Mike has been cancer free since November 2011. Melanoma never goes into "remission" so therefore he continues to need medications to make sure that his cancer stays away. He takes pills everyday and receives an infusion every three months.
Mike was origionally diagnosed with Stage IV Melanoma in July 2007 after the removal of a very large mole on his back. He had several surgeries, including removal of all the lymph nodes in his right armpit. He recieved a treatment that literally took everything out of him. When all was said and done, his tests all showed that the cancer had not spread any further.
He had a PET scan in December 2008...everything looked good. Then in February 2009, a mole appreared at his widow's peak of his forehead. Him and Sara went to have it biopsied. Unfortunetly it has come back positive for Melanoma. The doctors believe this is metastatic from his previous Melanoma, and because of this the treatement was much more aggressive.
Mike successfully completed 4 rounds of IL-2 in 2009 and at that time all of his PET scans were once again cleared from the Melanoma.
In December 2010 a couple of spots showed up on a routine PET scan. The spots were behing his right ear. He was scheduled for surgery to have the areas removed and biopsied. One of the areas that came back positive for Melanoma was a lymph node and so in February 2011 Mike had a Lymphnode dissection of the neck and had all of the lymphnodes on the right side of his neck removed.
Mike was then suppose to start radiation to his neck. After being fit for the mask that he would need to wear during radiation the doctor did a PET scan to ensure they would be doing radiation at the exact spot that they needed to and they found a few masses within Mikes body. One in his Sternum and a few within his liver.
Mike started a trial study consisting of two types of medications. One is an IV that is infused once a month at the Cancer Center and the other is one that he injects underneath the skin everyday at home for three weeks and then takes one week off before starting the whole process over again. He will continue this cycle for a minimum of 4 rounds.