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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Hi Everyone.  I haven't logged in in a long time.  I am here to reassure everyone that it can be done.  Four years after developing both lung and brain metastasis, I uave noevidence of active disease.  A few old, asymptomatoc  tumors still show up on scans but they have not changed in over a year.  I am "stable" and the prognosis that I will remain stable is very, very good.


If you wanr to read about all the treatments I have had I just updated my medical history on my profile.  Just search for Mark_Catskill.


I will try to visit more frequently to share my experience and knowledge with the MPIP community.


Mark from Catskill

I have cancer but cancer does not have me.

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Anonymous's picture
Replies 1
Last reply 10/7/2010 - 7:21pm
Replies by: EricNJill

So happy to see you are posting. How are you doing?I hope Eric's treatment is going well. Stay positive & good luck.

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bluepeople's picture
Replies 7
Last reply 10/20/2010 - 1:42pm

 So my husband was recently diagnosed stage IIc, did surgery and had his PET scan yesterday.  Found out today that the PET scan was clear!  I was so worried that something would show up.  It seems that melanoma never really goes away, but this is such good news for us.  He is going to attempt the year of interferon treatments and we'll go on from there.  I just wanted to share my excitement and thank people for their support on this board. 


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dkbart's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 10/7/2010 - 6:05pm

I have never posted on this site.  Just posting that I have been 25 months NED since being diagnosed in August of 08'.   I wish all the best and hope for everyone who participates on MPIP.

Dave Bartels

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nj-Mark's picture
Replies 12
Last reply 10/10/2010 - 2:34am

Hi All,

After almost 4 years on my melanoma journey (see profile) I've now gotten to where it's time to wait this out.   I'm set up with Hospice and have been working with them to manage the pain from my abdomen and leg mets.

I'm hoping to continue to lurk on the board for a long time, but I wanted to say now I am so thankful for all of the wonderful support, virtual hugs, emails, and conversations I have had with many of you over the years.   You've been my rock and inspiration many times.

Warmest regards to everyone.   I really feel in my heart that a cure is coming soon.



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Anonymous's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 10/7/2010 - 10:59am
Replies by: EricNJill, Bonnie Lea, Anonymous

Hello everyone,

I have Stage 1 melanoma history and recently had moderately atypical nevus removed by my plastic surgeon with clear margins. Yesterday I noticed a bluish line just in the middle of a scar. I am worried now about it: is it bruise, blood vessel or pigment???? Any thoughts? It drives me crazy...


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Linda/Kentucky's picture
Replies 8
Last reply 10/8/2010 - 10:38am

Just returned home from looong 2 days of scans, bloodwork and office visits.  Wish I could say results were good but I'd be lying.  After 6 months of following the Ipi trial I hate to report John was definitely not a responder..... I really didn't need thousands of dollars in scans and bloodwork to tell us this. We kind of felt it all along.  I'm really not on here to criticize the use of Ipi. it was a crap shot and we lost this round.  I pray it helps others and please do not be discouraged we would do it all again.  This melanoma that got into my husband must be a fierce thing because from the very beginning it has literally resisted everything we have thrown at it up until now.  We also found out on top of tumor progression that he has a blood clot in his lung.... we now have to deal with.

So here we are now back to square one...... My question is after surgery not an option, failed high dose IL-2 and now Ipi.  We may be looking at some type of Chemo as bad as I hate to say it.  Has anybody had any luck with chemo working at all?  We are also seriously thinking about the Novalis radiation (along with chemo) which is a very precise beam and works on bone,liver, lung.  Our oncologist today told us not to even consider DTIC.  He said Taxol/Carboplatin was a possible choice.  I have not researched any chemo therapies due to being told they usually don't work, well ok.......neither did the other one's we tried.  Sorry not had a very good day~ 

Thanks for any advise given.


I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me! Phillipians 4:13

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Kell's picture
Replies 13
Last reply 10/7/2010 - 9:00am

My Mom was diagnosed with melanoma in April. She had it removed in May and had 5 high doses of radiation. Everything was supposed to be ok or so we thought. Fast forward to Sept. 1st when I got a call that she had severe abdominal pain. Rushed her to the hospital where they did a cat scan and said they saw tumors in her intestines. She continued in pain until 9 days and so many tests later she went for another cat scan where a doctor saw that she had a hole and if she didn't have emergency surgery the toxins would go through her body and she would die. Preceded with the surgery where they repaired the hole and removed one of the tumors but weren't able to get to the other one. At first she seemed to be recovering then she got an infection and needed to have a drain put in. Last week I could see that melanoma was winning this battle and was about to take another persons life. Just watching her there in so much pain yet trying to hold on for her family was heartbreaking. On this past Saturday the doctor told us it's not good and if there was anyone that needed to see her they should come. Watching my Mom die when she had so much life and love left to give makes me so sad. For those of you that are dealing with this disease I hope the best for you.

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Anonymous's picture
Replies 1
Last reply 10/6/2010 - 5:10pm
Replies by: lhaley

Can Melanoma cause a burning type pain in the groin area?

Thank you.

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Ranisa's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 10/6/2010 - 7:01pm

path report #1
Ten cross sections of four deifferent lymph nodes are examined on multiple slides. All cross sections are immunostained for HMB45. On one slide only, slide B2, in a subcapsular location four cells exhibit immunoreactivity for HMB45 staining. The cells are not cytologically abnormal. I can't say with certainty they represent malignant melanoma. They could represent nuvus cells within a lymph node.

Sent the slides to Mayo and here is what they said.....

I am writing regarding the material that you sent from RB, a 32-year-old women. These are very interesting and challenging slides. I am in complete agreement with the original diagnosis of malignant melanoma on the right leg. There are occasional mitotic figures present with lision as well as the measured depth of 1.1 mm. Sentinel lymph node is quite interesting. On H&E, there is a clear-cut deposition of melanocystic type cells present within the capsule of the nevus. A few of these cells stain positive for HMB-45, but the vast majority of them do not stain for HMB-45. This is an intersting pattern in that the majority of capsular melanocytic nevi are Melan-A/Mart-1 positive, but these cells as well as their architectural location that these are most consistent with a capsular melanocytic nevus.

My questions are.....
1. they say "nothing to be worried about" but then I heard something about a micro-matasti.....what is that, and should I be worried?
2. I was dx with a 2a, but no ulceration and with it being a depth of 1.1 wouldn't that be a stage1???

Thanks for reading and for those that reply...thanks for that too!

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Ranisa's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 10/6/2010 - 3:48pm
Replies by: Ranisa, Anonymous

Here is a link to my blog with my path results.... has anyone had anything simular with the staining?  AND why can't we copypaste straight on here?  It would have been so much easier.

Thanks everyone!

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bcl's picture
Replies 15
Last reply 10/8/2010 - 10:05am
Replies by: Becky, bcl, TinaR, NicOz, Anonymous, jag, JoanR, Fen, lhaley, Bonnie Lea, dian in spokane

I am nervous to post this, stage ones are not supposed to take up board space with stupid worries (was anon for this reason and also because I did not want to bring family along for this latest scare)    -but here goes.

The ENT specialist felt in my mouth, decided not to biopsy and wrote a prescription for pantaloc. He is very confident the lump is normal,  I have to trust him on this. For my peace of mind he agreed to look at it again in three months or if my swallowing problems get worse.  In the mean time, I had a physical Monday - have unexplained pain and bleeding -so now I'm waiting for a pelvic ultrasound. Thankfully I'm getting better at taking this one step at a time and am not imagining this latest problem is mel, (and unless mel is ever confirmed, I will not mention it again here again).  Thank  you to those of you who helped me through this.  I am very sorry for being so thoughtless, I really am out living my life.. just keep the dark bits for here,  linda

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bigday1004's picture
Replies 11
Last reply 10/9/2010 - 10:07am

So, my husband Tom and I have been married for 2 years now and last December 2009 he was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma. In January he had a modified radical neck disection where they removed 45 lymph nodes 5 of which tested positive for melanoma.  He than went back in month later for his power port to be put in and the following month started the interferon drip. He had the drip for 20 days, 5 days a week for 4 weeks. He had a little break and than started with radiation which was 36 days (5 days a week) and during this time he lost 40 pounds that he couldn't afford to lose. Now he is back on the interferon maintainece shots which is 3 days a week until February. He has been working during all of this because if he doesn't work a certain amount of hours for FMLA we can lose our insurance, and I work part time and don't have benifits.

We recently got results back from his last PET scan and found out that there is now a spot on his right lung. Out oncologist talked to several other doctors to have a scope biopsy done on the spot to make sure it's not cancer. However,  because of where it is located no doctor will do it. I guess it is located next to some major blood vessels and it is to risky to do with a scope. In order to do a biopsy they will have to crack open his chest and remove the spot. Well the onocologist decided to wait because he doesn't want Tom to go through hell. He has another CT scan in 2 months to check up on the spot and see if it has changed in size.

It has been so rough for the both of us Tom more so than me. I feel like I have to hide my feelings and emotions so that I can be strong not only for Tom but his mom as well.  I have kept it bottled up so much inside that it's actually starting to wear me down mentally. I don't know who I can turn to because Tom already has too much on his mind with battling this demon and his mom needs me because Tom is her only child. It's hard I wont lie, and I am just praying that everything will go okay with treatments and scans. I need some good news for once because bad news is wearing me down.

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ValinMtl's picture
Replies 6
Last reply 10/20/2010 - 7:02pm

This has been a pretty sad week on the board. Losing both Wil and Kurt. It’s difficult even putting my thoughts together but I thought I should report on yesterday's treatment.

I had a cat scan prior to starting the trial and a pet scan 2 weeks (which was scheduled) after my first ipi treatment. Dr. G. gave me the results yesterday, prior to 2ndipi treatment.  She found the pet scan much more thorough than the cat scan and will be suggesting to the trial director that I have a pet scan rather than cat if it meets the protocol standards.

The main difference was that the pet noted a 5 mm focal abnormality in the posterolateral aspect of the left pulmonary lower lobe.  It’s very small but they will definitely be keeping an eye on it.

There was much more activity in my lymph nodes in the leg than in May’s scans. As well, lymphedema in the right leg, appears more severe than on the prior study. Not a surprise, since my tumors went from about 20 to more than a 100 between scans.

So what’s the good news. Dr. G. noted that some (as in quite a few) tumors seem to be drying out, she has seen that before when a patient has responded to ‘temodar’ .  Both my husband and I find that my leg appears not to be so angry.  Is ‘ipi’ working?  Let’s see what happens in the next few weeks!

Side effects of 2nd treatment..nothing to date.  Val

Live Laugh Love Nothing is worth more than this day!

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Lori C's picture
Replies 44
Last reply 10/12/2010 - 2:32am

William Thanet French, my beloeved Will, left me early Wednesday morning.   I was alone with him at the end.

I don't know if there was more I could do.  I tried - I am so sorry I could not give him what I so desperately wanted for him.  Right now all I can feel is a tearing pain.  The only comfort I have in any of this is that the pain, for Will, is over. 

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