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Freaking Out – Possible Stage IV Help

Forums Cutaneous Melanoma Community Freaking Out – Possible Stage IV Help

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      I've had these two spots on the bottom of my foot for a while now, and never thought anything of them. I've never had my body checked my a dermatologist, even though I have a lot of freckles, which is SO dumb. But I'm 20, so I wasn't thinking of it.

      I moved to Japan for a semester to study, and had a mild breakdown about the moles being cancerous when checking online, which my parents told me was ridiculous. I sent pictures to my friends, who assured me they looked fine – but the spots look JUST like acral lentiginous melanoma. So, after that I tried to forget about it. My parents said we would check when I got home.

      I ended up going to a dermatologist in Japan, who said the marks on my foot were probably fine (Japan has a very low rate of aural lentiginous melanoma, mind you) but removed a mole on my back that came back as negative.
 I think.

      Then, I started to have these very strange chest pains. I went to the doctor in Japan about them multiple times, had cardiac and bloodwork done, and nothing was explained. I’m now having really severe bone pain in my arm and chest and legs. I had x-rays done that show nothing, but that doesn’t mean much. Then, I noticed the lymph nodes under my armpit are swollen, and that I have two big lymph node-y lumps in my groin. I can feel them in my tummy, too, basically my whole body. I’m also noticing a lot of new freckles and spots, including inside my mouth and in places where the sun doesn’t hit on my legs and shoulders. I know this sounds crazy, but I had my host mom and an ER doctor feel the lymph nodes as well, and they agreed they felt them and it was odd. 

My parents and friends encouraged me to stop going to the doctor, but I’m freaking out. They think I’m crazy, but I’m really certain this is late-stage. 

      My question is, I guess, has anyone ever caught melanoma THIS late before? Everyone I read about had a mole removed, and then it came back later to be stage IV in just the brain or a few lymph nodes. I’ve never even had anything removed. I know it’s not curable, but is there anything doctors can do if it’s this widespread? At all? I would be cool with just living even a few more months – I know Bob Marley lived 8 months after being diagnosed with a lot of mets. Does anyone know about any cancers being caught this late in a young person? I can’t find anything, except about lung cancer.

      I’m leaving Japan in a week, but I’m going to see a doctor on Friday to get my lymph nodes biopsied, which feels a little pointless due to the timing. My parents are assuring me it’s fine, which makes me feel guilty because this obviously won’t be. I'm scared, and I'm also just in a lot of physical pain. I don't know how I'm not dead yet when all of my lymph nodes hurt this bad. 

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          I was hoping someone else would tackle this post but I'll go ahead and give it a shot.

          Couple comments for you.  

          First off, sounds like generally you are fairly stressed out. This can cause a variety of symptoms that will then just compound your situation.  Try your best to stay rational.  Secondly, melanoma in the lymph nodes generally is not painful.  Sounds to me like you have some type of inflamation issue which probably does need medical attention but is probably not deadly.  Third, melanoma is not a death sentence.  Many of us are not only living as melanoma survivors but thriving.  

          You are on the right path to biopsy the nodes.  Do your best not to worry and obsess until you have results.  That does no good at all and actually can make things worse.  I don't mean this to be harsh but you also might consider counseling or medication to help you with your anxitey issues.  Wish you the best.  Please let us know the results of your biopsy is you can.



              Perfect response 


                I agree!!!  Particularly the point that nodes positive for melanoma (or any other cancer) are rarely tender.  c


                  I hope everything turned out okay for this poster. For the benefit of others,I wanted to share that pain in a lymph node was my only sign of melanoma. I had no primary, I went to the doctor because of pain in my thigh and what felt like some swelling. And that led to me being diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma. It may be rare, but it does happen.

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