Onward and upward we go. My fears have left my soul and I have made peace with my melanoma.


I went to my primary around Thanksgiving 2015 thinking about how uncomfortable my "hernia" surgery would be.... Apparently I'm not a doctor because he pointed out immediately that the lump on my groin was not a hernia, but a walnut sized lymph node. He had me do a couple labs and truly thought I had a case of chlamydia. After we both figured out that was NOT the case, I happened to show him a little red pimple on my thigh. He assured me it was nothing and scheduled an in office removal the day after. Upon arrival, he sheepishly said that his best friend (dermatologist) had tongue lashed him about making sure that it was not something serious and upon seeing a picture of the nodule, requested a punch biopsy......3C T4 nodular melanoma. 36  lymph nodes were removed along with the 9 mm deep nodule on my thigh on New Years Eve 2015/16. 2 out of 4 max dose of Yervoy infusions and lots of lymphadema BS later, I noticed a couple red dots and inch away from my scar. On May 2, 2016, which happened to be national Monday Melanoma Awareness Day, I received the news that both spots came back positive for metastatic melanoma. Ouch. I knew immediately when I saw the spots, but officially hearing it is tough. I knew this was aggressive, but I kinda thought the $350,000 cost of only 2 of 4 infusions would have made more impact. I'm a single dad of a 12 year old boy, awestruck, confused, and coping with the gravity of my diagnosis.......It's a trip. One thing I have come to terms with is that I cannot fear this melanoma. Tears, anger, rage, sorrow, loss, confusion, loneliness, depression, regret and guilt consumed me for a long time until I realized what I should have known all along: Life is precious. Life is short. Love, family, friends, laughter, compassion, kindness, generosity and making every day count is how I am choosing to beat my melanoma. THANK YOU FOR LISTENING AND GOD BLESS.

Wed, 2016-05-04


UBContributor - (1/12/2017 - 9:52am)

I joined this site a month ago, and read your post three times over this period. Pls let the community to know how are you doing in 2017? I hope thing are clearing for you, bud. 

KO - (6/13/2018 - 8:18pm)

I am new to this site and am very thankful I found the very courageous people who are sharing their experiences with this awful disease.  11 years ago I was diagnosed with Stage 2 melanoma and had surgery and they removed 20 lymph nodes.  I was very fortunate because the disease had not spread to my lymph nodes.  In May of this year while in Arizona for the winter I was diagnosed with melanoma insitu in both arms.  I was shocked because it just looked like a bunch of freckles clumped together.  I had surgery twice in my right arm to get it all.  The surgery in the left arm didn't get it all and they said I needed a skin graft for further surgery.  My dermatologist in Iowa referred me to a surgeon who removed it all and did a skin graft which I am currently recovering from.  I know I am lucky that it was insitu but my nerves are shot because it is so hard to detect and just looked like a bunch of freckles which I had for a long time.

My concern right now is the PAC in Arizona that did the surgery.  She is very nice and worked at Mayo Clinic for 7 years but I wonder if she should have been doing surgery on me or instead referred me to a qualified surgeon. My dermatologist in Iowa does MOHS surgery on basal cell and sqaumous but doesn't do melanom of any kind.  I would appreciate any thoughts as to whether I should find another dermatologist in Arizona.  I am really anxious and know I am at high risk for another melanoma.  This really has me depressed.  Thank you for any comments.  I would really appreciate it.

body p em