A melanoma diagnosis can create many kinds of stress. You may be shocked and confused initially. You may not know much about melanoma and what it means to have this disease. You may not know where to go for the best treatment, or what your treatment options are.
Both initially and as time goes on, the physical stress of fighting this disease is all too often accompanied by emotional and/or financial stress. You may suffer anxiety each time you face scans, worried about what the results will show. Your body image and self-confidence may suffer as the result of surgery or the effects of the drugs you are taking. There may be added stress on your relationships as you adjust to the uncertainties and demands melanoma places on both patients and their caregivers.
The costs of your medical care may be a concern, particularly if you are taking one of the new and expensive drugs or drug combinations. Your ability to work may be affected and you may worry about meeting your day to day costs of living.
Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet that can make all this go away, but there are places that can help. Here are some of them:
Online support community The Melanoma Research Alliance'sMelanoma Exchange provides a critical platform for finding support and asking questions related to melanoma, melanoma treatment and relevant research, including clinical trials. Group members share personal experiences and insight, the latest treatment news, dispel rumors about clinical trials, and more in this supportive setting. Content is curated by patients who have had direct experience in clinical trials and Melanoma Research Alliance staff. http://melanoma.inspire.com
Check with your hospital or treatment center. Most have social workers or other assistants on staff who can help you find the assistance you need, and many have programs to help with patients' emotional and financial needs.
Good Days/Patients and Pros (formerly the Chronic Disease Fund)
Patients & Pros assists patients and the medical professionals that support them in finding financial help for medication costs. https://pnp.mygooddays.org