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unhealed surgical site for 4 months and possible vicoden dependence

Forums General Melanoma Community unhealed surgical site for 4 months and possible vicoden dependence

  • Post
    Vermont_Donna
    Participant

    Hi everyone,

    Hi everyone,

      My WLE of 6/1 remains unhealed and my oncology surgeon is talking with  plastic surgeon for a possible skin graft…not sure this is the answer as I am not sure anything will heal well in the area….seems like my leg is "trashed" after my ILP of one year ago. Meaning of course the heavy duty chemo treatmetn I got burned out small blood vessels and nerves so oxygenation and blood flow to the area may be constricted. I am thinking of seeing a homeopathic physician and am seeking a second opinion from a surgeon in my own area that I knwo well and who knows me, who did my SNB and first WLE 4 years ago. I have thought about the hyperbaric chamber treatment but havent asked. My oncology surgeon said he knows some folks doing seaweed applications but I wonder about that with me as I am allergic to iodine and betadine. I am also latex sensitive so many bandages also affect my skin negatively. Just wondering what other folks have tried when wounds dont heal or heal very slowly. If course to top it all I have a dark mole that just popped up right near the unhealed wound that has a little lump under it…more melanoma? I told the surgeon about it but as he and I both think I will be seen in one to two weeks he wasnt jumping up and down about getting me right in there……UGH!!!!!

    Thanks for listening and if you have any ideas give me a shout. Thanks!!

    Vermont _Donna stage 3a

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  • Replies
      Vermont_Donna
      Participant

      oh, me again…yes the vicoden dependency question….I have been on them, two every 6 hours since the end of July, maybe a little longer….now when the 6 hours wears off I feel slammed with the flu….I tried cold turkey Labor Day weekend to not use them but was so sick after two days…I took two and felt so much better, so I have resumed taking them. Maybe I take 5 in a 24 hour period. I saw my GP, she wasnt convinced that I had a true dependency but she told me how to wean off them. The thing is I still have leg pain, from the unhealed wound site, and formerly from 6 weeks of radiation…I am one month out from that. Has anyone had this kind of reaction to taking vicodens??

      Vermont_Donna, stage 3a

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      Vermont_Donna
      Participant

      oh, me again…yes the vicoden dependency question….I have been on them, two every 6 hours since the end of July, maybe a little longer….now when the 6 hours wears off I feel slammed with the flu….I tried cold turkey Labor Day weekend to not use them but was so sick after two days…I took two and felt so much better, so I have resumed taking them. Maybe I take 5 in a 24 hour period. I saw my GP, she wasnt convinced that I had a true dependency but she told me how to wean off them. The thing is I still have leg pain, from the unhealed wound site, and formerly from 6 weeks of radiation…I am one month out from that. Has anyone had this kind of reaction to taking vicodens??

      Vermont_Donna, stage 3a

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        Fen
        Participant

         

        yeah, the vicoden.  It sounds to me like you are dependent, but then I'm not a dr.  I have taken vicoden after several surgeries and for every week I'm on them I have a week of "hangover".  The tendency for me is to continue to take them because they get rid of the hangover feeling, but I persevere because I'm not in pain.  But if you are still in pain then it's a tough decision.  Talk to someone other than your GP. Maybe your pain meds could be switched or gradually replaced by something new so that you don't have pain, but are not taking vicoden.

        Look, Donna, I'm not saying you're addicted or even overdoing AND I'm probably wrong, but the fact that you mentioned it tells me you should get additional info on pain control.

        Good luck with healing.  

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        Fen
        Participant

         

        yeah, the vicoden.  It sounds to me like you are dependent, but then I'm not a dr.  I have taken vicoden after several surgeries and for every week I'm on them I have a week of "hangover".  The tendency for me is to continue to take them because they get rid of the hangover feeling, but I persevere because I'm not in pain.  But if you are still in pain then it's a tough decision.  Talk to someone other than your GP. Maybe your pain meds could be switched or gradually replaced by something new so that you don't have pain, but are not taking vicoden.

        Look, Donna, I'm not saying you're addicted or even overdoing AND I'm probably wrong, but the fact that you mentioned it tells me you should get additional info on pain control.

        Good luck with healing.  

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        Vermont_Donna
        Participant

        Hi Fen, thanks for writing. I was thinking of calling my pain doctor…..I am not crazy about him personality wise but he knows his stuff. Thanks for getting me to stop sitting on the fence about seeing him!

        Vermont_Donna

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        Vermont_Donna
        Participant

        Hi Fen, thanks for writing. I was thinking of calling my pain doctor…..I am not crazy about him personality wise but he knows his stuff. Thanks for getting me to stop sitting on the fence about seeing him!

        Vermont_Donna

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        glewis923
        Participant

        …..Dear Vermont Donna-

        Just my 2 cents worth, but if you are indeed having constant LND related pain, or any pain for that matter, I would not feel bad about the vicodin.   I had WLE and later LND PLUS one year of aches from Interferon.  I took and STILL take an avg. of 2 or 3 vics. a day- normally "after 5".   Am i "hooked" on taking 2 or3 /day?  Probably.   Do I care or feel guilty about it?  Hell no.

         

        As long as I do not "up" my dosage I do not consider it a problem.  I have abused  alcohol in past- and know it CAN be a dangerous road- but one or two drinks was never enough for me.  It is not that way with vicodin (narcotics/opiates) with me. I'm aware that it could be a progressive/escalating problem and remain vigilant of this fact.  Call it justification, but i also find the 2 vicodins late in day help me sleep and helps my appetite.  I do not take sleeping pills or anti-depression meds.  The 2 to 3 vicodins per day helps all these symptoms-  so if i'm hooked- then so what.  I'll worry about that when my other problems are gone!

         

        Hoping I'm not "Mr. Bad Example"-   Yours Truly,

        Grady. 

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        glewis923
        Participant

        …..Dear Vermont Donna-

        Just my 2 cents worth, but if you are indeed having constant LND related pain, or any pain for that matter, I would not feel bad about the vicodin.   I had WLE and later LND PLUS one year of aches from Interferon.  I took and STILL take an avg. of 2 or 3 vics. a day- normally "after 5".   Am i "hooked" on taking 2 or3 /day?  Probably.   Do I care or feel guilty about it?  Hell no.

         

        As long as I do not "up" my dosage I do not consider it a problem.  I have abused  alcohol in past- and know it CAN be a dangerous road- but one or two drinks was never enough for me.  It is not that way with vicodin (narcotics/opiates) with me. I'm aware that it could be a progressive/escalating problem and remain vigilant of this fact.  Call it justification, but i also find the 2 vicodins late in day help me sleep and helps my appetite.  I do not take sleeping pills or anti-depression meds.  The 2 to 3 vicodins per day helps all these symptoms-  so if i'm hooked- then so what.  I'll worry about that when my other problems are gone!

         

        Hoping I'm not "Mr. Bad Example"-   Yours Truly,

        Grady. 

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        Vermont_Donna
        Participant

        Hello Grady,

          Thanks for writing, and no you are not being "Mr Bad Example". I know just what you mean. In fact my doctor was kind of that way last week….recognizing I am still having pain and the vicodins are helping, so deal with the pain now and we'll deal with what may be a dependency forming later. But she did tell me how to wean off them if I want to…very very slowly, so I dont feel sick….or as sick….lol……once again thanks for writing!

        Vermont_Donna

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        Vermont_Donna
        Participant

        Hello Grady,

          Thanks for writing, and no you are not being "Mr Bad Example". I know just what you mean. In fact my doctor was kind of that way last week….recognizing I am still having pain and the vicodins are helping, so deal with the pain now and we'll deal with what may be a dependency forming later. But she did tell me how to wean off them if I want to…very very slowly, so I dont feel sick….or as sick….lol……once again thanks for writing!

        Vermont_Donna

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      Sharyn
      Participant

      When I had a stubborn wound back in 2007, I was put on a VAC machine (Vacuum Assisted Closure). It's a suction disc covering the wound, covered by an air-tight bandage. It has a tube attached to it, and the machine (about 12 x 10 x 3") gently suctions continually, which aids in closing the wound. Mine was about the size of a loonie coin, with double the size of open space below the flesh, and after 3 weeks on the VAC machine, it was closed. The machine is portable, works on electricity, but has a battery life of 4-6 hrs, so you can go about your daily activities. The machine is so small, you carry it around like a purse. It's in a carrying case with a shoulder strap. I really think that will help.

      That wound was pre-ILP, but I also had another one post-ILP in my groin area, and it worked equally as well. Ask your Dr about it. Good luck!

      Hugs

      Sharyn

      Stage IV

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      Sharyn
      Participant

      When I had a stubborn wound back in 2007, I was put on a VAC machine (Vacuum Assisted Closure). It's a suction disc covering the wound, covered by an air-tight bandage. It has a tube attached to it, and the machine (about 12 x 10 x 3") gently suctions continually, which aids in closing the wound. Mine was about the size of a loonie coin, with double the size of open space below the flesh, and after 3 weeks on the VAC machine, it was closed. The machine is portable, works on electricity, but has a battery life of 4-6 hrs, so you can go about your daily activities. The machine is so small, you carry it around like a purse. It's in a carrying case with a shoulder strap. I really think that will help.

      That wound was pre-ILP, but I also had another one post-ILP in my groin area, and it worked equally as well. Ask your Dr about it. Good luck!

      Hugs

      Sharyn

      Stage IV

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        Vermont_Donna
        Participant

        Hi Sharyn,

          Thanks so much for the idea. My wound is about the size of a quarter, maybe a bit bigger…it has grown bigger over the last month or so, not smaller. I do know what a loonie is and have used them! I will print out at work today all these suggestions and talk to my doctor about them. How are you doing??

        Hugs,

        Vermont_Donna

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        Vermont_Donna
        Participant

        Hi Sharyn,

          Thanks so much for the idea. My wound is about the size of a quarter, maybe a bit bigger…it has grown bigger over the last month or so, not smaller. I do know what a loonie is and have used them! I will print out at work today all these suggestions and talk to my doctor about them. How are you doing??

        Hugs,

        Vermont_Donna

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      bill58
      Participant

      Donna,

      Did they do a skin graft after the first surgery?  I had a skin graft after both of my surgeries, the last one was May 27th.

      It was healing nicely until the radiation started at the end of July.  By the end of August, the skin was red and raw.

      It has been one month for me and mine is not fully healed.  The plastic surgeon said it could be another 2 or 3 months.  He said the little white spots I saw was where the skin was just starting to grow back.  So if you had a skin graft there before, it takes a while to heal.

      If you are interested in the wound vac or the hyperbaric chamber, you will have to stop by the wound care clinic at your local hospital.  I went there with my son last year to have them change bandages on his foot.  He spend 1 hour in the chamber each day for around 10 days.  It helped heal his issues.  They were looking into a wound vac, but it was healed to much for that to be of much use. 

      After my radiation, I stopped by the wound clinic to see about getting supplies for my skin graft area.  I have to change the dressings twice per day since the surgery and probably for another 2 months.  The nurse there said I should get hyperbaric treatment, but in my situation, I did not think it would help that much since it seemed to be healing on its own and they were talking about quite a few treatments.  I thought it would have healed up as much on its own without the hyperbaric treatment.

      In your situation, either the chamber or the wound vac might be a good option.  You would have to see a doctor there and they would have to prescribe that treatment.  Hopefully your insurance will cover it.  My sons was covered.  They should be able to make a decision on how much you would benefit from the treatment vs. not having it.  Good luck with that avenue.  Hopefully one or both options will help.  There are a lot of strange things in the wound care arena that you would not even think of unless you actually went into one of their clinics.

      As far as the Incident addition, I took 2 per day for a few weeks after the surgery but was feeling better on my own that I was able to stop.  A week into the Radiation the pain was so bad I started to take them again for the duration of the radiation and at least one or two weeks after that.  During the last week of my radiation treatment, one of the doctors saw that I was still in pain ( I was only taking one pill at a time since two of them would really knock me out) and he prescribed a non-narcotic pain reliever called Gabapentin.  It is normally used to treat seizures but has been proven to treat nerve pain and other pain for people with skin grafts and radiation treatment.  It is non-narcotic so dependency should not be an issue.  It really seemed to help me.  The doctor said I could start on 1 pill per day and gradually work up to one in the morning and one at night.  Depending on the level of pain, I think he said some people could take up to 3 pills in the morning, 3 in the afternoon and 3 at night.  I only ended up taking 1 in the morning and 1 at night.  I weaned myself off of the one at night last week and still take one per day in the morning.  If the pain gets bad in the afternoon, usually from the lymphadema swelling in the leg above the skin graft, I will take another Gabapentin or Vicoden.  hey, if you have them and you are in pain you might as well take them.

      Good luck in your dealings with the wound care.  Not all hospitals may have them but there are always private treatment facilities that have them but I have not dealt with them and do not know if they also offer the wound vac.  You should be able to do a google search on hyperbaric chambers in your area to find locations that have them.  Most locations have the single person chamber which is like a big plastic tube.  A few places have a huge tank that can hold up to 10 or 12 people at a time.  My son was in the big chamber with 10 other people.  I think my son was in the big chamber for close to 2 hours.  The treatment in the individual chambers would have been closer to 1 hour since they could raise/lower the pressure faster with the single units.  It was quite an experience.  He was nervous the first time and we could look through the little porthole to see him.  But he got used to it after a few days.

      Let me know if you need any other information.

      Bill

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      bill58
      Participant

      Donna,

      Did they do a skin graft after the first surgery?  I had a skin graft after both of my surgeries, the last one was May 27th.

      It was healing nicely until the radiation started at the end of July.  By the end of August, the skin was red and raw.

      It has been one month for me and mine is not fully healed.  The plastic surgeon said it could be another 2 or 3 months.  He said the little white spots I saw was where the skin was just starting to grow back.  So if you had a skin graft there before, it takes a while to heal.

      If you are interested in the wound vac or the hyperbaric chamber, you will have to stop by the wound care clinic at your local hospital.  I went there with my son last year to have them change bandages on his foot.  He spend 1 hour in the chamber each day for around 10 days.  It helped heal his issues.  They were looking into a wound vac, but it was healed to much for that to be of much use. 

      After my radiation, I stopped by the wound clinic to see about getting supplies for my skin graft area.  I have to change the dressings twice per day since the surgery and probably for another 2 months.  The nurse there said I should get hyperbaric treatment, but in my situation, I did not think it would help that much since it seemed to be healing on its own and they were talking about quite a few treatments.  I thought it would have healed up as much on its own without the hyperbaric treatment.

      In your situation, either the chamber or the wound vac might be a good option.  You would have to see a doctor there and they would have to prescribe that treatment.  Hopefully your insurance will cover it.  My sons was covered.  They should be able to make a decision on how much you would benefit from the treatment vs. not having it.  Good luck with that avenue.  Hopefully one or both options will help.  There are a lot of strange things in the wound care arena that you would not even think of unless you actually went into one of their clinics.

      As far as the Incident addition, I took 2 per day for a few weeks after the surgery but was feeling better on my own that I was able to stop.  A week into the Radiation the pain was so bad I started to take them again for the duration of the radiation and at least one or two weeks after that.  During the last week of my radiation treatment, one of the doctors saw that I was still in pain ( I was only taking one pill at a time since two of them would really knock me out) and he prescribed a non-narcotic pain reliever called Gabapentin.  It is normally used to treat seizures but has been proven to treat nerve pain and other pain for people with skin grafts and radiation treatment.  It is non-narcotic so dependency should not be an issue.  It really seemed to help me.  The doctor said I could start on 1 pill per day and gradually work up to one in the morning and one at night.  Depending on the level of pain, I think he said some people could take up to 3 pills in the morning, 3 in the afternoon and 3 at night.  I only ended up taking 1 in the morning and 1 at night.  I weaned myself off of the one at night last week and still take one per day in the morning.  If the pain gets bad in the afternoon, usually from the lymphadema swelling in the leg above the skin graft, I will take another Gabapentin or Vicoden.  hey, if you have them and you are in pain you might as well take them.

      Good luck in your dealings with the wound care.  Not all hospitals may have them but there are always private treatment facilities that have them but I have not dealt with them and do not know if they also offer the wound vac.  You should be able to do a google search on hyperbaric chambers in your area to find locations that have them.  Most locations have the single person chamber which is like a big plastic tube.  A few places have a huge tank that can hold up to 10 or 12 people at a time.  My son was in the big chamber with 10 other people.  I think my son was in the big chamber for close to 2 hours.  The treatment in the individual chambers would have been closer to 1 hour since they could raise/lower the pressure faster with the single units.  It was quite an experience.  He was nervous the first time and we could look through the little porthole to see him.  But he got used to it after a few days.

      Let me know if you need any other information.

      Bill

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        Vermont_Donna
        Participant

         Hi Bill,

         Thanks for writing…..good suggestions. I dont have a skin graft (yet), but one doctor is talking about it.  I am already on 900mg of gabapentin twice a day and have been for a year now. I am supposed to take a noon dose too but can never remember that! Maybe I need to really try as it might help.

        Good luck with your issues too.

        Vermont _Donna

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        Vermont_Donna
        Participant

         Hi Bill,

         Thanks for writing…..good suggestions. I dont have a skin graft (yet), but one doctor is talking about it.  I am already on 900mg of gabapentin twice a day and have been for a year now. I am supposed to take a noon dose too but can never remember that! Maybe I need to really try as it might help.

        Good luck with your issues too.

        Vermont _Donna

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      washoegal
      Participant

      Donna, Regarding the Vicodin – you didn't say what dose you are taking, just how often that makes a difference.  But the sysmptoms you described matched mine after I broke four ribs.  I was taking 2 tabs every 3 hours for 3 weeeks and then just quit.  I had flu symptoms and couldn't figure out why because I couldn't get out of the house.  The doctor warned me that stopping like that was dangerous and could effect the heart!  Too late, it didn't.  I now take Vicodin for back pain, result of the same accident but I have learned to be more careful. 

       

      Regarding the healing have you tried massage?  Particularly someone familar with lymphodema massage, even if you don't have it, it's a more gentle technique and may help the blood flow too.  Just a thought. 

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        Vermont_Donna
        Participant

        Hi,

          I am taking 2 tabs every 5 to 6 hours (500mg…it is tylenol with hydrocodone so I dont know the actual amount of hydrocodone, I will aske my doctor today). Last night my surgical site was pounding and I took the vicodin, it did not take the pain away at all….hours later I needed to take more, I finally fell asleep so maybe it finally worked. I was getting lymphadema treatment during my radiation treatments but it ended 4 weeks ago. My oncology surgeon asked me to go back, I do have a small amount (for me) of lymphadema and he wants that eliminated….I was trying not to do too much running around,….with working full time, the lymphadema specialist who I really like is an hour away from my office and I sometimes work 30 minutes even north of that (I am a school based clinician), so I was being selfish looking at my time….BUT you know my health has to come first, so thank you for helping me get my priorities straight!!! Thank you fro writing and good luck to you too.

        Vermont_Donna

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        Vermont_Donna
        Participant

        Hi,

          I am taking 2 tabs every 5 to 6 hours (500mg…it is tylenol with hydrocodone so I dont know the actual amount of hydrocodone, I will aske my doctor today). Last night my surgical site was pounding and I took the vicodin, it did not take the pain away at all….hours later I needed to take more, I finally fell asleep so maybe it finally worked. I was getting lymphadema treatment during my radiation treatments but it ended 4 weeks ago. My oncology surgeon asked me to go back, I do have a small amount (for me) of lymphadema and he wants that eliminated….I was trying not to do too much running around,….with working full time, the lymphadema specialist who I really like is an hour away from my office and I sometimes work 30 minutes even north of that (I am a school based clinician), so I was being selfish looking at my time….BUT you know my health has to come first, so thank you for helping me get my priorities straight!!! Thank you fro writing and good luck to you too.

        Vermont_Donna

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      washoegal
      Participant

      Donna, Regarding the Vicodin – you didn't say what dose you are taking, just how often that makes a difference.  But the sysmptoms you described matched mine after I broke four ribs.  I was taking 2 tabs every 3 hours for 3 weeeks and then just quit.  I had flu symptoms and couldn't figure out why because I couldn't get out of the house.  The doctor warned me that stopping like that was dangerous and could effect the heart!  Too late, it didn't.  I now take Vicodin for back pain, result of the same accident but I have learned to be more careful. 

       

      Regarding the healing have you tried massage?  Particularly someone familar with lymphodema massage, even if you don't have it, it's a more gentle technique and may help the blood flow too.  Just a thought. 

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      BethA in VA
      Participant

      My Dr. recommended Zinc tablets after my surgery wouldn't heal.  It worked in about 2 weeks.  I'm never too big on vitamins…but this worked for me.  Good luck!  Beth 3/B

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        Vermont_Donna
        Participant

         Hi Beth,

          Thanks for the suggestion! I did print out a list of recommended vitamins/supplements to improve healing and I was going to read that over and see what my doctor thought too, so I will discuss the zinc tabs too. I see my GP today at 4pm. Thanks, and good luck with your health too.

        Vermont_Donna

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        Vermont_Donna
        Participant

         Hi Beth,

          Thanks for the suggestion! I did print out a list of recommended vitamins/supplements to improve healing and I was going to read that over and see what my doctor thought too, so I will discuss the zinc tabs too. I see my GP today at 4pm. Thanks, and good luck with your health too.

        Vermont_Donna

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      BethA in VA
      Participant

      My Dr. recommended Zinc tablets after my surgery wouldn't heal.  It worked in about 2 weeks.  I'm never too big on vitamins…but this worked for me.  Good luck!  Beth 3/B

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      ValinMtl
      Participant

      Hi Donna,

      Boy, do I know about problems with healing!!  I did have the sponge vac and it did a wonderful job of healing my first major surgery BUT after I had another recurrence, the head of the 'wound clinic' just happened to be in the plastics department who had done corrective surgery from that one! The doctors/residents were heading towards another sponge vac. This specialist is one of those people that should be on every consultation! He asked if I had 'clear margins'…and DID not recommend the sponge vac unless it was a definite.  It took a long time but I did heal the second time around without the sponge vac. Apparently, he told me that sponge vac can assist in the 'spread' of melanoma…well, now I do have cutaneous melanoma and although my surgeon did a magnificent job of killing the melanoma in my lymph nodes, I still wonder if the use the first time round encouraged the growth in my skin…am I making any sense…just a 'WILD' guess.

      I do know somebody who did use the 'seaweed' solution…if you are interested I am sure she would advise. Val xx

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        Vermont_Donna
        Participant

         Hi Val,

          We definitely need to meet, one day soon, you know I am only 90 minutes south of Montreal! Thanks for the info. I do have clear margins. I am going to ask my surgeon about all of these suggestions. When you say you have cutaneous mets what does that mean…sub q's?? New moles popping up?? Mine have all been different presentations, from weird moles/growths, blue smudges and a pea sized lump under the skin. Now I have a black mole with a lump underneath about an inch away from the surgical site, in an area of my calf that wasnt radiated. WTF is what I am saying!! I will look into all of these suggestions. Yes tell me about the seaweed…I am interested in hearing more about it but as I allergic to iodine, will probably not be a good candidate.

        hugs,

        Vermont_Donna

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        ValinMtl
        Participant

        Hi Donna…yes, we will meet sometime soon!  I often go to the States..Plattsburgh/Burlington…so one day, we'll coordinate a lunch together.

        I didn't quite tell you the rest of the story last night…had to look up some old prescriptions.  When the head of wound clinic negated the sponge vac for my second major surgery (he wasn't involved on the first surgery where I did end up with sponge vac about 4 weeks during my healing which took four months)…my reports did say 'appears to have clear margins', he also noticed that I had something in the wound (I believe he said 'bacteria') the doctors had not noticed (this guy is good!).  He requested that the nurses who were cleaning my wound daily start 'bactigras' for a few treatments to destroy bacteria and then 'silver cel'…at least that is the order I seem to recall (speak to your doctor)…my problem wound was healed very quickly with this treatment.

        My many many tumors on the leg are 'so far' on the skin surface of my leg..regional melanoma.  Two years ago, my surgeon got the two lymph nodes with melanoma by removing a total of 11 nodes in SNB and the major surgery..my last scans still show no node or organ invovlement although the melanoma came back in the same area as my surgery first time (yep, tiny black spot)…another surgery end of August 2009 removing portion of skin in that area and plastics to correct.  Radiation treatment for a month last January (after healing and another 'corrective surgery' in October 2009) but, guess what, it came back with a vengeance in March 2010 and now all over leg so trying 'ipi'. Make sure you get that 'mole' biopsied asap. Mine the last time around didn't really look like mel..the dermatologist (who heads our melanoma clinic here) observed that if I hadn't been a mel patient she wouldn't even be worried..they were several tiny brown spots next to radiated area and calf area…of course, it was and continues to spread..I'm a little worried that it is going out of the 'regional' area now.

        Donna, send me an e-mail at [email protected] and I will forward your query on to the person I believe who has had the seaweed treatment.

        Best, Val

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        Lori C
        Participant

        Donna, Will has had a lot of success with the Fentanyl pain patch.  My mom is addicted to Vicodin; she has spinal stenosis and is in terrible chronic pain.  She cannot be off it without dire side effects.  It's a very common problem with that pain killer.

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        Lori C
        Participant

        Donna, Will has had a lot of success with the Fentanyl pain patch.  My mom is addicted to Vicodin; she has spinal stenosis and is in terrible chronic pain.  She cannot be off it without dire side effects.  It's a very common problem with that pain killer.

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        ValinMtl
        Participant

        Hi Donna…yes, we will meet sometime soon!  I often go to the States..Plattsburgh/Burlington…so one day, we'll coordinate a lunch together.

        I didn't quite tell you the rest of the story last night…had to look up some old prescriptions.  When the head of wound clinic negated the sponge vac for my second major surgery (he wasn't involved on the first surgery where I did end up with sponge vac about 4 weeks during my healing which took four months)…my reports did say 'appears to have clear margins', he also noticed that I had something in the wound (I believe he said 'bacteria') the doctors had not noticed (this guy is good!).  He requested that the nurses who were cleaning my wound daily start 'bactigras' for a few treatments to destroy bacteria and then 'silver cel'…at least that is the order I seem to recall (speak to your doctor)…my problem wound was healed very quickly with this treatment.

        My many many tumors on the leg are 'so far' on the skin surface of my leg..regional melanoma.  Two years ago, my surgeon got the two lymph nodes with melanoma by removing a total of 11 nodes in SNB and the major surgery..my last scans still show no node or organ invovlement although the melanoma came back in the same area as my surgery first time (yep, tiny black spot)…another surgery end of August 2009 removing portion of skin in that area and plastics to correct.  Radiation treatment for a month last January (after healing and another 'corrective surgery' in October 2009) but, guess what, it came back with a vengeance in March 2010 and now all over leg so trying 'ipi'. Make sure you get that 'mole' biopsied asap. Mine the last time around didn't really look like mel..the dermatologist (who heads our melanoma clinic here) observed that if I hadn't been a mel patient she wouldn't even be worried..they were several tiny brown spots next to radiated area and calf area…of course, it was and continues to spread..I'm a little worried that it is going out of the 'regional' area now.

        Donna, send me an e-mail at [email protected] and I will forward your query on to the person I believe who has had the seaweed treatment.

        Best, Val

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        Vermont_Donna
        Participant

         Hi Val,

          We definitely need to meet, one day soon, you know I am only 90 minutes south of Montreal! Thanks for the info. I do have clear margins. I am going to ask my surgeon about all of these suggestions. When you say you have cutaneous mets what does that mean…sub q's?? New moles popping up?? Mine have all been different presentations, from weird moles/growths, blue smudges and a pea sized lump under the skin. Now I have a black mole with a lump underneath about an inch away from the surgical site, in an area of my calf that wasnt radiated. WTF is what I am saying!! I will look into all of these suggestions. Yes tell me about the seaweed…I am interested in hearing more about it but as I allergic to iodine, will probably not be a good candidate.

        hugs,

        Vermont_Donna

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      ValinMtl
      Participant

      Hi Donna,

      Boy, do I know about problems with healing!!  I did have the sponge vac and it did a wonderful job of healing my first major surgery BUT after I had another recurrence, the head of the 'wound clinic' just happened to be in the plastics department who had done corrective surgery from that one! The doctors/residents were heading towards another sponge vac. This specialist is one of those people that should be on every consultation! He asked if I had 'clear margins'…and DID not recommend the sponge vac unless it was a definite.  It took a long time but I did heal the second time around without the sponge vac. Apparently, he told me that sponge vac can assist in the 'spread' of melanoma…well, now I do have cutaneous melanoma and although my surgeon did a magnificent job of killing the melanoma in my lymph nodes, I still wonder if the use the first time round encouraged the growth in my skin…am I making any sense…just a 'WILD' guess.

      I do know somebody who did use the 'seaweed' solution…if you are interested I am sure she would advise. Val xx

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      Hi Donna,

      It sounds like there are lots of people with experience who are giving you some good advice. My addiction is ambien…

      I can only say that you are in my prayers and thoughts.   I am sending healing light and love to you in Vermont!

       

      Peace,

      Shelly

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      Hi Donna,

      It sounds like there are lots of people with experience who are giving you some good advice. My addiction is ambien…

      I can only say that you are in my prayers and thoughts.   I am sending healing light and love to you in Vermont!

       

      Peace,

      Shelly

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