MPIP: Melanoma Patients Information Page

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The MPIP is the oldest and largest community of people affected by melanoma hosted through the Melanoma Research Foundation. It is designed to provide support and information to caregivers, patients, family and friends. Once you have been touched by melanoma—either as a patient or as a family member or friend of a patient—you become part of a community. It is not a community anyone joins willingly. But if you must be part of this group, you will find no better place to find the tools you need in your journey with this cancer, and the friends who can make that journey more bearable.

The information on the bulletin board is open and accessible to everyone. To add a new topic or to post a reply, you must be a registered user. Please note that you will be able to post both topics and replies anonymously even though you are logged in. All posts must abide by MRF posting policies.

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Hello all,

I have a quick question. I had a CT scan for my kidneys because I was having back pain and my doctor (urologist) thinks it is an obstruction. Kidney is most likely ok, however the scan showed 2 small and one medium sub centimeter hypodensities in my liver. I had stage 1 on my foot in 12/15 removed and NED ever since. Should I be worried about these spots ? Any recommendations? Can it metastasis to the liver without being in the lymph nodes? Of course I will be sending results of scan to my oncologist, next week. But just a little concerned my urologist thought it was no big deal and I should have another scan in 6 months.


Cynthia Rush

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tkoss's picture
Replies 1
Last reply 3/21/2020 - 4:35am
Replies by: MelMel

The following article maybe of interest in light of the current Covid-19 crisis.

"We report the kinetics of immune responses in relation to clinical and virological features of a patient with mild-to-moderate coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) that required hospitalization. Increased antibody-secreting cells (ASCs), follicular helper T cells (TFH cells), activated CD4+ T cells and CD8+ T cells and immunoglobulin M (IgM) and IgG antibodies that bound the COVID-19-causing coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 were detected in blood before symptomatic recovery. These immunological changes persisted for at least 7 d following full resolution of symptoms.

Collectively, our study provides novel contributions to the understanding of the breadth and kinetics of immune responses during a non-severe case of COVID-19. This patient did not experience complications of respiratory failure or acute respiratory distress syndrome, did not require supplemental oxygenation, and was discharged within a week of hospitalization, consistent with non-severe but symptomatic disease. We have provided evidence on the recruitment of immune cell populations (ASCs, TFH cells and activated CD4+ and CD8+ T cells), together with IgM and IgG SARS-CoV-2-binding antibodies, in the patient’s blood before the resolution of symptoms. We propose that these immune parameters should be characterized in larger cohorts of people with COVID-19 with different disease severities to determine whether they could be used to predict disease outcome and evaluate new interventions that might minimize severity and/or to inform protective vaccine candidates. Furthermore, our study indicates that robust multi-factorial immune responses can be elicited to the newly emerged virus SARS-CoV-2 and, similar to the avian H7N9 disease8, early adaptive immune responses might correlate with better clinical outcomes."

I am hoping we start reducing that curve real soon.


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geriakt's picture
Replies 9
Last reply 3/21/2020 - 3:55am

I was diagnosed 3B melanoma ad had 36 Opdivo treatments in a 50 week time frame all at elevated dose per a Clinical Trial. It has been 3 years since my last infusion, but have continued to get CT scans with contrast. Over time my Creatinine levels have increased to 1.6 which is stage 3 kidney failure.
Has anyone else developed diminished kidney function after treatment of Opdivo and or CT dcan dye? Is so what type of treatment was prescribed?

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tkoss's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 3/21/2020 - 3:59am
Replies by: Tsvetochka, Nadia1

a heads up: Derm made a really big deal that i should not take aspirin prior to office excision of a mole. he even went as far as to push excision back a week until i had time to clear aspirin. He was perfectly fine with me taking Tylenol as substitute.

I emphasize he made a really big deal about the aspirin because i had a WLE and SLNB in hospital and excision in derms office and basically was instructed to knock off aspirin the day before. Now Derm is saying it is essential to knock off aspirin weeks before.


switching to Tylenol(acetaminophen) raised liver enzymes and my infusions are canceled until enzymes come down. whoah!

i had the saline drip going and they were ready to mix nivo when PA called it off. To say that PA came in and demonstrably told me in no uncertain terms tylenol caused enzymes to drop and so infusions had to stop would not be correct. i basically had to pick thru his comments to get at the root of the matter. Tylenol may or may not have raised enzymes, and cessation may or may not send levels back to normal and i may or may not resume infusions.

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Shelby - MRF's picture
Replies 1
Last reply 3/20/2020 - 6:33pm
Replies by: Nadia1

Dear MPIP Community:

I wanted to share the MRF's COVID-19 Update that was emailed earlier today. The MRF is committed to ensuring that all of our community is informed and supported during and after this unprecedented time. Please take a moment to read through the various steps the MRF is taking to implement social distancing, as well as ways for you to remain involved with our mission of research, education and advocacy.  

If there is anything you need from the MRF, please know that we are here for you. We are currently exploring ways to modify our postponed in-person educational activities, so if there are questions you need answered or topics you are finding difficult to navigate, please email me directly at so we can help find solutions. We are continually monitoring the situation at several major academic medical centers and are in touch with melanoma treatment teams across the nation so we may provide you with pertinent information in a timely manner. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have questions.

All the best,

Shelby - MRF

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We live in Greece and my husband has been taking keytruda for almost two years, with success and no side effects. Due to covid19 spread in our country there are very strict restrictions about people moving inside the country. We live in an island and my husband has to travel to take his medicine. His next treatment is next week but his doctor was very sceptical about whether he should travel. The measures get stricter and stricter and nobody knows when will get back to normal. Is it ok if he misses one or two treatments, or more provided that the carantine time has ended? Thank you

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Affected's picture
Replies 6
Last reply 3/19/2020 - 2:07am

Hi Everyone., and To All Those That Have Responded to My Previous Texts,

Thank you from the bottom, top, and all possible sides of my heart and soul.

I haven't been on the board in a while, but I just wanted to let you all know that my husband had his first CT scan (head to toe) since his tumor removal in his parotid (salivary) gland last July, and the results showed no evidence of any spread!!!!! We are delighted. Really happy. I am so grateful for all your prayers and help and support and advice and for always being there for me. He is still on adjuvant immunotherapy of NIVO, but because of the Covid-19 virus spread here in Ireland and a very underfunded health system, his dose has been doubled in order for him to go to hospital only once a month instead of every two weeks. That is the norm in the US so we're OK with the change, as it will decrease the risk of him coming into contact with people that may be carrying coronavirus.

Again, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. May God listen to all my prayers and keep you safe and strong in this battle against melanoma.

With lots of love,

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Anonymous's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 3/19/2020 - 1:51am
Replies by: MelMel, HeidiZ, AMcReader

Hey friends,

Peace to all of you currently fighting and those of you feeling anxious.

I’ve been NED and off treatment since March 2017. I had metastases to my spine, liver, and lungs. I’m wondering if I should go to work this week; I teach and students will not be there, but teachers are expected to go to school to teach online.

What are other NED folks doing? Although we are NED, are we at-risk because of the damage already done to our lungs?

I’ve reached out to my doctor at MD Anderson, but I’m sure they are busy and have more important questions to answer. I’d love to hear what others are doing.


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Beany's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 3/15/2020 - 10:09pm
Replies by: Beany, Bubbles

Hello all,

I posted progress of my first and second combo treatments. My doctor prescribed prednisone 5mg per day starting from the first infusion. He only gives me enough for four days then does a blood test.
Anyway, my question is is it strange to prescribe prednisone before side effects occur?

Thanks to Ed and Edwin for the heads up.


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eouellet's picture
Replies 6
Last reply 3/15/2020 - 7:22pm
Replies by: Bubbles, eouellet

Hello Everyone,

I am taking Dab/Tram for Adjuvant therapy (recurrent melanoma in 2 left axillary lymph nodes (January 2020), after the removal of melanoma on my left back with negative margins and negative sentinel node biopsy in Nov 2018)

I am experiencing a grade 3/4 side effect: low White Blood Cells and Low Neutrophils (which occurred after 10 days of the first dosing). After stopping the medication for 5 days, they (WBCs and Neutrophils) returned to normal quickly. After restarting a second time, the same happened after 8 days but not as severe. I stayed on the medication for an additional 4 days with the same lab results, but no further decrease in my counts. THEN...the infamous fever, chills, aches presented that evening and next day. My Oncologist advised me to stop the medications again (perfectly makes sense). I am going to see him Monday (3/16/2020) to discuss. In a brief discussion Friday on the phone he mentioned discussing immunotherapy.

I have the BRAF + mutation melanoma for which BRAF and MEK-1 inhibitors are indicated for treatment. I also understand these medication are newly FDA approved and Neutropenia (low WBCs + Neutrophils) only occurred in 11% of the patients who participated in the trials of this combination treatment. I cannot find any information regarding the attempts to manage this side effect.

Has anyone experienced this side effect (low WBCs and Neutrophils? How did your oncologist help you manage it? I really want to try dose adjustment (as done with fever, chills, aches)...or if this is chronic, try taking filgrastim (Neulasta) to enhance WBC production? I feel like because there is limited information about the long-term management of the side effect I am experiencing, I want to give it a little longer and see if this side effect might subside as described with other side effects (fever, chills, aches.) I have no other serious side effects related to organ toxicity; heart, lung, liver, kidneys, bleeding, skin.

Any information would be helpful.
Thank you,

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Tlynam's picture
Replies 13
Last reply 3/19/2020 - 11:30pm

Five years ago I had an excision and full thickness skin graft on my scalp, about five inches in diameter. The graft has never fully healed and blended in with the rest of the scalp. Instead it is prone to small skin tears, which causes some bleeding and a lot of very red spots. My dermatologist has tried several things, including a topical steroid lotion. I went to a wound treatment doctor for a while. I have tried several over the counter skin lotions. But none seem to work. I always have several very red spots and some blood spots as well. There is no hair to cover it. Needless to say, very frustrating. My melanoma is gone but the skin graft doesn’t want to heal. Has anyone had this problem and have any suggestions? Thanks.


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Beany's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 3/14/2020 - 6:15pm
Replies by: Beany, jbronicki

Hello everyone,
Just finished my second combo infusion. No side effects yet except for a rash on my chest.
My LDHevels came down as below
Date. LDH
2/21 334
3/13 225

The onc didn't say anything about the decrease. He said the LDH is a little high.
Any thoughts or input would be kindly appreciated.

Sincere regards,

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DT1985's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 3/15/2020 - 1:17pm
Replies by: TimCT, DT1985, Bubbles

I am 3A and was just recently told that I was barely 3A. However I was originally told I barely had Melanoma or that there was barely a chance of it being in my lymph nodes, but surprise surprise it I keep coming down on the wrong side the odds..

With that said, I have been having a dull headache almost everyday for the last few weeks. Maybe a day or two in there without one. Generally it goes away with Advil or Tylenol. No other symptoms. Headache can range from the back of my head/neck to the top of my head. I am hydrated no more or less than usual. I am eating. Have a good pillow. Is this stress?

I go for my MRI on Tuesday and I can’t help but worry that it’s gonna light up like a Christmas tree.

Should I be this concerned?

For anyone that has had brain mets, what were you symptoms if any?

Thank you for your time.

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Redstar.20's picture
Replies 14
Last reply 3/15/2020 - 12:44pm
Replies by: ed williams, Bubbles, tkoss

Hello! I am looking for support from those who have experience with all of this. 3 years ago I was diagnosed and 2 months ago it came back. I find that my doctors use vague words, and do not want to paint a very clear picture of where I am and what the future may look like. I, of course, have been doing my own research on the internet and I have found a lot of information on it. My doctor wants to be upbeat regarding the course of treatment and doesn't want to focus on possible side effects until they are a problem.
Course of treatment is 1yr of Opdivo every 28 days. I have read about this drug, and I have read it only works on 50% of the melanoma patients. I have read extensively on the side effects of this drug, and there are a few of them that I already suffer from, like frequent diarrhea, frequent mouth sores, upset tummy. Has anyone suffered from these ailments prior to treatment of Opdivo and not had them worsen during treatment? How long after infusion do the side effects start, if there are any? Has anyone had the same stage and recurrence as me, and had Opdivo, only to have another recurrence after treatment?
I know everyone's experience is different but I sure could use more information from those that are going through this, or have been through this.
Thank you!

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