Let me just start out by saying "cancer sucks!"
Last Tuesday I had an appointment with my dermatologist and, at my request, had a mole removed from my left breast. The mole was looked at 3 months ago by my derm. and he didn't think it needed to be removed at that time. Last week; however, I insisted to have it removed and biopsied. Not that it was physically bothering me as it wasn't. It just didn't look right to me and my intuition told me to get ride of it. Anyway, the results came back yesterday and it was positive for melanoma.
The good news is that it is not a recurrence (it is a new primary) and it was contained only in the surface level of my skin (which is the best news). If this had been my first melanoma, no further treatment would be recommended. With being stage IV, I will have surgery to ensure there is no evidence of melanoma at the skin site as well as in my lymph node system. My surgeon (the awesome Dr. Sibley - she performed my first 2 surgeries in 2006) will ensure there are clean margins surrounding the removed tumor as well as perform a sentinel lymph node biopsy.
Medical Info - The sentinel lymph node is the first node in a group of nodes in the body where cancer cells may move to after they have left the original cancer site and started to spread. For more information, check out
http://www.webmd.com/breast-cancer/sentinel-lymph-node-biopsy (sorry, I don't know how to make this a link)
I have an appointment with my surgeon on Thursday and I will let everyone know when the surgery is scheduled. Also, in the next week or so, I will have my routine CT scan and MRI of brain. Of course, lots to do.
I am optimistic, but in all honesty, I am really uneasy about this diagnosis. I'm barely holding it together today. I feel like my body is rebelling against me and it is an awful feeling. I'm not in dispair or depressed, just having a hard time dealing with the news. I know from experience that this feeling will pass and I'll continue to do my best to nurture my body and ease my spirit.
Thanks for the well wishes, positive vibes and prayers I have received recently and throughout my journey. They truly make a difference.