Diagnosis came on Saturday. I have metastatic melanoma. CT scan shows a tumor in one lymph node in the groin, possible smaller tumors in the abdominal lymph nodes, and a large mass attached to my spleen. The doctors said it's impossible to tell whether the splenic mass is a metastasis or not, but it's likely. If it isn't, then I either have concurrent lymphoma (which would frankly suck), or there's a small chance it could be benign. (It's kind of big--5cm by 8cm by 8cm--and melanoma metastases to the spleen are rare, 5% of total.) But, even if it's benign, it still needs to come out.
What looks likely is immediate surgery (block removal of lymph nodes in groin, removal of primary tumor on my hip, splenectomy, possible removal of lymph nodes in my abdomen) and then adjuvant chemotherapy and radiation. Chemo will suck, but at least I can take consolation in the fact that I'm already bald, so losing my hair won't be a biggie.
I may stay in Thailand for treatment. If so, I'll be getting treated at Sirirat hospital--which is the one they send the King to, so it's good. But . . . I'm not sure yet how much experience they have with melanoma. It's kind of rare in dark-skinned people (like most Thais). At present, though, I'm negotiating the maze of insurance. Which is really not much fun.
The other option is traveling back to the UK. But the really advanced melanoma treatment is in the US and Australia, so I'm not sure how much advantage being in the UK would give me. I'm also trying to find out about treatment in Australia. (But I suspect the cost will be brutal.)