My name is Alyssa and I'm a 29 year old female, battling for the 6th time with melanoma. I was first diagnosed at the young age of 23 with stage 2b. I had, what I thought, was an ingrown hair on the outer side of my knee on my left leg. I work in the healthcare field, so I asked a few nurses what they thought. They told me it was an infected hair follicle and in order for it to go away, I needed to find the hair and pluck it out. I would pick at this darn thing quite often until I just gave up. I noticed it turning a dark brown color and just puffed up over night.
Finally, I went to my dermatologist and after removing the ingrown hair, my results came back that I had stage 2b melanoma and the ingrown hair was in fact a mole. I went to Karmanos Cancer Center in Detroit where I had surgery on my left leg as well as 2 lymph nodes removed in my groin.
Fast forward four years later when I noticed a blue cyst on my thigh. I went right away and again, my results came back positive for melanoma. This time I was diagnosed with stage 3c. I have been going to the Univeristy of Michigan Cancer Center ever since. I had an additional three other reoccurrences and surgeries with 13 lymph nodes removed in my groin. My last surgery was the Isolated Limb Perfusion...talk about a rough recovery.
Three weeks after the isolated limb perfusion, more tumors appeared on my thigh. My Oncologist scheduled me for a brain MRI and more CT scans and the good news is that the scans back back negative. The bad news is that he calls my cancer "microscopic". He fears since my reoccurrence rate is so high, the cancer may have already spread to my local organs. I am now starting treatment with the combo drug of Yervoy and Opdivo. To say that I'm scared for this next treatment is an understatement.
I would love to connect with others who may have been through this treatment or know someone who has! Best wishes to all battling! I'd love to connect if you need support during your fight.