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Re: Do People Survive This?

Forums Cutaneous Melanoma Community Do People Survive This? Re: Do People Survive This?

    Carmon in NM

      Hi Monica – I was diagnosed 3b in 2008 with an ulcerated primary on my upper left arm. One sentinal node showed two micro metastasis so I had lymph node dissection and like others, chose the 'wait and watch' protocol. I had just advanced to annual scans after nothing but clean scans and blood work for over a year and an undetected brain metastasis sent me in for an emergency craniotomy when it started bleeding. This was in June of this year.

      In July I had gamma knife surgery to clean up the large lesion, 2×3 centimeters, plus a smaller one detected that was only 4 millimeters. Full body PET/CT/MRI scans showed no other metastasis so we are back on 'wait and watch'. Gamma Knife is 85-89% successful in controlling this kind of lesion so I actually don't feel any worse off than I was before other than a bit of brain trauma! I'll be getting another set of scans the end of September to check for other lesions and to see how the ones hit with the gamma knife are doing.

      The first six months were the worst for me in dealing with the absolute fear. I highly recommend you find a good counselor with experience in dealing with cancer diagnosis and if you need anti-anxiety meds or antidepressants, ask for them! Stressing your body and spirit any more than necessary doesn't help at all!

      Now at two years out from diagnosis, I find I have no real fear at all about it. I just glory in living each and every day to its fullest. Maybe if I had been given time to think about having a craniotomy and brain surgery it would have been frightening, but recovery wasn't any worse than any other surgery I've had.

      Hang in there and don't be afraid to ask for help! Carmon

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