Good news

Hi all. I wanted to update you all to let you know I had the results of my WLE and SLNB and it was good news. So no spread detected! they took 4 lymph nodes and all were clear. So relieved it’s overwhelming. 
You’ll see from my profile I was told originally I had a basal cell carcinoma and waited  four months for the operation to remove it from the back of my upper arm. 8 weeks later biopsy results showed it was in fact stage 2 nodular melanoma.
It’s been a long journey full of waiting and I’d say to anyone waiting at the moment to try your hardest not to spend your life on what ifs. I found it really hard at times but just found out information on what my treatment options would be if I needed them and focussed on how the treatments were improving all the time. So not randomly google!!! 

i have a question - I wonder now just what the future looks like in terms of sun exposure. I’m slapping on factor 50 every day, wear a hat and avoid the sun. But off to Majorca next month and wonder how much I can avoid the sun 24/7. Interested to hear how do people manage ? Thanks everyone for the support of this group. 

  • What a huge relief for you - that’s fantastic news! Also interested in advice about sun exposure as this is also my first summer post melanoma diagnosis.  I hope you have a big celebration! 

  • That's great news and I hope you've had a little, or big, celebration!

    When I was first diagnosed I too was worried about how to behave outside and tried to stay in the shade all the time even to the extent of crossing the road to avoid the sun! I got rid of these vampire tendencies the following summer and now know that being sensible in the sun doesn't mean that you have to stop doing things you used to enjoy doing, unless that was sunbathing, but you do need to change some things to protect yourself. I don't know what advice your dermatologist has given you but the generally accepted 'rules' are:

    1. Stay out of the sun during the strongest time of the day (11am to 3pm) between April and October inclusive in the UK and in all months of the year in any other part of the world
    2. When going outside wear long sleeved tops and trousers/skirts made from natural fibres like cotton
    3. Wear a broad brimmed hat (brim should be at least 3 inches) and sun glasses
    4. Sit in the shade and never sunbathe 
    5. Any part of your body that is not covered, ie face, neck, back of hands should have a sun protection cream of SPF 50 that is effective against both UVA and UVB rays
    6. Re-apply the sunscreen as directed on the bottle
    7. Never use sunbeds
    8. Don't use sunscreen instead of covering up

    The first summer after I was diagnosed was particularly hard as I used to enjoy sitting in the sun. However, I quickly got used to the new regime and have a selection of hats to choose from when I go out. I also decided that I now needed a whole new wardrobe so went on a shopping spree. So, every cloud has a silver lining!

    I haven't had 'beach' holidays since being diagnosed but do still go on holiday. Now I tend to choose destinations where I can sight see, etc. However, a couple of year ago I did visit my sister in Australia and while there we had a 3 day mini break to a resort. I did go in the sea for short spells but then sat in the shade once out rather than in the sun. It seemed easier to be covered up in Australia as everyone is aware of how dangerous the sun can be and no one looks twice at someone wearing a hat because they all are too! 

    I hope that helps a little and that you enjoy your holiday

    x

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  • Hi Stars09,

    Glad you had good news. 

    I latchbrook has excellent guidance on this. 

    I'll also go for my first visit back home for a month in June  (Turkey) since I was diagnosed and had all WLE etc business, so I have similar worries. I have stocked up on my Sunscreen, downloaded the uv app, invested in some wide bream- fashionable- hats and UV protective clothes (mostly from mountain warehouse) which I am planning to wear if I need to go out during peak hours. I also told my nosey relatives to leave me alone during the day :)) 

    Will go for swim early mornings or evenings  (its the best time when the sea is calm and quiet), do sightseeing /shopping /meet ups indoors during the day (if not doing siesta) and will be going out in the evening after 5/6. Its too hot to be out and about under the sun-even if we didn't have a melanoma history - at Mediterranean, during summer months anyways.

    Majorca is a beautiful island, enjoy it to the max! 

  • Good news!  I'm really pleased for you, enjoy the holiday x