Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We've created it to keep friends and family updated about John.
Feel free to sign up for email updates, or to just visit when you have the energy; either way is fine with me. Please ignore the "Donate now" button on the right; I'll make a nice donation to CaringBridge to thank them.
I've set privacy to "low", so you do not have to create an account to view. However, I would prefer that this site be for my friends, not for the world, so please don't post the link publicly. (Though it's fine with me if you share it with people you know are my friends.)
In late June of 2010, I decided to have a growth removed from my bicep. It looked more like a nodule than a mole, but it was often irritated by the seam in my short sleeved shirts and it seemed like it might be bigger. Much to everyone's surprise, the biopsy showed melanoma - 4.65mm in depth. In early August 2010, I had a wide excision biopsy and removal of 2 sentinel lymph nodes. Both lymph nodes were loaded with melanoma, so 9 days later I had all the lymph nodes removed from under my arm (23 total), 4 of which showed very small numbers of cancerous cells.
Within a month of the last surgery, I began a course of interferon treatment. After just two doses, I stopped treatment because of neuropathies in my left foot and my left eyelid. The Mayo Clinic recommended a course of GM-CSF as adjuvant treatment, and I have been receiving injections of Leukine for 14 days out of every month. PET/CT scans every 4 months showed no evidence of disease, right up until my most recent scan this month. Unfortunately, this scan showed three areas of tumor - one a subcutaneous tumor beneath the skin of my left buttock, one a lymph node beneath my left collarbone, and one possible in the bone of my left wrist. And so, the battle begins again . . . .