Just a wee hello really

Hi everybody. Just thought i'd say hello. Not really sure how all of this works. Had my original melanoma removed. Just had my WLE and SLNB surgery so waiting for the results of that. Weirdly feel that I'm kind of a fraud as I don't feel unwell yet I'm signed off work for 2 weeks. Only got a bit of swelling/fluid whrer the lymph node was taken from. And a wee bit sore in my back whrer the original melanoma was. Other than that I feel fine. I sort of feel a bit guilty for feeling worried given that I dont feel unwell. Anyway, hopimg it all turns out ok. Thanks.

  • Hi and a very warm welcome to the online community which I hope you'll find is both an informative and supportive place to be.

    First of all you are definitely not a fraud. You've just been diagnosed with cancer and had surgery. That absolutely gives you the right to have some time off work to recover. I was already retired when I had my WLE and SLNB but was told not to do anything strenuous in the two weeks immediately afterwards. No matter how well you feel you don't want to do anything, including work, that could cause problems to the wound sites.

    Have you been given an indication of how long it is likely to be before you get your results back?

    x

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  • Hi latchbrook. Thanks for replying. I know I shouldn't feel guilty so I'm just going to try and relax. Thinking about it logically I couldn't really function in school anyway. It's hard enough getting washed and dressed so coping with unpredictable children all day would be pretty impossible. So I'm just going to give myself time to heal up.

    They said the biopsy result should be back within 6 weeks. Not much I can do until then. Nurse appointment on Thursday for the dressings. Would be interesting to see if they have any info on which/how many lymph node(s) were removed. You don't get much info post surgery!

    Thanks again for replying.

  • Hi 

    The nurse should be able to tell you how many nodes were removed. Usually they just remove the sentinel lymph node and only remove more if the radioactive substance has gone to more than one or if it flowed to two areas of your body, ie as your melanoma was on your back sometimes SLNs in more than one area are removed.

    Hope all goes well on Thursday for your dressing removal.

    x

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  • Hi,

    I think I remember the girl that was doing the scans before the SLNB saying that it had drained into one lymph node quite quickly so I think maybe they took just one. Don't know what difference that  would make in the long run. Presumably it means less invasive surgery for the SLNB but I tell you what, I wasn't expecting it still to hurt so much after a week and also at the same time for bits of my armpit to feel numb. Hey ho. Weirdly looking forward to tomorrow for the dressing change as a chance to interact with someone in the medical profession! It's funny how left alone you can feel in between appointments.

    x

  • Hi 

    It's quite normal for the radioactive substance to flow to just one lymph node and doesn't "make any difference in the long run". This node is a sentinel lymph node and would be the first to pick up any cancer cells, which is why it's the one that's removed for biopsy. 

    You might find the numb feeling in your armpit lasts a long time. I think it was probably a year before I got all feeling back in my armpit and also at the site of the WLE. To help with this my SCNS advised me to massage both areas a couple of times a day with E45 cream. She explained that this was both to help with the appearance of the scars and to 'teach' the skin to feel again.

    All the best with your dressing change. Don't forget that you're never "left alone between appointments" as you can always speak to your SCNS if you have any concerns or questions.

    x

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  • Hi Latchbrook,

    Thanks for replying. Dressing change went well. Wounds healing well but still quite fragile according to nurse. It's really weird to have an area that is both numb feeling and painful at the same time. An odd combination! What is an SCNS?

    Thanks

  • Glad to hear that everything's healing well .

    Sorry, SCNS stands for skin cancer nurse specialist. You should have been assigned one when you were diagnosed with melanoma. Sometimes they are called a 'key worker' instead. Their job is to act as your first point of contact if you have any concerns in between your 3 monthly check-ups with your consultant.

    x

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  • Thanks latchbrook. That makes sense! Think I might give her a ring.

  • Hello Franminiman, no such thing as a fraud if you have melanoma hon.  Once the melanoma has been diagnosed it's taken seriously  even if you feel well (I did too and still do feel ok but increased tiredness and arthritis in both hands after a year on immunotherapy).

    The waiting for results is the worst bit after receiving the diagnosis I feel.  So much time to worry.  After my surgery last July I too had numbness for some months after plus a tingling feeling in my arm and hand.  Healing takes time. 

    One thing I hadn't bargained on was ingrowing hairs in the suture line in my armpit! Now they are taking a long time to wiggle out with gentle squeezing by me and a nurse neighbour!

    As Latchbrook says it makes no difference in the final staging if they take only one lymph node.  It used to be that surgeons removed all of the nearest lymph nodes as a treatment measure but research showed no benefit in taking all the nodes and usually the patient ended up with debilitating lymphoedema so really only the sentinel node needs to be removed (the very first node your melanoma drains to).   

    I still feel a little bit of a fraud sometimes when I go for my treatment which maximum takes three hours whilst others are having chemotherapy taking longer but I remind myself I do have a serious disease which could shorten my life just like them.  Hope you don't have to wait too long for your results Franminiman xx

  • Hi Allotment lover,

    Thanks for replying. And I love your online name. I love gardening and failed dismally to maintain an allotment (they took it off me for not taming it quickly enough). Hoping the results come back quickly too.

    xx