Wilma is a skin cancer specialist nurse, here to answer your questions about different...
One year ago I had a mole removed from my left calf. It was a melanoma 0.05mm. I then had an WLE which was clear & was told I'm low risk. I go to see my dermatologist every 3 months and he checks my lymph nodes & a few other moles, one of which he's keeping a close eye on. Although I'm sure it will always be a worry, I'vee been ok with it until my appointment last week. All was ok but ever since then, for some reason, I've been so anxious, the 'what ifs ' going through my mind all the time. Could as anyone give me some tips on how to cope with it all?
Hi Salters, I’m sorry to hear that things are tough at the moment, I think when I’m in a worrying phase it helps to acknowledge that it’s natural to feel a wobble every now and then and especially at anniversaries. I also feel it helps to know as much as possible about future treatments and to talk to others who understand what your going through. I have been a couple of times to the melanoma patient conference, it’s not too late to register if you are thinking about it. I think it’s somehow calming to meet others in the same boat, or to voice your anxieties on here when it all gets too much, just putting it in to writing takes some of the tension away.
Your SCNS also has a remit to help, at my hospital they have a two monthly meeting where you can meet other patients for talks, your nurse might be able to suggest counselling or places that do mindfulness ( or there are mindfulness apps for phones). My diagnosis was straight to stage 4 (no primary found) my mum had passed away 3 months before so I went for counselling. They suggested writing down your worries as single words not an essay and allocating a set time of day to think about those worries and reduce the time spent worrying, as sometimes it can be overwhelming.
Its good to recognise when you might need help, and what helps you not think about things, ( I like walking) and who helps you talk about it and helps you move on from the worries and get in a more positive mind set. This site has been running some wellness Wednesday tips, I don’t know if you’ve seen them?
I have a scan coming up 24/4 and it’s a year since I had a recurrence so I think I might have a bit of a wobble soon.
Oh nearly forgot the link to the patient conference http://www.melanomapatientconference.co.uk/
Remember 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 contact them by email.
KTatHome thanks so much for your reply & for all the info. Hope your scan goes well and you don't have too much of a wobble
Thanks Salters, I hope you can work out what’s best for you and your wobble. There is a cancer centre and a Maggie Centre near my hospital that offers counselling, and stress reducing exercises and art classes, or just a tea and a chat, I don’t know if you have anything similar, I haven’t investigated mine fully as it’s 35 miles away, but I think if it was nearer I would. Macmillan are doing one day events about moving on from cancer on Saturdays which is great for people who have gone back to work, your SCNS might have info about what’s local for you, you could also try the in my area button on here to see what’s listed, or your local library. I found a poster in the library for a mindfulness course recently that I’m thinking about, and a session of book folding which was already full, I don’t do any crafty type things and I thought it might be good to do something local. I thought that if all the things I enjoy involve walking what do I do when I’m tired.
In some of the other groups on here there is often chat about crafts, cooking, baking, music etc or a rant or support in the emotional issues group. You probably already have your own coping strategy from the last year that you might want to share or what you might be looking for that’s different that others can say if they’ve tried it.
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