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I’m Back

Forums General Melanoma Community I’m Back

  • Post
    nicoli
    Participant

    Hi. I left this forum joyfully over the summer due to NED status and hoped to never return. But here I am again because we found 3 small lesions on my scalp. One turned out to be a cyst common to graft sites, one biopsied melanoma, and one is to be biopsied tomorrow. I freaked at first but I am okay now.  Still stage 3B as the lesions are very close to the original tumor site.

    Hi. I left this forum joyfully over the summer due to NED status and hoped to never return. But here I am again because we found 3 small lesions on my scalp. One turned out to be a cyst common to graft sites, one biopsied melanoma, and one is to be biopsied tomorrow. I freaked at first but I am okay now.  Still stage 3B as the lesions are very close to the original tumor site.

    QUESTION: My onc is talking radiation to my scalp to try to kill cells. Of course, radiation most likely will not kill all the cells in that area and more surgery may be needed in the future if a recurrence occures again (that sounds funny LOL). My surgeon says if the scalp is radiated he can never again do surgery as the thin scalp skin will be too fried.  Anyone here ever run into this issue?

    BTW, I really appreciated the Stage 4 Roll Call of the UnDead. It encouraged me so much.

    Nicki, Stage 3B, Dx 12/29/2009,  Almost one year survivor!!

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  • Replies
      bestday
      Participant

      Nicki,

      I don't have answers for you but I do have a question. Can you tell us about the lesions on your scalp … were they raised, dark, obvious? I'm not sure what to watch for and obviously it's tough to keep a watch on scalp changes. I hope you get the best treatment and results possible. Hang in there!

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      bestday
      Participant

      Nicki,

      I don't have answers for you but I do have a question. Can you tell us about the lesions on your scalp … were they raised, dark, obvious? I'm not sure what to watch for and obviously it's tough to keep a watch on scalp changes. I hope you get the best treatment and results possible. Hang in there!

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        nicoli
        Participant

        I had  wide excision surgery with a skin graft on the top of my head in February 2010. So I call  the scar my "crater" cuz it is sunken and totally bald, like a moon crater. Recently,  I happened to be gently fingering the crater while reading a book and felt a small bump right on the edge of the skin graft. My husband looked and said the bump was skin color but had a tiny pinprick of black at the center. This biopsied melanoma. It was under the skin, just starting to poke out.

        Just a few weeks later, the onc was looking at the crater and noticed a slightly raised area in the center, with a slight discoloration. This looks like something is under the skin graft, trying to push up. It will be biopsied tomorrow but the surgeon and onc both think it must be cancer under the skin graft. Treatment will consist of surgery and surgery.

        Important to note: neither of these "things" look like typical melanoma (if there is such a thing).  And because it is on the top of my head, I can't see the area so I feel around my head alot. I strongly suggest feeling as well as looking to keep on guard against future lesions on the skin.

        Nicki

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        nicoli
        Participant

        I had  wide excision surgery with a skin graft on the top of my head in February 2010. So I call  the scar my "crater" cuz it is sunken and totally bald, like a moon crater. Recently,  I happened to be gently fingering the crater while reading a book and felt a small bump right on the edge of the skin graft. My husband looked and said the bump was skin color but had a tiny pinprick of black at the center. This biopsied melanoma. It was under the skin, just starting to poke out.

        Just a few weeks later, the onc was looking at the crater and noticed a slightly raised area in the center, with a slight discoloration. This looks like something is under the skin graft, trying to push up. It will be biopsied tomorrow but the surgeon and onc both think it must be cancer under the skin graft. Treatment will consist of surgery and surgery.

        Important to note: neither of these "things" look like typical melanoma (if there is such a thing).  And because it is on the top of my head, I can't see the area so I feel around my head alot. I strongly suggest feeling as well as looking to keep on guard against future lesions on the skin.

        Nicki

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        truwill
        Participant

        Hi Nicki,

        I just saw your posting and can't believe I found someone with the same situation as me. I thought I was a lost soul in this cancer but you have given me a new word to my scar, "Crater" , and mine is sunken and totally bald, like the eagle….I was told don't be alarmed if it "sheds", what is that all about….I've already had some problems with areas of the surgery. I have  absolutely no feeling in this area, wonder if you have the same. I also have no feeling behind my ear and lower neck where they took the nodes. My surgery was done in Nov of 2010. Should I be watching for any additional signs in this area of no feeling and shininess…Thanks  truwill

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        nicoli
        Participant

        Hi truwill, I just replied to your entry and now find you already found me!

        On January 2010 I had scalp surgery consisting of a wide excision skin graft. About the size of the inside of a toilet paper tube. Not quiet a baseball size but still large. At the same time a Sentinel Node Biopsy right behind my ear. They found a small tumor in the sentinel node so I had a neck dissection, which runs from right behind my ear down and around to the front of my neck. Took out 23 lymph nodes.

        Results:  Smooth, shiny, totally no feeling bald spot. The nerves in that spot have been removed and the skin that was grafted in has no nerves so ta-da..no feeling, not now not ever. Same for hair follicles. No hair follicles equals no hair, ever.  Much of the scalp around the skin graft is also completely numb and this runs down to my shoulder. Oh also my ear, not the inside but the outside is completely numb. The head and neck has an abundance of nerves and these have been cut during surgery. They can't help it, the nerves are microscopic and even the best surgeon cuts them. They will take one year to grow back and what ever feeling you have at the end of one year, is what you will have forever. Everyone is different.

        Of course, I was hoping to be back to normal but at this point (almost one year) I have almost total numbness behind my ear, most of my ear and by the graft. My shoulder has "skin numbness" . I can feel pressure but not the skin itself. That is pretty weird when it itches and I can scratch but it doesn't stop the itch!  My shoulder muscle was damaged in the surgery and I needed physical therapy but it is okay now. My neck is stiff if I don't stretch it 2x a day.

        Read my other posting about hair, I think I sounded harsh and mean and bitchy. I really didn't mean to but you have to hear the hard stuff to survive this disease.

        Tell me a little about yourself. What stage are you? What is your treatment plan?

        Nicki

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        nicoli
        Participant

        Hi truwill, I just replied to your entry and now find you already found me!

        On January 2010 I had scalp surgery consisting of a wide excision skin graft. About the size of the inside of a toilet paper tube. Not quiet a baseball size but still large. At the same time a Sentinel Node Biopsy right behind my ear. They found a small tumor in the sentinel node so I had a neck dissection, which runs from right behind my ear down and around to the front of my neck. Took out 23 lymph nodes.

        Results:  Smooth, shiny, totally no feeling bald spot. The nerves in that spot have been removed and the skin that was grafted in has no nerves so ta-da..no feeling, not now not ever. Same for hair follicles. No hair follicles equals no hair, ever.  Much of the scalp around the skin graft is also completely numb and this runs down to my shoulder. Oh also my ear, not the inside but the outside is completely numb. The head and neck has an abundance of nerves and these have been cut during surgery. They can't help it, the nerves are microscopic and even the best surgeon cuts them. They will take one year to grow back and what ever feeling you have at the end of one year, is what you will have forever. Everyone is different.

        Of course, I was hoping to be back to normal but at this point (almost one year) I have almost total numbness behind my ear, most of my ear and by the graft. My shoulder has "skin numbness" . I can feel pressure but not the skin itself. That is pretty weird when it itches and I can scratch but it doesn't stop the itch!  My shoulder muscle was damaged in the surgery and I needed physical therapy but it is okay now. My neck is stiff if I don't stretch it 2x a day.

        Read my other posting about hair, I think I sounded harsh and mean and bitchy. I really didn't mean to but you have to hear the hard stuff to survive this disease.

        Tell me a little about yourself. What stage are you? What is your treatment plan?

        Nicki

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        truwill
        Participant

        Hi Nicki,

        I just saw your posting and can't believe I found someone with the same situation as me. I thought I was a lost soul in this cancer but you have given me a new word to my scar, "Crater" , and mine is sunken and totally bald, like the eagle….I was told don't be alarmed if it "sheds", what is that all about….I've already had some problems with areas of the surgery. I have  absolutely no feeling in this area, wonder if you have the same. I also have no feeling behind my ear and lower neck where they took the nodes. My surgery was done in Nov of 2010. Should I be watching for any additional signs in this area of no feeling and shininess…Thanks  truwill

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