Maureen O’Sullivan, Stage III

Diagnosed 11/21/2018

My name is Maureen. On November 9th,  I noticed a black spot the size of a nickel on the upper park of my left leg toward my right butt cheek. I went to the dermatologist on November 12th. They took a biopsy, and on November 21st the biopsy came back as stage 1b melanoma.

I was scheduled to see my new oncologist on December 5th. He told me he was going to do a 16 inch cut on my leg and a 10 inch cut on my pelvis to take some lymph nodes. My surgery was December 26th. January 4th I went for my post op. He said I have good news and not so good news. He said the good news is I’m confident I got all the tumor, the bad news is, it already metastasized to my lymph nodes and is in my system now making me a stage 3A. The treatment I would need, would need to be administered by a medical oncologist.

I saw my medical oncologist January 22nd. He said he originally planned on giving me a choice of Opdivo pills or IV immunotherapy BUT because my BRAF test came back negative I had only one choice, immunotherapy. I just received my 6th infusion yesterday, April 5th. People have a hard time understanding why I am so upset.. I had an end date of the 25th. Yesterday they told me they are going to keep going because my body is reacting well to it with little side effects.  Only a splitting headache, fatigue and a little dizziness. I’m not getting the severe rash or joint pain which comes with it. We really won’t know anything till April 24th when I have my first CAT Scan after receiving treatments.

Between CAT Scans, MRI’s, PET scans, doctors appointments,  labs and eye doctors,  because I just learned I can no longer go for a regular eye exam, I have to go to a retna doctor first to make sure the melanoma isn’t on my retna. It’s just so much to handle.

A psychiatrist has also treated me for mental illness for the past 15 years . The mental illness makes everything is exasperated . This is too much for a normal person let alone someone like me, that already is handicapped with mental illness. This is my journey so far, not so good, but it’s only the beginning. I have hope.