I had two appointments on Monday 1-14-13 at Vanderbilt's Melanoma clinic. One at 11 am with My Dermatologist who is a melanoma specialist and studies patients with multiple melanomas. Then an appointment at 2:15 pm with my oncologist.
The full body skin check during my first appointment went great except for one new raised pink bump on the back of my left thigh. Under dermoscopy this lesion had some tortuous blood vessels which raised suspicion to my Derm for Amelanotic Melanoma. Since Amelanotic melanomas don't have pigment; dermatologist look for certain vessel patterns within the lesion under dermoscopy. Since this new bump raised some suspicion I couldn't slide out of that appointment without a punch biopsy and some stitches. It's ok though...better to be safe than sorry and besides I have had so many biopsies at this point that they don't even hurt. This must be like 30 something haha!!! I was really hoping to be able to follow up at 6 month increments but my derm feels it is in my best interest to continue 3 month surveillance due to having melanoma three times and multiple dysplastic nevi. Anyhow, I get stitches out in two weeks and results hopefully tomorrow or monday. I really feel like its going to be negative. I'm just so ready to get on with my life. I've been dealing with this stinkin melanoma since I turned 24 and I'm ready to put it behind me and move foreword.
My 2:15 pm appointment with my oncologist went a lot better than my earlier appointment. Dr. K said my scans looked great. He said I have big lymph nodes and yes they have increased a little but not enough to consider it unstable. I have had enlarged nodes since my last surgery, could just be related to inflammation or the fact that these nodes are compensating for all the nodes I've had removed. I told Dr. K I was really hoping to graduate to six month visits and he agreed. Yay!!!! I also told him I'm really getting tired of all the scans. I literally told him "I feel fine. I just completed a 12 mile, 21 obstacle military style course in October. Can you please just follow me clinically?' Thankfully, He agreed. He said I may still need to get at least an annual CT Chest, Abdomen, and Pelvis scan but we will stop with the every 3-6 month scanning. He even said, "Go live your life. If this comes back as stage 4 it's a poor prognosis whether we scan and find it or its found when you are symptomatic." He said it really doesn't change the outcome because the best shot you have at beating this if it's found at stage four is finding a treatment this cancer will respond to." I don't want to wait around and worry if this is going to come back "Ain't no body Got time for that" lol... I have too much living I want to do now and if it comes back I will cross that bridge then but for now I'm fine. I will have blood work and be followed clinically from here on out with maybe annual scans.
My next appointment is with my Vandy Derm in April and my local oncologist in May. I truly appreciate all of your love, prayers and support. I will update as soon as I get the results from my recent biopsy. I'm hoping for good news! Only Positive thinking allowed :-) Don't forget to share the love and spread the lotion to all those you meet. God bless each of you!!!
- Alicia B
- I'm a Jesus loving girl who is blessed with an amazing husband and two beautiful children. At the age of 23, while pregnant with my firstborn I noticed a dome shaped nodular area on my left hip. It started growing larger and eventually started bleeding. After the birth of my baby girl and my 24th birthday I decided to get the ugly bump checked. The result was Stage III nodular Malignant Melanoma that had extensions into my lymph nodes. I completed a year of Interferon chemotherapy. a year later I became pregnant with my second child. After his birth I developed two more melanoma primary tumors-- stage 1 2010, and stage 2 in 2011. Since then I have made it my mission to advocate and educate to bring about melanoma awareness in hopes that it could save others from this deadly disease. Thankfully, I am very healthy and doing very well! I have No Evidence of Disease and I'm showing Cancer Who's Boss by staying fit and healthy. I plan to blog about my adventures in running over cancer during training for my first Full marathon Fall 2014. Remember to love your skin, protect your skin, and check your skin. Share the love and spread the chemical-free lotion!