Melanoma

A support group for anyone affected by melanoma to come together, share experiences, and ask questions.

Possible melanoma, feeling a bit lost.

Bellflower
Posted by

Hi all, I'm new to this community but have been reading you all for a while. I haven't had a diagnosis but I'm a little worried and hope that writing about it might bring some peace. I've had a mole in the sole of my foot for a while (few years though I can't tell for sure when it first appeared). I completely ignored it thinking it was just a mole. It is fairly big, flat with asymmetric edges. I have dark skin, never got exposed in the sun and so have always believed I was immune to skin cancer. I wish someone had told me that this was a misconception and that there is another type of melanoma not related to sun exposure and that it typically affect dark skinned people. Anyway, a cousin of mine had a mole appear on her leg last month and she quickly had it checked but was told it was fine. That prompted me to have mine checked and obviously my GP didn't like the look of it and referred me to a dermatologist. I saw her yesterday and as soon as she saw it she said she wanted it removed. I tried gauging her reaction but she remained very neutral and said she absolutely couldn't give me an opinion because it could be cancer but it could also be normal. Only after they removed it and looked at it can they tell me more. She was lovely but was neither alarming nor reassuring (don't know how they do it really). I know that the chances of surgery and treatment are quite good when detected early but I'm quite worried about mine going undiagnosed for years. I asked her if it was cancer what are the chances of it having spread and again she said she couldn't say anything but that the likelihood of it being advanced were slim because I haven't had other symptoms such as lumps in other parts of my body. She did say the surgery would be painful and healing would be slow due to the skin in that area being very delicate and I made the mistake of looking at photos online and now that's all I can think about. I'm not even sure what I'm asking about here, I know how hard it is to provide any sort of information in this case but if anyone had or is going through a similar experience I would love to hear from them. Thank you so much for reading.

latchbrook
Posted by

Hi  and welcome to the online community

You are quite right that although most melanomas are caused by exposure to the sun or to the use of sunbeds, there is a type of melanoma called acral lentiginous melanoma that is not thought to be related to sun exposure and usually appears on the sole of the foot or the palm of the hand.

It's good that you've been to see your GP who in turn has referred you to see a dermatologist. Do you have the date yet to have your mole removed? Mine was on my arm so didn't cause me any major discomfort but I would imagine that having one removed from the sole of the foot would be a lot more uncomfortable.

I'm tagging  and  into my reply to you as they have both had moles removed from the soles of their feet in the last 6 months and might be able to share their experiences with you.

The dermatologist is quite right that until you get the results of your excision back she won't know if you have melanoma or not. Some moles look like melanoma and turn out not to be and others, like mine, don't look like melanoma and turn out to be.

When you go for your excision ask how long results are currently taking in your area and how you'll be told. It differs from area to area but you'll probably feel a little less stressed if you know how long you have to wait and whether you'll automatically have an appointment for your results or not.

As you've discovered it's best to stay off google because there's so much out of date information out there. Also you'll only find the horror stories not the ones where a mole was removed and it was benign. 

If you want to ask any more questions, or have a bit of a rant, come back here anytime as there are lots of us with lots of 'real' experiences to share.

x

 "Never regret a day in your life, good days give you happiness, bad days give you experience"

What is a Community Champion?

Bellflower
Posted by

Hi  and thank you so much for taking the time to read and reply. I should have surgery in the next 2 weeks hopefully. The doctor didn't say anything about the results and how long they should take to come back but I will make sure to ask her. Yes I had found out about ALM when I was doing my "research" and read a fair bit about it but actually yesterday when the doctor was taking notes she wrote down " acral nevus" on my referral sheet. I didn't think to ask her about it on the spot but later googled it and saw that it was a benign lesion and looks quite similar to the mole I have. I had never heard of it before as any google search for mole and sole of foot automatically comes back with cancer results!! 

latchbrook
Posted by

That's the trouble with google , I think if you typed in the symptoms of an ingrowing toenail it would come back as cancer, lol.

Anyway, with excision just two weeks away you don't have too long to wait. If you want to do more research then I'd recommend this site or Cancer Research UK and the UK Melanoma Patient Conference has lots of useful videos.

Do come back and let us know how you get on when you have your surgery.

x

 "Never regret a day in your life, good days give you happiness, bad days give you experience"

What is a Community Champion?

Bellflower
Posted by

Thank you, I think I will stop reading anything on the subject for now and just keep myself busy until my surgery. I will definitely let you know how it went. Thanks so much for listening x

Fannyfayefaffington

Hi Bellflower,

I am in a similar position as you.thanks for sharing you experience. (Read my profile if you want.)I’ve had a mole removed last week from my leg and I’m waiting for resultsI. finding this hard. I haven’t looked at the possible treatment I may need , from reading other posts I’m getting some idea.

I'm pale skinned and Have lots of moles all over .I’ve had  couple removed in the past which were rubbing on cloths (bra strap under bust and waistline middle of my back)so my GP took them off as a precaution.that was 30 years ago.

I’ve have flat moles on my palms and I’ve got to one in between my toes - not looked at them in ages ,so thanks I’ll check them out.

I'm keeping busy , but every time a feel my stitches itch it reminds me and I just feel cold inside for a moment, then I may go on here to read ,or do something to take my mind off it.

This weekend I’ve been very busy which has been good .Although building flat pack furniture is not without its own unique form of stress.

You are right  about the vagueness of Doctors , but then unless they have the facts they don’t say much but in a reassuring way that’s non comital. 

Good luck with the surgery, let me know how you get on. Your in my thoughts. x

 Best wishes FanyFayeFaffington.
Bellflower
Posted by

Hi and thank you for sharing your experience. I completely understand your worry whilst waiting for your results, it’s the worst part but it’s good that you are keeping busy. I’m glad your surgery went well and I hope you will recover quickly. Please look at the positive side and try not to worry. Next time you feel your stitches think of them as a blessing that something potentially harmful has been removed. No matter the outcome you are now in good hands but I really hope you hear good news soon. Keep us posted  xx 

Fannyfayefaffington

Hi everyone.

just got my results this afternoon (an hour ago)earlier than expected.and yes it is melanoma.

hasn't really sunk in yet.

The next step is for a further biopsy then the cancer will be graded then a team of doctors will decide the best course of action.I shouldn't  have to wait  long for my next appointment My Lovely GP said about a week.

I’m still very positive as I do know I’m in good hands , still keeping busy just making a bolognaise for the family who I have yet to tell.Popped a glass of wine in the pot and I’m sipping some my self.-( which is not me as I don’t drink much.)I’m apprehensive about telling them the results as I have explained before in my profile both my boys have Asperger syndome and have a lot of social anxiety.My husband has his own health issues as well and is in a stressful  job , he won’t finish work for another couple of hours .

I've got to stay positive for them too.

Wish me luck thanks for reading 

 Best wishes FanyFayeFaffington.
Sailor2
Posted by

Hi Fannyfayefaffington,

These conversations are never easy for those doing the speaking or those listening.

I wish you all the luck in the world.

J

PS.  You are lucky I don't know where you live as I would be knocking on the door for some homemade Spag Bol.

Don't wait for your ship to come in, swim out and find it!

latchbrook
Posted by

Hi

I'm really sorry to hear that it has turned out to be melanoma. There are many of us here who have had this diagnosis and hopefully will be able to share our experiences with you and give you support.

I'm puzzled as to why you're having a second biopsy and wondered if you meant that you were having a wide local excision (WLE) as this is the normal procedure after a melanoma diagnosis? Depending on the depth of your melanoma a further 1-2cm is removed all around and under the site where the melanoma was. This is then sent off to the path labs to check that there are no stray melanoma cells in it. You may also be offered a sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) at the same time depending on what stage your melanoma is.

I've had both of these ops and so can tell you more about what's involved if you want to know.

I hope everything went well with telling your husband and children this evening. 

x

 "Never regret a day in your life, good days give you happiness, bad days give you experience"

What is a Community Champion?

Katybb
Posted by

Hey

Sorry to hear it was melanoma. Just wondering how you’re feeling after telling the family? It always feels more real to me telling other people, which is tough if you’re trying to be positive for them. 

Don’t forget we’re here if it all gets a bit much and you need to step away for a wobble.

Big hugs. Xxx

Kate

DAAD
Posted by

Hi   sorry you've had to find this group but yo u are in the best place for help and support. 

You can find lots of positive stories on here that will help you along the way . 

All I can say is children need information in a way they can understand . They will process it and will ask questions just but just be honest but don't feel bad if you keep some info from them . No one knows  how things are going to work out .

Hubby says don't worry till you know there is something to worry about . So keep it to positive . 

Also look after yourself ,if you have had  day talk to family  and friends or on here .

take 1 step at a time 

Everyone will support you 

Big hugs 

Fannyfayefaffington

Hi DaaD,

thanks for the very kind words of support. I’m glad you understand.

and this site and group are great help, thank you All.

yes until I’ve got more information my self I don’t  need them stressing about me they have enough problems of their own.

My husband is in a bit in shock I think ,and spent all day yesterday in bed with a migraine.i went to a local art gallery for An hour yesterday morning. I met a friend who gave me a big hug and a lovely bunch of flowers.told me tales of uplifting stories of cancer survivors she knows. Of course I still cried. 
today I’ve been busy prepping veg for our Sunday dinner and I’m off out to do some shopping for hubby ,who needs  new shirts ,he’s better today. And I’m looking forward to watching the last episode of Sanderson tonight.

yep one day at a time is all I can do at the moment 

thanks again xx

 Best wishes FanyFayeFaffington.
Fannyfayefaffington

Hello katybb

I’ve only told my husband  my brother and one friend so far ,and your right it does feel more real. it’s horrible to see him upset them.
hubby already had a headache when I told him gets them almost everyday anyway.but he’s my rock he’ll be there when I need him.

Yesterday morning hubby had a migraine and had to go to bed and keeping apologising, But I’m used to that, so Instead I went to an art gallery met a friend had a hug and a few tears  and a wobble she was great and very supportive.

My boys as I’ve mentioned before are on the autistic spectrum even though they are in their twenties they stress a lot all the time.I have decided not to tell them just yet until I know what treatment I’ll be having. Should get an appointment in about a weeks time.

thanks for the support it’s nice to come here and chat.

hubby is better today ,we are off out soon to do some shopping. I’m keeping busy.already prepped the veg for Sunday dinner.

thank you again I do appreciate It.

hugs to you too Xx

 Best wishes FanyFayeFaffington.
Fannyfayefaffington

Hi latchbrook

thanks for the support,

yes I’m fine after telling my husband, it’s really horrible having to tell him.

had a wobble yesterday with a friend ,not letting the boys know yet. Until I know what stage it’s at.

my GP just said they local take a larger biopsy. but from what your saying then I think your right it will be WLE.

I do want to ask it it still done under local anaesthetic or general how deep will it be?

and does it need a skin graft ?

thanks for your time and the great information 
xx

 Best wishes FanyFayeFaffington.