...Is a long and winding one. I lucked out the first time that things just 'went away' on their own. This 2nd time around has been a longer journey. We're not quite there but getting closer every time.
I was doing the math (and I know I've mentioned this a bit before) but Feb 2012 was the last time I had clear scans. And since then I've had:
- 1 ambulance ride (to urgent care for a blood transfusion)
- 1 blood transfusion (where I got 3 units of blood and was lucky that with the help of Zelboraf my hemoglobin held steady)
- 4 months of Zelboraf (where 1/2 my hair fell out and I had major sun sensitivity issues, and joint pain, and rash and...)
- 4 doses of Yervoy
- 1 major surgery to remove 8" of my small intestine and a monster tumor!
- 8 doses of anti-pd1
- 1 CT guided biopsy to get in to the anti-pd1 trial: ouch!
- 22+ doctor appointments
- 25+ blood draws
- 8 CT scans
- 4 MRI's (3 brain and 1 of my shoulders)
- 8 visits with the dermatologist (on Zelboraf I think I was there once a month)
- 7 EKG's (Zelboraf can cause some heart issues)
- 1 EMG for the tingling in my hands and a couple of visits with the neurologist
- 1 additional urgent care visit ('given my history'... asked me to come in vs wait due to tingling in hands)
- 4 acupuncture appointments
- and countless hours of anxiety, worry, side effects, etc...
BUT - even with all of that - things continue to move in the right direction!
I know some of you have been waiting on results and I realized I didn't post them! So sorry. I had my doctor call me on Monday. He reported nothing growing and nothing new! Continue to be a responder so we'll continue with treatment. Heading in tomorrow for dose #9! Can't believe it's been 6 months already on this trial. In the world of stage 4 Melanoma, 6 months can be a LONG time! But things continue to look good! So we'll take it!
On to the sad news of the week - Monday was a day for good news and bad news. My uncle John passed away Monday. I pray for strength for my aunt Cindy and the rest of my family members. It's been an emotional roller-coaster the last few weeks between scans coming up, the news of my uncle, work schedules etc.
Thank you everyone for the continued thoughts and prayers! I really do appreciate it!
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