. By and large, I’m *almost* as well off as I was before. I’ve gained some weight, since I can’t yet work out like I did (but we’re going to fix that).

    Anyway, I wish you the best of luck. Please feel free to keep in contact with me if you want.

    May you — and your family — be well.

  • 6 Angela // Aug 27, 2004 at 4:32 pm

    Hi Rick,
    I’m 36, a mom of two (15 and 3 yr. old) and was just diagnosed with melanoma as well. I have my surgery on Monday. It’s a wide excision, but no lymph node biopsy. I have no idea what to expect about the size of the excision…with the original biopsy I had 5 stitches, so I assume this will be more (it’s on the back of my thigh). I’m having it done outpatient. You mentioned you were out of commission for a while…and I have no idea what is involved. I received no detailed info from my surgeon or dermotologist other than they will take out some more tissue, and at the point they were discussing it, I was about 5 minutes after I had just been given the biopsy results. Needless to say, lots of questions as I research this, but it’s Friday evening and my surgery is Monday morning so not much time to ask the doctors more questions until I get there. Any insight would be appreciated. I’m actually scheduled to travel the day after surgery, as nothing was said to me about being out of work, restrictions on activity, etc. I’m feeling pretty uninformed at the moment, which is unusual for me. I guess I’m still in shock that I have melanoma…it just hasn’t sunk in yet.

    Thanks for reading…


  • 7 Rick // Aug 28, 2004 at 10:03 am

    So no one thinks I ignore these comments — people are going through critically difficult times when they first hear they have cancer — I respond, as I did for Angela, personally via email.

    I do this partly because, depending on what has been said and my sense of what I should say, I can say things in an email that I wouldn’t post publicly. But, also, a person recently diagnosed with cancer is sometimes not fully cognizant of everything they say, or do, and certainly not of every website they visit. To ensure no one posts a comment here that goes unnoticed, I respond personally.

    As I told you in email, Angela, my thoughts will be with you Monday. Please don’t hesitate to contact me again, if you need someone to talk to, but from what you said about your diagnosis — and from what I remember from my own doctor’s comments — I have no doubt that you’re home free. (And isn’t that great to know!)

  • 8 steve billinghurst // Jan 9, 2005 at 6:09 pm

    It is Sunday, I have the excision surgery on Tuesday, It is on my thigh. I noticed that it was still growing under the biopsy, so at the same time it means I need the further surgery, ie, the biopsy doesn’t get it all, and it also makes me angry since the surgeon said it was 0.25 millimeter thick. The thicker the worse, right, as far as its ability to metasticize. The surgeon just says that when actually, that is the thickness of the biopsy and not the “depth” of the lesion itself. Therefore, to get away from the answers they just hand out (the medical establishment), I made ‘malpractice’ one of my search criteria, and this is the first site I have visited. One of your comments says she wasn’t told about limitations in activity. Neither was I. the surgeon said he didn’t think I could break his stitches. I think the lies of the doctors are not malPRACTICE. The PRACTICE is only what you DO, not what you SAY. The pain is going to be “self-limiting”. I just hope this doesn’t lose me my job. It is silly, but nobody wants to change everything just based upon some BAD NEWS. I live in San Diego.

  • 9 Rick Horowitz // Jan 9, 2005 at 8:27 pm

    Steve, I’m tempted to say, “You must have been a lawyer a very long time to be able to define an entire legal concept based upon a portion of one word.”

    But first let me say that I hope your surgery is completely successful and that you live a long and satisfying life.

    Now back to the point. Let me offer you a couple of definitions of the word “malpractice.” The first is from Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged:

    1 a : a dereliction from professional duty whether intentional, criminal, or merely negligent by one rendering professional services that results in injury, loss, or damage to the recipient of those services or to those entitled to rely upon them or that affects the public interest adversely b : the failure of one rendering professional services to exercise that degree of skill and learning commonly applied under all the circumstances in the community by the average prudent reputable member of the profession with the result of injury, loss, or damage to the recipient of those services or to those entitled to rely upon them
    2 : an injurious, negligent, or improper practice

    The next definition of “malpractice” is from Black’s Law Dictionary, 7th Edition (1999), p. 971, first column:

    An instance of negligence or incompetence on the part of a professional. To succeed in a malpractice claim, a plaintiff must also prove proximate cause and damages. — Also termed professional negligence.

    By offering these definitions, I’m not intending to offer anyone any legal advice; I’m simply commenting upon your lay methodology for determining the meaning of a legal term by showing that, on its surface, it seems at odds with both a “popular” and legal dictionary.

    Furthermore, lawyers can commit malpractice (which is why they’re required to carry malpractice insurance), and virtually all legal work is “what you SAY”; motions, arguments, appeals, cross-examination, etc., are all speech.

    In all situations where one is concerned about whether or not they have some legal claim — whether it be for “malpractice,” or anything else — they should consult with an attorney, who can look at the specific circumstances and issues of their case, rather than relying upon a layman’s opinion, or a website.

    It’s great that you don’t feel the need to file a malpractice complaint against a doctor just because you think he’s a liar. (Who knows? You might even be wrong!) But that doesn’t translate into negating all the world’s potential malpractice suits just because “PRACTICE is only what you DO.”

    I mean, heck, if you wanted to get real nitpicky, the meaning of “practice” is “to exercise oneself in for instruction or improvement or for the acquisition of discipline, proficiency, or dexterity.” I sure hope that’s not what your doctor was doing when he operated on you!!!

  • 10 E. Wright // May 2, 2005 at 11:15 pm


    Hello Rick:

    I hope your healing and that your wife and you are enjoying life together even more, after surgery.

    I had beginning stages of melanoma in early 2003. After two biopies by a podiatrist I was sent home to “watch” the spot for reoccurrance even though two pathogolgy depts said to go in for a 3rd time for a clean ridge. I didn’t know better and took my Podiatrist’s instructions. 5 months later I decided to go in just for a skin checkup at the dermotologist. She open my file and said I had to go in immediately to have it done again. Within two days I found myself sitting in the surgeon’s office and as she talked she is hurridily marking a huge spot on the side of my left foot to remove! I panicked. I asked her why she had to take so much. She looked up for a serious moment and said “you have beginning stages of melanoma” and 5 months have passed and we hope it hasn’t spread”! I was noticely quiet and couldn’t quite understand the enormity of what she had just told me. Having gone to the Dr without even telling my husband, because I thought it was just another punch biopsy I was in shock with fear slowly taking hold of my body. I was in a daze. I went back to work told everything to my employer and co-workers. Within a short time I was operated on.

    The healing process was so painful and debilitating. Everytime I got up to use the bathroom the blood felt like it would burst through the open wound. The stictches were so tight and so numerous across the top of my foot and down the side of it. In two months time I was limping around and depression and hopelessness was lifting. I limped but I was gettng better slowly. I could bathe by myself.

    The shock of my story, for me, is after going through all that, I went back to work and lost my job within 30 minutes that I returned in 11/04. The scope of my duties and autority were removed. After 20 years of service and dedication (never calling in sick unless I couldn’t get out of bed) and saving the organization from financial collaspe didn’t mean anything to those around me. My employer, my close co-worker, my staff were all in on it except me. They had planned my removal and when I finally got it what they were doing, they turned it into my being a bad manager.

    After 5 months of torture I lost my job on May 2004. It was the most horrible thing. I fell apart and didn’t think life was worth living. I retired. The untruths thrown at me by the employer, his attorney and the staff to cover up what they had planned was more than I could bear. I fell into a deep depression.

    My story is only made worse by the fact that I spent the last year trying to find an attorney to take my case in Northern Calfornia on a contingency. Do you know that not one will do it. They all say it’s a really compelling case but that constructive terminations are really hard to prove in our courts. The best attorney in Calfornia for employment law, says he lost the last 5 (really good) cases like mine and will never do one again. I stop and wonder, what does that say about the over all public good that does not exist for employee to sue an employer who would do something like this to a cancer patient of long standing who is over 50 years old? It is so disheartening and I’ve spent a year in counseling.

    I rec’d the right to sue from the EEOC and the DFEH and the NLRB said I lost my job on the 1st day I returned to work from disability and that what followed was an employment issue. It’s so hard for common person, who has no money to fight injustice. Even with all the employment laws we have in place.

    So I find myself with a June 3, 2005 deadline looming and no attorney will take it without being paid. I’ve got less than 4 weeks to get into court. I am so sad that he got away with it. There should be justice but there is none.

    I must look toward the future and give thanks I worked hard all my life and got an education. Even though I’m older I got a temp job for the moment. My life has been so tramatized, both by the surgery and by how my employer illegally treated me on my return. You might be surprised to know that it was a United Food and Commercial Worker’s Union President who did this to me. Yes, a union president who preaches to the corporations about fairness on the job! It’s the ultimate irony. After watching 3 other older long time employees get fired after I retired I’m so diheartened at the callousness of employers and that there is no ethics and no caring for what they do to older workers who are sick. Not even the “priests” of labor can be counted on to have integrity.

    And so Rick, live the best life you can. If you find kindness in those around you at work, friends and family who still love you and want you to thrive, you are blessed. There is nothing sadder than getting sick and coming back to twilight zone in your organization.

    Take care and I welcome a note back from you.

    E. Wright

  • 11 Brenda // Jul 19, 2005 at 9:05 am

    I have never read blogging before and this is new to me. I once experienced melanoma through my son and I do know some of the feelings that are involved. I want you to know that I just said a prayer for you and no one knows how you feel at any one moment. All we can do is stand by and be there for you.


  • 12 Beth // Jul 20, 2005 at 2:28 pm

    I was diagnosed with superficial spreading melanoma july 18th, (it’s like i’m outside looking in) , i belive it, but it’s doesn’t seem like it’s actully me i’m thinking about, or doing research for. I’m 36 and one day about 4 months ago i noticed a small mole on the inside of my right knee, that had not been there. I had it biopsied and it came back melanoma. .95 mm thick.not ulcerated thank GOD.
    It just seems to be going so fast , I met with my plastic surgeon yesterday the 19th and i’m scheduled for surgery and sentinel node mapping on the 27th.
    i have prayed for everyone i know and now please keep me and my family in your prayers god bless you and yours

  • 13 Rick Horowitz // Jul 20, 2005 at 2:48 pm

    Best wishes for your surgery.

    Melanoma is a scary thing. Not a day goes by when I don’t think about it a couple times or more per day — and I was first diagnosed, as you have read, nearly 1.5 years ago now.

    Last week, I had to go in for more tests because I’m having odd digestive problems. They did a biopsy and we’re hoping it won’t be bad news.

    Our thoughts are with you now, too.

  • 14 Dani // Aug 10, 2005 at 4:12 pm

    Hi Rick and everyone else who reads this!
    Im going in for melanoma surgery on the 22nd of August. I have a 6 weeks old son and was wondering about the pain part of it. Well after the surgery. ITs on my back. Will I be able to pick him up? Will I be on pain meds? And for how long will I have pain if I do?
    Thanks for taking time to email me you answers ( if you do!)
    Thanks, Dani

  • 15 Rick Horowitz // Aug 10, 2005 at 4:35 pm

    Hi, Dani. Very sorry to hear about your diagnosis. Cancer is just not a good thing, no matter how you look at it.

    Just last night, I was swimming — I have finally returned to a good exercise regime 1.5 years after my surgery — and it occurred to me that if my disease had progressed as my father-in-law’s did, I would have been dead for one year now. How time flies.

    I hasten to add here that my surgery, while significant, only stopped me from exercising for perhaps a few months. After that, it was just the old “having trouble getting back into the routine” thing.

    Your question sounds like a perfect one to ask your doctor — and my advice to you is that you do that. He (or she) is in the best position to know the answer. Each case may be different. My guess is that you’ll probably be able to lift your son (congratulations on your son’s birth, by the way). However, I would also think it depends on how much skin they take and how deep the incisions go.

    My own surgery was rather significant. I’m not going to provide any more detail than that. Suffice it to say that in my case I spent over a week recovering in bed. But my melanoma was not on my back; it was in a much more dangerous and critical area.

    This is just the sort of conversation you need to have with your doctor, but, again, I’ll be surprised if he tells you that you’ll be out of commission, when it comes to lifting your son, very long.

    Best of luck to you! Keep me and anyone else who reads these comments posted, okay?

  • 16 julie pritchard // Sep 15, 2005 at 10:11 am

    I am female, 58 yrs old & was diagnosed with Melanoma & had surgery Aug 25, 2005. The incision is on the upper right side of my back – 8″ long, 2″ wide and about 1″ deep, plus a 2 inch incision uder my right arm (biopsy). It looks as tho I have a giant zipper going diagonally across my back. My tests came back clear, but Tuesday I had a PET scan & tomorrow they want to do an MRI of my brain because the melanoma was so deep. My regular MD said it was probably just a blackhead & said I could go to a dermatologist if I wanted to – but I didn’t cause I thought she might be right. But then after 2 mos decided to go ahead and get approval (HMO) to a dermologist. He thought it was a blue nevus but then the results came back. I had to be off work for 2 weeks. The fluid started to build up under my arm from the lymph node biopsy so they had to put in a drain 10 days after the surgery……drain was removed a week later. I feel as tho I’ve been thru the mill.
    Just receive prayer from loved ones & friends, have positive thinking, and don’t go back to work too soon as you might be too exhausted.
    Good luck to all and God Bless.

  • 17 Sandy // Oct 1, 2005 at 9:51 am

    Wow! I just stumbled upon this site by accident and learned more in an hour reading all the posts than I have from all my doctor appointments. I had my surgery for malignant melanoma on 9/21. It was a small mole on the side of my leg opposite my kneecap. Inorder to avoid skin granting my plastic surgeon used many stitches and staples and as a result I am in a leg brace so that I don’t bend the knee and cause the stitches to burst. My lymph node biopsy came back clean but I am fuzzy on what is my next move. Next week my plastic surgeon will begin taking out stitches and he said that I probably won’t need to see an oncologist due to the biopsy results. I belong to an HMO and was approved to visit an oncologist. When I called the doctor’s office I was told to have my surgery and after about two weeks make the oncologist appointment. Does anyone else out there think that the oncologist appointment will be a waste of time? Too many doctors, too little information!


  • 18 steve billinghurst // Jul 15, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    I read my post here again. I do not know what I was talking about, “growing under the biopsy”. what a baby! That was on 1/9/05, so I am at that milestone of five years survival +/- six months.

    I put it in the back of my mind after the surgery. I can feel it. That is, the scar. It was a large chunk out of a fat leg.

    Thank you to Rick Horowitz. I wonder if he is a lawyer. I searched on malpractice. I pride myself on my search techniques. I am in the middle of one right now. It said someone searched on these terms to reach my blog: steve billinghurst san diego. I try it and it does not return my blog. Oh, well, I have too much free time. I got laid off. I was working in Las Vegas. It is 108 degrees there today anyway, and I do construction.

    Hey, get that diagnosis if you notice anything strange. That is all that saved my life. My poor Uncle Clinton died from melanoma.

    steve billinghursts last blog post..Common Decency

  • 19 steve billinghurst // Jul 15, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    Ah, good. My information is still entered; I can ramble on.

    Rick, you were feeding my ego pretty good. I was doing something, and, reading it myself, I would add in the element of irrationality, because I did not need to capitalize or italicize. I must have been afraid for my life, and it must have been a persistent psychological presence. Since I am alive, I guess I could not hear myself now: HEY STEVE! RELAX! YOU ARE GOING TO BE ALL RIGHT. Poor creature.

    I have just read that now, about the legal issues, and about the notion you put forth, i.e. “Hey, if it was a lawyer, it would be as if the entire service rendered were verbal.”

    My son spilled green sand all the time while I was writing just now. I mean just like Dr. Seuss. Tiny bright green cartoon sand distributed throughout. In the hair, on the ceiling, on the patio. He was six months old when I got my eventual diagnosis, and I was 52. I wanted to live to see him grow up. Is this what I wanted to live for? Be careful what you wish for.

    I am reading a book about Elvis Presley. It says he was an egomaniac. If only he wouldn’t have eaten all those fried potato sandwiches he’d be pushing 75. I wonder how you treat a big ego. Elvis never sued anybody. You know, at heart he was cool.

    steve billinghursts last blog post..Common Decency

  • 20 steve billinghurst // Apr 12, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    I posted here in 2005 and again in 2009, but now I have a tumor in my armpit which is malignant melanoma. Since it is not on the skin, it is Stage IV, ‘distant metastasis”, with a survival rate of under ten percent. One source says there are virtually no Stage IV survivors.

    I saw my son grow up to age six, but I am again glad that the original thrust of my posts was malpractice. I don’t think they do it right. It’s my opinion, but, as you can see I had a skin lesion. They should have been able to do more. Of course, they could have and they never did. I didn’t get sentinal node biopsy, and I didn’t get periodic scans. What I got was to have to go in to the dermatologist every six months for him to do more skin shaves looking for new “primary” tumors. Little did I know that they have in all probability killed me by skimping on the treatment.

    My name apears to be “crossed out”. I do not understand what that is for. It’s on my later posts.
    .-= steve billinghurst´s last blog ..Dark Circle =-.

  • 21 rebecca york // Aug 3, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    Hello Rick… I hope you are still doing great after your melanoma surgery. I was just diagnosed a week and a day ago with it and it’s on my heel on the bottom of my foot. My surgery w/ the 2 docs is Aug 26 2010. My son is coming home on leave in Oct from Afgh… I just hope I’m able to walk and do when he does. I have fibromyalgia and am diabetic. I was on a chemical therapy 7 years ago for something totally different. I just have to say after talking to the plastic surgeon on the phone today… and her saying when or IF you walk again… scared the hell out of me.

  • 22 Denise Fadorsen // Aug 23, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    I was diagnosed with melanoma in 2/2010. I had a wide excision surgery with sentinal lymph node biopsy done on 4/13/2010. I told it went great and there was no more melanoma. I put it out of my mind I was “cured”. Its been alittle over 4 months since my surgery and I have a lump at the excision site and it has tested for melanoma. They are saying lymph node involvement. I will have scans done this friday to see if it has spread-then after that decisions will be made what treatment route we will need to take. I remember at the time of my original diagnosis thinking I was going to “die” having the surgery and saying we “got it all”-what happened?? Very discouraged right now-trying to stay positive I am 44 years old and have a husband two daughters age 7 and 5. I am a cardiac RN-thought I knew what that lump was on my neck-NOT MELANOMA-so now I think-what do I know-obviously nothing!!

  • 23 ROBIN HANN // Jul 9, 2012 at 9:59 am

    I had a punch biopsy of the bottom of my left foot and i just got the phone call that is came back malignant. My podiatrist wants to do another bigger biopsy. Im scared because she has not really told me anything but it is malignant.

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