MPIP: Melanoma Patients Information Page

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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Anonymous's picture
Replies 17
Last reply 5/23/2019 - 3:11pm

My husband was recently diagnosed with stage IV metastatic melanoma after having what was originally thought as a cyst on his abdomen removed. He had a wide excision of a melanoma 3 years ago and we were told that he was ok after that and there no other treatment he needed to do at the time. He is 33 years old and we have an 8 month old daughter. When we got the stage 4 diagnosis, the oncologist hadn’t even seen the PET scan yet and they told us he had a 5% chance of survival. We got a second opinion 2 days later and the PET scan had since come back with no evidence of any other melanomas on it. Then the oncologist recommended he start Keytruda and told us the survival rate was 35%. This is such a scary survival rate if he has no evidence of the disease. I have been physically sick since finding this out, unable to eat or concentrate and constantly cry. My husband is being strong and is determined to beat this for our daughter. Has anyone else been in a similar situation and have an encouraging story?

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Anonymous's picture
Replies 1
Last reply 5/23/2019 - 2:21pm
Replies by: KAP715

Hi, if a mole shave biopsy pathology results are mildly atypical with involved margins and residual pigment is left should the mole be re-excised for clean margins or can a wait and watch approach be used? Thanks for any insight.

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KAP715's picture
Replies 7
Last reply 5/23/2019 - 1:19pm

Originally diagnosed stage 1 in 2014. Recently found a lump in my neck and the biopsy came back positive for melanoma. So now I'm stage 3b. Signed up for a clinical trial for neoadjuvant pembro. I'll find out Friday if I'll get 3 doses of pembro before radical neck dissection or surgery first followed by pembro. I work as an electrician, any advice on how surgery and pembro will affect my being able to work or life with young kids in general? Here's a link to the trial if anyone is interested.

Diagnosed stage 1- Oct 2014. Stage 3b May 2019.

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anniemac's picture
Replies 1
Last reply 5/23/2019 - 12:43pm
Replies by: KAP715

I had a wide excision done on my calf about 5 weeks ago. Most of the wound has healed very well.
The top half and the concave part is almost together and seems to be healing. I have had some swelling in my leg so it seems that the scar healing is coming a little apart.
I am using Vaseline and keeping it covered.
Any advise. would be appreciated.

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MelanomaMike's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 5/23/2019 - 10:07am

Hi ya'all, hope you all are well and in somewhat decent sprits, im good except i bailed out on my PET scan, like i just told sister Julie in SoCal im claustrophobic and got freaked out, hate to say it, havnt had a PET or MRI in a few years, CT scans i can do no problem, 5 minutes and BOOM! Done!.. i have to do it i know, my Surgeon Dr. Rupp wont do the surgery on my stomache till its done, shes avoiding a biopsy because of where its located and a possibility of it breaking up and traveling through my system to set up in another location, plus its a mobile type, it moves very easy...but anyways, just checking in with ya, good 2 be back! Hope you all are well...

Im Melanoma and my host is Mike..

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Lucygoose's picture
Replies 9
Last reply 5/23/2019 - 9:45am

Well it seems neoadjuvant therapy worked very well for me. All 34 lymph nodes, including the original positive one, came back negative for melanoma!!!!!!!

I’ll start Opdivo after a few more weeks of healing from the neck dissection surgery.

Fingers crossed this type of result persists in the clinical trial and the community will have a new option.


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Julie in SoCal's picture
Replies 7
Last reply 5/23/2019 - 9:27am

Dear Friends,

Yesterday I had a PET scan, today I got the results (Yes, I know that's amazingly fast; I'm a spoiled cancer princess) . The Rock Star Doc said that I have uptake suspicious of a met in my 2nd left rib, upper left lung wall and right shoulder muscle. In many ways this isn't completely surprising. I've been coughing up a lung for months and yes, my ribs hurt. Rock Star says that all of these are probably Mel, but because I also have non-small cell lung cancer (left side, too) we'll get a biopsy and just be sure..

Bone biopsies hurt, yes? Bronchoscopy? I already know I don't like MRIs :-(

Ok friends, I know I'm getting ahead of myself and borrowing trouble, but my crazy worry is that Mel and Larry have joined forces and come back at the same time. But when I come back from my trip to crazytown, I'm wondering if any of you have had mets in muscles. If so what is your experience.

Thanks again, Friends..

Wishing you peace!

Stage 3c  (TXN2cM0)-- 2008 WLE, SNB, LND, HD-INF, GM-CSF, SubqQ2013 IPI, SubQ 2014 PEMBRO, SubQ  2017 resected; Feb 2019 SubQ T-VEC

Stage 3a 2017 NSC VATs; Carboplatin & Pemextred; radiation

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Happygal's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 5/22/2019 - 9:46pm
Replies by: guynamedbilly, Happygal

So ... my last IPI/NIVO infusion sent my liver enzymes flying, (kind of figured that was going to happen.) I am supposed to start my Nivo maintenance infusions again tomorrow. I speak to the Dr today to find out what he wants me to do.
One of the things I am noticing is my mind is having a few issues. I didn't know where I was for a while, very confused and disoriented. Luckily this happened at home, as I work at a prison, (not a good place for this to happen)
It has happened a few times now, so the Dr is having me do a brain MRI tomorrow to make sure nothing has changed... hopefully it is just the liver acting up.
I am staying positive, really want to keep working.
Here we go, another hill to climb!!

Thank you for your support as always!

diagnosed April 2017 stage 3c, NIVO 11 months, NED until Dec 2018, Stage 4 metastasized to liver and lungs, Jan 2019 started IPI/NIVO combo


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Helo15169's picture
Replies 7
Last reply 5/22/2019 - 7:49pm

. In early March 2016 I developed an open sore on left upper arm and didn’t think anything of it as I always use so much sunscreen as I am bald. I went to my primary in May and June of 2016 and many other visits but he never mentioned skin in the physicals. I was in for other things and never mentioned skin over past 3 years. I first visited a derm at age 40 in February and they biopsies 2 moles is all. They didn’t even biopsy the mole asnit was red. I I have had some autonomic nervous system issues and then neuropathy pain in late February like something was spreading. The initial shave biopsy of the lesion was benign and had congenital features. I wasn’t satisfied wirh my melanoma knowledge now. I got it excised by a very reputable derm in Chicago and the path was looked at by a dermopathologist. It was benign and the surgeon said you are good and your symptoms aren’t being caused by Melanoma from the arm. My question is could it have been missed because it has already spread to my body as I haven’t felt right since Jan 1 with the autonomic nervous system issues and getting sick a lot as welll as lump in throat and Bone pain. Could this be a rare melanoma as it came on as open sore, hurt and changed colors and elevated but the path is normal 3 years later. Thoughts? Thanks!

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Anonymous's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 5/22/2019 - 10:27am

3 rounds of Opdivo/Yervoy treatment and now has severe edema in her legs/feet. Anyone else experience this side effect? It’s been going on for 4-5 months now and last treatment was in December..

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liana's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 5/22/2019 - 5:49am
Replies by: Lucygoose, JS41989, Anonymous

I have my first dermatology appointment on June 15 to get some moles checked out. They are both on my bottom of my left foot, on the sole, and one of them has started changing shape, so I would really like to get them removed asap. Do derms remove moles on the first visit? Or is it something that they look at and schedule a removal for later on? I'm asking because I have been waiting for this appointment for a long time and I do not want to do any more waiting as these moles have me concerned.

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EricaInMS's picture
Replies 5
Last reply 5/21/2019 - 10:11pm

Has anyone gone to a reduced dose/longer time between infusions of Nivo due to side effects? We’ve already dropped the Ipi after 2 infusions due to liver damage, and it’s looking like the David’s liver numbers are creeping up on just the Nivo. So far his response rate has been excellent, with one tumor gone and the other down to half the diameter.

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New scan was done yesterday - appoint with onco on Friday. Third treatment of ipi/nivo with chaser of inflixmaub scheduled on June 3rd.

Increased uptake and sizeof dominant FDG avid aright axillary nodal metastasis. Slightly increased size of additional sub-centimeter right axillary metastases.

Increased diffuse splenic uptake compared to liver background activity, consistent with reactive hyperplasia.

Size of Mass then and now-
3/12: 4 x 5 x 6.5 cm isolated hyper metabolic right axillary mass with SUV 13.5
5/19: 5.9 x 8.3 cm with SUV 24

Slightly increased size of right axillary node, .7 cm previously .5 cm

Will update later this week if the plan stays on course! Crazy part of all found out the appendix is within the right inguinal hernia - new finding.....

Prayers to all!


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Meka.tx24's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 5/21/2019 - 2:32pm

Hi! I will do my best to keep this relatively short. I’m a big talker. I requested to see a dermatologist to look over my plethora of moles and earlier this month I was seen. I’ve had this done by other dermatologists and they’ve always had me undress and check one body section at a time. This doctor had me stay dressed and just lifted me shirt to look at my back. The majority of my moles are there but I have them all over here and there. I had to personally show him this pinkish colored spot under my baby toe. After the brief check he said he was suspicious of two on my back, one of which I was concerned with. He cut them out that same appointment. He cut pretty deep and cut a few millimeters away from the moles. They were sent away to be tested. The two weeks I had to wait were a pain in the butt. The large one was right on my spine and got really red so I was prescribed an antibiotic which I had to use the whole two weeks so they needed to be bandaged the whole time. Ugh. So now I’m back to have the stitches removed. He almost walked out without even telling me what the outcome was. I asked and he said they came back abnormal and were dysplastic nevus with moderate atypia.

Now I know they are benign but I like to learn all I can when I get a new diagnosis as I’ve had a few. After giving me the name he said it is not melanoma but melanoma can be really quick and being that I have so many moles, he wants me to come back in three months. Sure thing! I will definitely be looked at again in 3 months but should it be by him? I don’t feel like prior to removing the two that he was very thorough or that he cared much. Like the one on the bottom of my toe I’ve had for years but I never thought it was a mole. I’ve always been curious to what it was and have googled a lot and learned moles on the bottoms of feet are not a good thing to have. So what do y’all think? Should I stick with him or find someone else?

Lastly, and I’m so sorry I lied this isn’t very short....that’s typical of me. So having dysplastic nevus atypia nevus, being fair skinned light hair and eyes etc...My risk goes up. Ok. What I don’t get is I read melanoma can grow in a totally new spot, it doesn’t have to be in a mole you already have. So why remove them at all unless they will turn into melanoma. Is that why they removed mine? Cause if I left them they would have or could have? Wouldn’t they be called precancerous then? Sorry if that’s a silly question. I apologize for my novel. I don’t have anyone to really talk to about this. Have a good day! And thank you!

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Anonymous's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 5/21/2019 - 2:25pm

I've recently been diagnosed with stage 0 melanoma on my chest. With great respect to those fighting for their lives with this condition, I'm wondering if anyone would know the prognosis and life expectancy for someone like myself who might prefer to let things take their natural course. I'm scheduled for surgery on June 11 th, but I am not sure I want to do that.


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