In March 2018, I noticed a lump under my left armpit during a self breast exam. I honestly don't perform exams as often as I should, I just happened to this day. At the end of March I went to the doc & they sent me for an ultrasound and mammogram. The mammogram was clear, but the ultrasound noted an enlarged lymph node and a few other smaller ones as well. A biopsy was performed & on June 1 they told me I had metastatic melanoma. It came as a shock since I am otherwise completely healthy!
At this point the primary legion is still unknown even after trips to 2 dermatologists, the oncologist and optometrist. We will still continue to look for it, but thus far it's not obvious. The oncologist is Dr. Lawrence at MGH and he is a melanoma specialist with a wonderful support team. I'm grateful to have access to such amazing care! As it stands now I am stage 3 since it has moved to my lymph nodes, but as far as we can tell it has not spread beyond the nodes in my arm pit...this is good news!
So what now? The course of action is surgery on 6/18/18 to remove all of the lymph nodes in that area. This will be followed by 4-6 weeks of drainage & recovery. Once the tissue has been tested we will decide if I am a candidate for Targeted Therapy (gene based if I'm positive for the BRAF mutation) or general immunotherapy for about a year.
I am surrounded by more love, faith and prayer than I could have ever imagined and I'm grateful for everyone in my life. Andrew has been ever supportive, my close family is there with me whenever I need them and the kids...well, they just know that mom is going to have surgery. If you know them - we would like to simply keep it at that! As far as the know mom will have surgery & then be all better. Who am I kidding - I feel the same way! Your prayers are welcome...and working so please keep them coming. Now excuse me while I kick melanoma's butt!
Also - wear sunscreen and a hat! And if you see me on a hot day in full clothes & an umbrella...now you know why! :)