My routine visit to the surgeon to have my stitches taken out turned out to be a bit more than expected. It seems that my melanoma was thicker than originally thought (1.1 mm compared to 0.26 mm). That puts my melanoma into the “intermediate” category. Normally with intermediate melanomas a biopsy of the nearby lymph nodes (sentinel nodes) is done to see if the melanoma has metastasized. Because the thickness was barely into the intermediate level (1.0 mm is the dividing line between low and intermediate), my surgeon feels that the melanoma is insignificant and we should simply concentrate on my lung cancer.
Then I asked him what would it mean if there WAS metastasis of the melanoma. He replied that some of my lung cancer tumors could be the result of the melanoma which would change my diagnosis from Stage 4 Lung Cancer and Stage 1 Melanoma to Stage 2 Lung Cancer and Stage 4 Melanoma. “Which is worse,” I asked? His answer was that Stage 4 Melanoma has a poorer prognosis than the lung cancer — not good.
Thus we now have to wait until we get the results of my scheduled CT scan on March 22nd. Hopefully that will tell us what is going on with my cancer — is it growing or shrinking? Perhaps that will tell my doctors which cancer is the primary one, the real culprit.
Leave it to me to find a way to make a routine office visit more complicated!