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Last week Sept 24, 2020, I just had WLE on the crown of my head, aggressive growth malignant melanoma. Also SLNB. Still waiting for the margins and biopsies results, but my reconstruction is scheduled for this week Friday Oct 2nd. My WLE surgeon scheduled for me my first oncology appointment with Dr. Ding Wang with Henry Ford Hospital Michigan. tomorrow October 1. I love to hear any advice from folks to help me frame up my expectations from this first appointment, and important questions you’d suggest I ask. I’m reviewing ht Mayo Clinic site today to also learn what I can. My expectation is that the results will be available for this appointment, because if not I cannot proceed with the reconstruction scheduled for Friday Oct 2. So today I’ll work on my questions list, and organizing my flies (I fly fish) with the intention to be in the water next spring. Positive thoughts to all.
Since you don’t know your biopsy results, you have to plan for two lines of questioning.
If your node(s) are negative ~ I would want to know the plan for melanoma related follow-up. Will there be scans? On what schedule? Is there a derm they recommend for follow-up skin checks? How often will you f/u with onc? What was the BRAF status of tumor? (With negative nodes – one would hope to never need that info – put it should still be done and you should be informed of the results.) And then only questions related to reconstruction – though I doubt the onc will have any additional input on that.
If your node(s) are positive ~ I would want to know BRAF status. I would want to know plans for scans (especially if you haven’t had any) in the near and long term. What type of scans? What is the planned frequency? I would want to hear about adjuvant care recommendations if a node is positive and scans are negative – meaning treatment when all visible melanoma has been removed? Do they recommend anti-PD-1 as a single agent? Do they prefer targeted therapy if tumor is BRAF positive? Why do they prefer – or what do they even think about – one treatment vs the other? What would the schedule of treatment be? What do they expect as side effects? Do they recommend a port if they suggest immunotherapy? Do they see any reason to delay either the therapy or reconstruction, in light of results found? And the question that has probably served me best is – if I were your mother, daughter, sister, brother, grandfather – what would you recommend I do?
Excellent. Thank you so very much!!!!! I’ll study up tonight on this.
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