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.

Key West

Key West

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pushing The Reset Button

I think it is safe to say that every melanoma patient’s worse nightmare is to learn that they have had a reoccurrence of melanoma.  We have regular scans and do self exams hoping we never find anything.   Waiting for something that we hope never happens to happen.  Well this month my waiting came to an end.   After a long month of tests and biopsies I had a lesion removed yesterday from my upper left chest wall that tested positive for melanoma.   The surgery was actually the easy part of my last month.   The Dr visits, the scan, the biopsy, and the worse part of course all the waiting.  In the end I am very lucky.  My PET scan came out clear but the needle biopsy on the spot in questions was positive for melanoma.   The bottom line to me is that although this is not good news the fact that my PET was clear other than the known bad area is very good news and my cancer free clock starts over.  After 23 months cancer free I have to push the reset button.  Today I am cancer free one day and to steal a line from Rev. Carol I am grateful.   The positive out of all of this is that it affirms in a way that I am being vigilant and it works.   I noticed a suspicious bump on my chest went to my medical team and got it out before it could spread.   The million dollar question of course is where these cells came from.  It was just below my original site so I am guessing it goes back to my original melanoma.   Much more discussion to come between me and my oncologist on this subject to come.    
It has been so long since I have written anything.   This summer was a blur.  I can’t think of much that I wanted to get done this summer that I didn’t do.   I had a great trip to Alaska to spend some time with my son.  My daughters and I had a blast running 5k races this summer.  I forget how many we did exactly but it was several.  My times were horrible and I never came close to my goal of a getting in good enough shape to run a 10k but I am really enjoying running again regularly for the first time since my early 20’s.  I hope to keep it up all winter.  It’s killing me this weekend to not be able to run because of my latest surgery.  My running shoes are calling to me. 
Many of you know that the older of my two sisters was diagnosed with cervical cancer this fall.   Her experience has given me a different perspective on cancer.   It really makes me appreciate the caregivers in my life.   It is so hard to see somebody you love go through this battle.  The good news is that she is fighting back and doing great.  She finished her chemo a couple of weeks ago and has her last internal radiation treatment next week.   It has been really hard on her but she is fighting like hell and on her way back.  We were talking about the menu for Thanksgiving here in a few weeks so I know she is feeling better.   Two weeks ago she didn’t want to talk about food.  She and I are hanging out together this weekend taking care of each other.   Going to her chemo treatments was an interesting experience. Just walking in there and seeing those chairs and the bags of fluids brought back memories of being a patient there myself   I got that metallic interferon taste in my mouth as soon as I walked in that room.  i am glad I could go with her and give her some support but am glad it is over with.