I need help: My dad was diagnosed with... - Melanoma Caregivers

Melanoma Caregivers

I need help

joedamico1
joedamico1

My dad was diagnosed with melanoma on his chest/rib area a year ago and had it removed. I thought that was it. Just last week his armpit (lymph node) swelled up a ton so he had a ultrasound and they are ordering a biopsy. Is it possible it is nothing? Has anyone else had this and it was nothing? I’m afraid what the biopsy will come back as on Monday. I’m having a hard time sleeping. I am hoping it’s nothing.

11 Replies
oldestnewest

Hello! I do have experience with the biopsy being nothing. His lymph nodes in his neck were huge, and they did a needle biopsy and they were benign.

Don’t worry until there’s something to worry about ❤️

joedamico1
joedamico1 in reply to kellyOd

Thank you so much for the reply. That makes me feel a little better. Thank you

kellyOd
kellyOd in reply to joedamico1

When is the biopsy? I think my boyfriend got like 20 some lymph nodes taken out. He has a history of melanoma so I think it was precautionary. What stage was your dads cancer at the time? Is he in remission now? Praying for you guys ❤️

joedamico1
joedamico1 in reply to kellyOd

I think it was T1b. My dad’s original melanoma was thin enough to not require having a lymph node biopsy when they removed the melanoma. Monday, we will find out the results of the lymph node biopsy. Thank you.

missyrand
missyrandAmbassador in reply to joedamico1

Joe, we all remain here with you to support what comes next, and to celebrate victories along the way. Lymph nodes swell for lots of reasons, and running them to ground is always a good way to address that concern.

When you are up to sharing how the consult goes after the biopsy results come in, we are here. My husband has stage 4a melalnoma and has never had lymph node involvement. Cancer is a strange creature.

missy

For some people, a one time melanoma removal is it, but for others, melanoma can return. Your Dad will always need to be vigilant. I don't mean to worry you. But I'm also not going to lie and tell you that your Dad will never have to worry. My husband was diagnosed with melanoma in 1993. It came back in 2005 and in 2011. He has also had 2 basal cell spots removed. In January, he will be having his 3rd mohs surgery to remove squamous cell from his neck. Your Dad should see a dermatologist every 6 months and be vigilant about seeing his doctor annually.

Hi Joe,

Kelly and Vflowers are both correct, this could be nothing and if it is it is just a reminder that once you are diagnosed with melanoma you need to always be vigilant. Try not to worry and I look at Vflowers husband who was initially diagnosed in 1993 when, I believe, the therapies for melanoma aren't what they are today but it is almost 2019 and he is still being vigilant. There are so many scary stories and hard to find the positive ones like Vflowers. We are here if you need us and we hope to hear the good news next week. Good luck to you and your dad!

missyrand
missyrandAmbassador

joedamico1,

Checking in on you and how the biopsy went and any recommendations that may have come out of that visit.

Warmly,

missy

So I thought I would provide an update on my father. It has been a whirlwind couple months both equal parts depressing and happy and I’ve decompressed and accepted everything enough to come back on here. As it turned out, the lymph node biopsy tested positive for melanoma. We then scheduled and had a axillary dissection of the lymph nodes. 1,2, and 3 level nodes were removed but I believe not all. All nodes were then sent for testing and this is where the good news comes in, only the one enlarged lymph node tested positive for Mel. Also pet and brain mri all came back negative. I was elated with this news and am praying that the Mel has been surgically removed. The staging they gave us is 3C. We are now on adjuvant therapy of nivolumab (opdivo) injection once a month for a year to hopefully stop any reoccurrence. I am very hopeful now and am staying positive. My dad is taking everything well and all things considered, I think we are lucky it has not spread anywhere else. Thank you all for the kind words. Oh and So far his response to nivo is ok, a little tired and sick feeling but ok.

missyrand
missyrandAmbassador in reply to joedamico1

Thank you for the update. Sounds like wise and science supported medical treatment is moving forward for your dad and that you both are adjusting to living with melanoma.

If I may, this is a good window now for you to #GetNaked and have a thorough dermatology exam as a baseline for your health. We know that now you are at increased risk for skin cancer. Our own siblings and children now make sure they are seen and photographs are used to track all moles. Our son just had a mole under a tie that has been there for a while removed and sent to biopsy this week.

We are ongoing proponents of daily use of sunscreen ( it’s in my face lotion 😊), big hats and use of shade ( we walk on the shadier side) and never ever use a tanning bed.

Taking care of ourselves as caregivers often winds up falling a bit to the side, so coming back into care alignment when our loved ones are stable often needs to become an intentional and planned activity. I’m glad there is more breathing space now for dad and you!

Missy

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