3.9mm / pT3a Melanoma

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Good morning.

Hope you are keeping well.

On the 12th September i had a biopsy for suspected Melanoma and 3 weeks later it was confirmed as superficial spreading melanoma 3.9mm - pT3a

Before the biopsy I was a very happy man and we had just come back from Lanzarote. my mental health was great, my appetite was good (in fact too good) but on the 12th September the day of my biopsy and my persona just changed on a sixpence.

On that date I went from a very happy husband and father to what i can only describe as a recluse in my own mind and I had and still have no interest in anything anymore, the worry and anxiety have taken over me 100%

I just have the feeling that I am going to die very soon and leave my wife and our boys.

My appointment with the plastic surgeon consultant is not until 9th November 23, but i think it will be too late.

Not sure if this is in my head or not but I am so worried that the cancer is now at its advanced stage and there is now no hope.

On the day of my diagnoses i was told I would would have a designated SCNS nurse, and she will be in touch, but i have never heard anything.

I have tried calling the nurse on a few occasions and every time i do it goes on to vice mail saying they will be back in touch as soon as possible, but hey have never called back, i am at my wits end, i am so so worried.

On a couple of occasions I have also tried the secretary of the SCNS, but again its voice mail and the last time i tried the secretary is on holiday till the 16th October, and the other number she gave out was also on voice mail.

Me and my wife and one of our boys go on holiday next week, and i know i will not enjoy it through all the worry.

Thank you.

Simon

  • Hi Simon

     

    Welcome to the Online Community here at Macmillan. I hope you find it a helpful place to access support and ask questions. My name is Vanessa, and I am one of the cancer information nurses here at the Macmillan Cancer Support Line.

    Being given a cancer diagnosis will inevitably cause fear and anxiety, our minds run ahead often to the worst case scenario. I’m so pleased you have felt able to contact us and be so honest about how you are feeling.

    Superficial melanoma is the most common type of melanoma and as the name suggests it usually grows across the surface of the skin. There are various ways of staging a melanoma. Staging gives an indication of the size and thickness of the melanoma and whether it has spread from where it started.

    Melanoma UK have a clear description of the stages here. You will see from this link that a stage 3 melanoma has spread to the lymphatic vessels or lymph nodes closest to the melanoma but not to anywhere else in the body.

    Knowing the stage of a cancer allows the MDT to plan treatment to give you the best possible outcome. I can see you have been referred to a plastic surgeon. This Dr will explain to you what needs to happen next.

    As I don’t have access to your NHS records I can’t say what this might be but would recommend that you think about questions you might want to ask in this appointment.

    It’s important to make the best use of this discussion, we know appointments can be overwhelming, so we always suggest that you write your questions down, take someone with you and give them permission to ask questions on your behalf if needed.

    I can see you are worried about timescales and the risk that the cancer has or will spread. As you can see in this cancer waiting times information we know that waiting a few weeks for a test or treatment doesn’t usually affect how well the treatment works.

    It looks like you are struggling to reach your allocated nurse specialist. I’m sorry this is your experience as they can be such a support. Please do keep trying, always leave a message with your contact details. If you continue to have no response you can use a service called PALs. PALs often contact the allocated nurse specialist direct and ask them to contact you.

    You can also raise your difficulty accessing support at your forthcoming outpatient appointment, although I realise this is some time away.

    In the meantime you may find Big Health helpful for times when you can feel yourself becoming more anxious.

    You can also access free BUPA counselling and look up local support services here.

    I do wonder if you might benefit from giving our support line a call. We often find we can explain our answers in a bit more detail over the phone, giving you the opportunity to ask more questions if needed. It can be very overwhelming not knowing how things might affect you moving forward. And although we can’t tell you exactly what to expect, we can help explain what usually happens for most people in a similar situation.

    I do hope you enjoy your holiday as best you can. There is a reminder of safe sun actions here.

    Whilst it may not be convenient to call remember you can contact us by email, online chat or as you have done today through ask a nurse.

    I hope you find this information helpful. You can also always call one of our nurses directly if you want to talk over your concerns or require any further support.

     

     

    Take care

     

    Vanessa G, Cancer Information Nurse Specialist 

    You can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or send us an email. 

    Ref VG/GH