Stage 3A, about to undergo Interferon treament

Hello everyone.

Southern California native, I am grew up your typical fair skinned, Blonde hair and light colored eyes kid. I first developed a growth on the left side of my foot, just below the ankle bone in my early 20's.. I had doctor's look at it and the opinions I received were that it didn't look suspicious at the time. Unless it wasn't bothering me (which it wasn't) they advised to take the "wait and see approach". 

Fast forward to age 40 (2013). Moved out to the Southern California desert and in with my lovely fiance and soon-to-be wife. She had looked at the growth more than once and asked about it. It grew to the size of a pinto bean within the first couple of years I had it, then stopped never grew in the 15 + additional years I had it. It was flesh colored, never itched and never changed shape or size and never ulcerated. However, in October of 2013 my fiance noticed it has darkened just a little in the dead center, almost like a tiny black dot formed. With her advice I went to go see my Dr to have it removed. To her credit, she may have very well saved my life by catching it early enough.

6 weeks later we received the bad news it was Melanoma and I required surgery to remove the remainder of the growth. Dec 9th I had the wide excision performed along with a sentinel biopsy performed which came back positive with small traces of the disease. It was recommended I have all of the lymph nodes removed from my left groin.

I struggled with this decision mainly because I didn't like what I found in our in research, words like lymphadema, compression stocking etc. With recent medical papers debating the advantages of having radical lymph node dissection, it left me wondering if it was the right option for me. A second opinion confirmed the first as it was the "standard of care." I opted for the surgery as we can only made the best choices to what treatmeants we have available today, not tomorrow.

I had a second surgery to skin graph the original site of the Melanoma on Dec. 23rd and then went back on Feb. 19th to have the lymph node dissection done. I was in the hospital for a  total of 12 days, mostly due to having to undergo physical therapy as my sartorious muscle had to be manipulated to reach the lymphatic channel. It took several days to regain strength and be able to walk again.

I am home now, up and getting around. I now I face one more challenge and a big challenge at that. I start my 12 month Interferon alpha drug therapy on May 5th. I have read all of the nasty side effects but I also know it helps delay and possiblely increase the chance of a cure for the disease. I'm all for any chance to lower the possiblity of this awful disease from reoccurring. 

So that's about it. I have a long road ahead of and I suppose hearing the stories and sharing them is what lead me to this website. We can win this battle together!

I've shared my story and now I am asking the community  to share their stories. I'm interested in hearing everyone's story but especially those who have their Melanoma on their foot or leg and had the radical lymph node groin dissection performed. I am also interested in those who have had or are currently undergoing interferon treatments, how have you managed the side effects and any advice you may give to get through the 12 months of treatment.

Those that did opt for the dissection, how have you managed your leg to avoid lyphadema and how long have you worn a compression stocking. I have heard stories from patients wearing it  6 months to every single day (for the rest of your life) ?

Thank you for reading, and again, this is OUR fight. And we will beat this disease.


Sun, 2014-03-23


MaryElizabeth - (9/17/2014 - 11:07am)

Thank you for sharing your story Michael.  My Son's situation is so similar to your own, 40 yr., Stage 3 Melanoma.  Lymph nodes removed from groin.  Waiting to see specialist 9/29.  I do hope everything is going well for you.  Can you share your experience with Interferon?  Thank you so much.


tlynnbeach5 - (9/25/2014 - 9:57pm)

I hope things go well for you.  Have you heard of Doterra DDR.  It's a natural essential oil that has a 70% rate of shrinking tumors and clearing cancer.

Also, Rick Simpson oil has a very high success rate for late stage cancer.  Unfortunately, the govn't is not letting the word get out, cause they don't make as much money when the product works!  Rick Simpson has helped 5000 become free of late stage cancer, I recently learned.

I have symptoms of a tumor that are no longer present b/c of Doterra!  

Good luck:)

Dutchlady - (10/28/2014 - 10:47pm)

Dear Michael,

similair story here.

diagnosed in January 2014 with melanoma stage 3a on my left flank.

this was removed and one of three lympnotes came back positive for melanoma.

i had a complete left groin lympnote dissection in March. The CT scan in May showed a large ovarian cyst ( 10x6) that they removed to rule out melanoma. Thank god negative!

i just stopped wearing my stockings just a few weeks ago, didnt know if they helped, but now i know they do. I just start wearing them again because it just work better for me for now, no or little swelling... 

Still have a hard time with exercise, you think you are fine and then later when its to late you know you are not and you have the take it easy for a few day, frustrating..

My  PET Scan is coming up on November the 6th, nervous already but ofcourse like always hoping for the best.

my only option was a clinical trial, i decited not to do this. This would only make the melanoma come back maybe a few years later. My point is im not going to feel very sick for year to only pospone melanoma.

if it will come back, i have to deal with it anyway, hopefully never again.

wishing you luck with your treatment! And forever



mke - (12/6/2015 - 11:33pm)

Michael, I was told I am 3a just last week. I am in Palm Desert, CA. Saw you were in the desert area in your post. 

Please help with referrals for Dr.'s!!! 

I am lost and have no idea where to begin. Any info you have I would greatly appreciate. Thank you in advance, 

Tamlin - (4/12/2016 - 5:14pm)


I was just diagnosed today  I had to have my toe amputated 10 years ago due to melanoma and was NED until this lump appeared in my groin. I am having a lymph node dissection done next week and I'm scared out my wits. Would just like to hear what treatment you received etc. Hope you are well 

thank you