?xml:namespace>As the title says this blog is one man’s effort to make sense out of his journey fighting melanoma. I have enjoyed reading some of my fellow melanoma warriors’ blogs and thought it might be an interesting way to share what this journey has been like for me. If you find this interesting great, if not that’s great also. Selfishly this is more about me getting this out and moving on from being a cancer patient to being a cancer survivor.
Let’s clear up a few things. Yes, I know how to use spell check and no I don’t always use it. I majored in accounting, not english. I have always been a below average writer, which is why I find the therapeutic value of doing this surprising. I think for this blog to make any sense you pretty much have to go to the archive and start from the beginning which is titled “Life Is Good”
I am not a doctor or medial professional of any type. My blog is not endorsed by any medical professional or facility mentioned in it. Every decision I have made about my care was done after careful consultation with my medical team. Decisions I have made were right for me but should not in any instance be considered right for anybody else. I don't recommend taking medical advice from an accountant.
Sunday, May 4, 2014
Thanks to everybody who has supported me this difficult year. I couldn't have gotten through this without you. Unfortunately I also had to say goodbye to a new friend this weekend. Dan is in the middle of the picture below. It was our one and only time meeting in person the day that picture was taken but he made an impression on me. Dan was called home on Easter Sunday and his celebration of life service was this last weekend. Dan was a great guy and he never gave up and I will always remember his smile and his attitude. The week before he passed we were texting back and forth about going skiing together next winter after he completed a new trial drug. Well that day will have to wait . Rest in peace my friend. Melanoma is not just skin cancer. Please pay attention to your skin. See a dermatologist annually for a skin check and use some common sense while out in the sun. I spend more time in the sun now than before I was diagnosed with skin cancer but I am much smarter about it now.
Monday, November 11, 2013
Saturday, September 7, 2013
Yesterday I received the news that my latest scans show no evidence of disease, or NED as we like to say. My latest battle with melanoma started last September when I noticed lumps appearing in the same area I had my primary tumor in 2010. I had several surgeries but it kept coming back. In the middle of all of this I had the idea to move across the country to Washington State. Soon after moving I noticed another lump and went to see my new oncologist. By the time I saw him one lump had become three and he sent me to a new surgeon. By time I could get in to see him three lumps had become seven. My surgeon told me that it was spreading so fast that surgery by itself was futile. There was only so much they could cut out of me. So off to see the radiation oncologist and soon after surgery I started radiation treatments. My old oncologist was anti radiation so if I had never moved here I would most likely never have received this treatment. Time will tell but for now at least this has been successful in stopping the spread of melanoma.
My summer got off to a rough start with radiation treatments in May and dealing with the aftermath of that for much of May and part of June. It wasn't much fun but I know people who are going down much rougher roads than I so I wont complain. By late June I was pretty much healed up from the burns and getting back to normal. The fatigue hung on a little longer but all and all it was fairly manageable for the most part.
I continue to settle into my new home here in Washington State and loving the weather. Summers here are spectacular and I have been enjoying the great outdoors as much as possible. Between recovering from the radiation treatments and a knee injury I have been slowed some but I have stayed as active as possible. There are an endless numbers of great hikes to do here, camping galore, kayaking, .... If you can't tell I love living here. This summer my daughters and grand daughter came out to visit which was by far the highlight of my summer. I didn't get to spend as much time with them as I wanted but I enjoyed the time we had. My parents are visiting soon and in October I have a trip penciled in to go and see my son and his girlfriend in Alaska so I have plenty to look forward to this fall.
As I bask in my good news my thoughts are with many who are dealing with less than favorable news. Some of my fellow warriors bodies are just giving out against all the treatments and procedures. I pray that god willing they get their second wind and are able to fight back. If not, I still believe they will get their miracle. They get to go to heaven. A good friend from high school is just entering this cyclone with his wife recently being diagnosed, and some really close family friends (I consider them family) are dealing with the beast again. My friend Rich had to say goodbye to his four legged chemo buddy Jordan. Dogs are the best therapist. I know how much my dog help me while doing treatments and surgeries and I don't look forward to the day I have to say goodbye. I get how hard this is for him. There is also a lot of great news as many of my friends are also still NED and living life to the fullest. One is walking down the aisle next month with her sweetheart, one just refuses to stop believing, one continues to give me spiritual clarity in times of need, and another continues to wander around his own hotel keeping everything in order and keeping us entertained. Some impress me with their mental and physical toughness to complete treatments I couldn't take, and others continue to answer the bell and come out swinging no matter what cancer throws at them. You all inspire me.
My blog doesn't get a lot of visitors, but many who do are fellow melanoma warriors. I am going to enter the lottery to try and get a team for this event next year. Click on the link below. Can you imagine, a team of 12 melanoma survivors running a nearly 200 mile relay over 30 hours? Check out this trailer and if this gets your blood pumping stay tuned. Hopefully more news to come on this.
Sunday, May 5, 2013
Getting ready for a new work week can be stressful. The weekend comes to and end and work starts to creep back in to your mind. It can be stressful. I understand and want to help you alleviate some stress. I want to help you get dressed on Monday morning. Open your closet, find something black, put it on. Its that simple. Black matches everything as I understand it. Seriously, here are some reasons why you should wear black on Monday and help raise awareness about melanoma.
My AIM Portland walk page.
Monday, April 29, 2013
On May 11th I will be participating in an event to raise money for AIM At Melanoma . Please consider making a donation to this great organization that has been so helpful to me during this difficult time. AIM has been a tremendous resource for me and has been a great source of information on melanoma. When I was first diagnosed it was far and away the most helpful resource I found. I have used their call or e-mail a nurse program. I use them to keep up to date on the latest treatments and trials for melanoma. When I wanted to get involved in trying to help get legislation passed in Missouri to try and limit access to tanning beds for minors they encouraged me and helped me prepare to testify before both the House and Senate in Jefferson City. Recently when I moved half way across the country I didn't have to worry about finding a new Dr. Aim has a database of melanoma specialists and I am now receiving the best healthcare possible. AIM also provided a forum for me to connect with other people battling this disease which has been so helpful to me. Thank you all for your support and I really look forward to meeting some of you on May 11th in Portland.
Paul Hummel's Fundraising Page
I had to add this picture I took this last weekend. I really do love living in the Northwest.