Melanoma

  1. ok people, here is the sadly true scenario. my brother is serving in the armed forces in the middle east. his wife called me the other day prefacing the conversation with the plea that i not tell him or anyone else what she was going to tell me. she then asked me what melanoma was. i told her i wouldn't tell me until she told me why she was asking the question. turns out she was in a surgeons office to have a growth evaluated when he (thankfully) noticed a freckle like spot on her other leg that he thought should be biopsied. unfortunately, it came back positive for melanoma. she didn't want to frighten my brother right away until after the leison is excised and staged. i, on the other hand, am really torn. this is so scary. it is hard to be so supportive and upbeat with a melanoma diagnosis. i ask that you send us your prayers.......thanks for "listening"
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  2. 29 Comments

  3. by   live4today
    You've got them, mother/babyrn. (((((((hugs for your sister in law)))))))) and for you too. :kiss Let us know how things turn out.
  4. by   mother/babyRN
    I promise. We are going Friday to have the spot removed. Hugs right back to you sweetie....I love you all.....
  5. by   dianah
    Ditto, Renee. Can't help but worry. Thoughts and prayers coming your way, mother/babyRN. --- D
  6. by   Ted


    . . . . thoughts and prayers coming your way from here, too . . .

    Ted
  7. by   Stormy
    Mother/babyRN,
    My heart goes out to you and your sister-in-law. You are right...it is difficult to be positive with such a diagnosis. I was given the same diagnosis in 1995. Before the day was out, I had my funeral planned, and cried a river over not seeing my kids grow up. Luckily, my melanoma was caught early, and there has been no sequelae.

    I pray that your SIL's melanoma was caught early as well. I would assume that the lesion will be excised in a speedy fashion and that she will have more accurate info to share soon with your brother.

    It is difficult to know what the best way to handle the situation with your bro is. From what you say, your SIL does not intend to keep this from him completely, just until she has more information. I would try to respect her wishes if you can. It is probably tearing her apart not having her hubby present to share this with. On the other hand, I know my family were at my side in an instant for support. She knows her hubby can't do that, and that he would be very upset knowing that he can't. If you chose to tell your bro, she may perceive that as a breach of trust and will lose you as a source of strength and support.

    Hope this helps. It is only my opinion, though. Let us know how things work out.
  8. by   psychomachia
    Hi. As someone who has had to deal with melasuckanoma, the worst part is the "waiting" as in waiting for the biopsy, waiting for the excision, waiting for the lymph node biopsy, etc. Time can be cruel when waiting for potentially bad news. Your mind can't think of anything else until you know for certain how good or bad it is.

    The good part is that most melanomas are caught early and offer good prognosis. I suggest you find out what stage the melanoma is and the recommended treatment. If you haven't already found this information, I suggest you go to this site: The Melanoma Patients Information Page This site is without a doubt the best place to find information about melanoma and it's treatment. It also has a great message board where any question you ask can be answered by people who have been and still are dealing with this nasty disease. Please check it out, I promise you will find it useful and one of the best places for support.

    Learn as much as you can and don't get discouraged. When I was first diagnosed, melanoma was all I could think about. I've never had ANYTHING consume my thoughts like it did. It got to the point where I didn't really care WHAT the news was, good or bad, as long as I could just think of something else. Fortunately, the news was good and I no longer think of nothing else but melanoma, but it has changed my behavior with regards to sun exposure. Once you see the true price to be paid for a tan, you realize you can no longer afford it.

    Good luck,

    One of many melanoma survivors.
  9. by   Stormy
    Your words about sun awareness are soooo true. A word of caution to all...don't let lack of sun exposure let you be complacent. My melanoma was in a place where the sun NEVER shone. But now that I have had it once....I am extremely careful.

    Hmm... Another reason to live in a place where it snows at the same time the rest of you are dying in the heat.
  10. by   delirium
    Melanoma is definitely scary. I agree with the above poster who said that nothing has ever consumed their every thought like this disease can. I had the same experience.
    My melanoma was diagnosed when I was 22, and I ended up having several surgeries and a year of interferon injections.
    Today, almost 4 years later, I appear to be fine. I go back for annual scans.
    I hope your family member has a positive prognosis. Melanoma, while often deadly, can be controlled if caught early on. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
  11. by   mother/babyRN
    Thankyou so very much. I respect my sil's decision not to tell my brother until she has more info to share. He would go nuts waiting a world away from her. My husband, also military, agreed with that after putting himself in that position. She did agree that I write him a letter introducing him to the idea, as it takes about 10 days for a letter to arrive. If there is a potentially bad dx then we can contact the Red Cross and start things going to get him home. In the meantime, her history is that she noticed this spot not long after a blistering sunburn four years ago. She noticed it changing a little but didn't think much of it. Thank God the doc noticed and suggested it be biopsied...Tomorrow I will be taking her to have it and another unrelated leison excised, and then spending the day and evening with her to take care of her and the children...I so thank all of you for your kind and heartfelt words of support and advice. I promise to update everyone as I learn information. I am fortunate to have a web of nursing friends in research areas who can assist when it comes to getting out of the small town area where my sil is located, to an area better suited for medical research, if that is needed. Again and always, thankyou...
  12. by   shygirl
    Sending (((((((prayers & positive thoughts)))))))) your way from here too. God Bless. Keep us updated.
  13. by   stevierae
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    I worked with one of one of the world's foremost experts in melanoma, Dr. Stanley Leong, in San Francisco. If you want info about him or to read papers he has written on the subject, you can find them on the UCSF website. p.m me if you want more info that I can help with. He is who I would recommend in a heartbeat to anyone with this diagnosis; he is who I would want, myself. Keep us posted. God bless!!
  14. by   mother/babyRN
    First, let me express my sincere thanks to everyone for offering such amazing and timely advice. I regret to say that despite my pleas not to have her leison removed at our local hospital without benefit of a sentinel biopsy and then wide excision, my sil elected to go ahead and simply have the leison removed. I respect her decision because its her life, but I am saddened at her choice. I can only hope an accurate staging can be achieved. She does promise to at least think about followup....She is close to Boston and had access to a team comprised of a cutaneous oncologist, surgeon and psychiatrist, all of whom work together expressly for situations such as these. My sil only consulted the surgeon who elected to biopsy the leison and elected to comply with his decision to remove the offending leison.
    I guess, were I to vent further, I would say that it upsets me to have been consulted and mobilize people so caring and giving such as yourselves and those medical resources I am privy to in the private sector. I have simply asked that people in the family tell me their stories, their feelings, their dreams, hopes, disappointments, but for the time being, NO MORE consultation on medical issues. I just can't take it anymore.
    I did mention to my sil, when she made the decision, that I felt I had to inform my brother, who, as expected, was not happy that he wasn't informed in the first place. He has no problem with it. Neither of them are medically oriented. So, I will accept any prayers previously offered and those which may be forthcoming, and couple that with the most sincere praise and thanks to all of you for taking the time to respond. And, I have to say, I have learned quite a bit about melanoma...Which, is ONE positive outcome of this experience.....

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