I too visited this site in March 2011 and there was no posts on the Melanoma board. My husband had just been diagnosed with Stage 3 Melanoma and I felt like our world had been turned on its head. He's not a sun worshipper, when we went on our first few holidays together he would drive me mad as he spent so much time putting on sun-cream, i used to slag him, so this diagnosis left me gobsmacked!! There was no-one to share it with and nowhere to get advice specifically on this type of cancer. A couple of people laughed at my "over-exaggeration" at this and I had comments like " oh sure skin cancer isnt that serious - its not like real cancer" - So I googled my life away (and his with all the horror stories on the net).
So after a mole from his face came back as cancerous, he had the wider excision done top left side of his face with skin grafts taken from his chest. They also did the sentinal node biopsy and then 2 out of 5 lymph nodes were positive. Back in for a full clearance of the nodes on the left side - all came back clear - 36 in total. Then in July last year he started Interferon - through IV 5 days a week for the first month and then 3 times weekly. He finished the other day!! His CT scan came back clear although there was a remark about his glands on the right looking a little swollen. The doctor said this could be for any reason but of course Im thinking the worst. We have 2 youngsters not even in school yet and I live in fear constantly.
He will be back in with them every month for awhile so theyre keeping a close eye.
I wish there was a support group for Melanoma, there is so much support for certain types of cancer. It has been a lonely place for him this last year and I wish he had people in the same situation to talk to. When he was starting the Interferon Beaumont Hospital didnt even have another patient on the same drug that could advise him. I find that we all get warned about skin cancer and there is screening available but should you find yourself actually diagnosed with it then you hit a wall.
I know there are plenty of sufferers out there so although I wouldnt wish this on anyone it is good to see posts on this board. It would be great for people to come and find a place to tell their story, get advise and share theirs also.
Also I cannot praise the Irish Cancer Society enough for their support last year, i think theyre phenomenal.