Results are in... Now Stage 4

I know I’ve been a person that typically prefers even #’s – but having to claim Stage 4 melanoma isn't something I wanted to add to my list of things I’ve done!  But that’s where I’m at, so we’ll take it one step at a time.  
I guess it’s not entirely a surprise the pathology report confirmed Melanoma but I guess I was holding out hope that maybe the initial tests at time of surgery were wrong.   So like me, I’m sure a lot of you are wondering – what are the next steps.  I’ll meet with my medical oncologist on the 22nd.  His Plan A is to find out if I’m BRAF positive.   There has been some great responses to this and sounds like Sloan has a new trial for it opening up next week.  Talk about timing, huh? J  Typically around 50-60% of Melanoma patients are BRAF positive.
If I’m not BRAF positive, I’m guessing Plan B would be to try Ipilimumab.  Which was the drug trial I was originally trying to qualify for.  Sounds like this may actually get approved by the FDA in a few weeks.  For a long time there only real options were Interferon and Interlukein.  Neither of which have great success rates are both are highly toxic. 
So stay tuned.  Will know more after the 22nd. 
Some details on different treatment options:
Other treatment options for Stage 4:
I saw someone else post this before:

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  1. Please try and stay positive through this. The rest of us will continue keeping you in our thoughts AND prayers.


  2. I know this is the last thing you wanted to happen but you have amazing doctors who ARE going to take care of you. You have great girls who are going through this with you who will cheer with the next clear PT scan you have, will cry when you're having a down day and will join you in your urge to punch every young kid you see heading towards the tanning bed. Sending you a big hug tonight and saying many prayers!!!!!! Xo!

  3. I love your quote from Winnie the Pooh. It is really true. You are amazingly strong, extremely smart, and surrounded by people that want to bring the most amount of joy in to your life. Keep on truckin'! I think you're amazing! Keep us all in the loop :) Happy and healthy thoughts are coming your way....

  4. Hi Erin--I know your Mom, Patrick and Jacob. Wanted you to know there are many you don't know whp are taking this journey w/you and fervently keeping you in our prayers. --paula b.

  5. Ok, not what you wanted to hear and I know how scared you are. Now is the time to get that out. Scream, yell, throw things, cry. Take a couple of days to release your fear and anger. You owe it to yourself to honor those feelings. Then get your warrior groove on and kick it's butt!! It sounds like you have a great team of doctors and supporters. Go Team! I am cheering for you and am sending hugs and prayers.

    Someone I think all warriors should "meet" is my hero, survivor and author, Kris Carr (Crazy Sexy Cancer). Her knowledge, honesty and humor super charges me with hope, strength and a positive attitude. She changed my life 2 years ago and still inspires me today. I highly recommend her books and DVD as well as her blog (Crazy Sexy Life).

  6. this is as tough as it gets - ( as another pointed out) you are being treated by the best - Sloan is rated as one of the top in the world for oncology, they are on the cutting edge. Thoughts and hopes are with you. Andrew