New Here

Hi! I'm redjenn and I wish I had known about this community when I started my melanoma journey! I am 30 yrs old and the mother of 3 energetic boys. I was diagnosed with stage 3c melanoma in November of 2015. I have had all the lymph nodes removed from my left groin and hip (15 of which contained melanoma). Then I did radiation, and I am currently about a year into Yervoy treatments (which will continue for another 2 yrs). Scans have been clear, labs are looking good, and I haven't had any major negative side effects from the treatments.

I had no idea how serious melanoma is until after I was diagnosed, and I want to raise some awareness somehow. I feel like some people don't take me seriously when I say I'm going through cancer treatment for melanoma. They see a young woman with a full head of wild hair and no visibly missing body parts, and think it's no big deal- "just skin cancer." Well, I'd like to save others the trouble I've gone through, if possible. Cancer is no fun.

5 Replies

  • Hi Redjenn..... I am Jenn... with red hair :D

    I was diagnosed November 2015 at stage 3b.. did Yervoy.. unfortunately Yervoy alone didn't work for me and I progressed to stage 4 in September 2016.. did Yervoy/Opdivo combo and been doing Opdivo maintenance infusions for quite a while now and almost all the cancer is gone! I am 30 as well.. it is hard being young and dealing with this madness. Sending hugs and positive vibes your way, here to chat if you ever need a fellow 30 yr old melanoma friend :)

  • Thank you for this post Jenn, I am the mother of a 30 year old recently diagnosed with stage 4. He is in his second treatment of Yervoy/Opdivo combo. I'm am so hopeful that this treatment will work for him as it has you. You are all so brave and it's wonderful that you are here to give others hope and information. I hope he tunes in to this source of support. Boys are so stubborn. :)

  • Thanks, Jenn! And I have red hair, too! I'm glad the Opdivo combo is working for you. Is that another immunotherapy?

  • Sorry just seeing this reply now, yes the combo of Yervoy and Opdivo are both immunotherapy drugs that use different pathways of the immune system :)

  • Hi, nice to meet you, Jenn! I'm a stage III survivor, NED for nearly 17 years. I was diagnosed at 28 years old. I had my lymph nodes removed under my right arm, and 2 years interferons, and also a research trial for a melanoma vaccine. The treatments are much more advanced now for melanoma, and so different from my treatment plan. I am sorry I just now saw this post! Still getting used to this newer media site for myself.

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