Monday, January 2, 2012

Melanoma - You have changed me!!!!!

It all started in June.  I had noticed a knot in the groin area on my right leg.  I had a melanoma removed 5 years ago on my calf (didn't think anything about it). internal medicine doc sent me to ultra sound, who sent me to CT scan, who sent me to a surgeon, who had me do a PET scan........And that's when my life changed FOREVER!!!!!  He referred me to a surgeon in Charlotte who specializes in this type of surgery. Within 3 weeks I had a surgery date of July 1, 2011.  I met with the surgeon several times but I didn't really understand the seriousness of what he was telling me. I had a sentinel node dissection with removal of 33 lymph nodes.  Only one node was involved - Stage 3B. But, it had metastasized.  By this time my head is spinning.....I just can't wrap my brain around all of this.  How could this happen to me?  I've been seeing the doc every 6 months for 5 years now!!
So, I meet with the Oncologist who then gives me a very detailed education on the type of cancer we are dealing with.  Basically, I can do nothing (watch & wait), chemo (interferon), or try to get in a study.  So, I end up getting the interferon.  All I can say is that I have NEVER been this sick in my life!!!!  After 9 weeks, they take me off of it due to liver levels and extreme sickness. (lost 20 lbs)  So, here I am today......confused, mad, sometimes sad, and just trying to figure this all out.
It's only been 5 months since I had surgery and 4 weeks off chemo. I had another PET scan 2 weeks ago and all is clear.  I'm trying to move forward...but feel like I'm still in limbo.  I'm hoping that by writing about it and reading other stories, maybe I can get through this or at least educate visitors about this terrible type of cancer. 

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