Today, we had to be at MD Anderson at 8:45 for Steve to get started. First he had an MRI. The MRI ran really smoothly and we got out of there pretty early. We were hoping since we made it to the CAT scan appointment early that we may get out early. But no, instead, we got there at 11:00, his appointment was at 11:30 and he didn't go back until a little after 1:00. As always, while sitting in the lobby we met several people. One guy we met, was about Steve's age, and there with his parents. (Here is his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PYN4C?ref=ts) He lives in Dallas, but his parents live in northern Louisiana close to where Steve is from. So, we got to chit chatting and turns out this guy has melanoma too. He found a "mole" that he wanted to get checked out in 2010. The dermatologist did a biopsy and it came back as stage 2 melanoma. He is now at stage 3b. He has had several large lesions removed from his body and has had to have skin grafts to repair those areas. Several treatments he has had have not worked. The latest treatment he did was "Yervoy". http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/26/business/26drug.html Yervoy was just approved by the FDA in March of 2011. Yervoy has been the only treatment that has "worked" for him so far. He has not had any issues with his tumors in 6 months. He is not cancer free, but the tumors are not spreading aggressively like that had been. His mother showed me photos of his tumors prior to removal. They were baseball size or bigger, blackened, dead skin areas. Similar to this http://www.google.com/imgres?um=1&hl=en&biw=1440&bih=809&tbm=isch&tbnid=lJo8A7eAOaQnvM:&imgrefurl=http://www.visualphotos.com/image/1x8803367/melanoma_on_arm&docid=yk2GtHkMNZYBYM&imgurl=http://www.visualphotos.com/photo/1x8803367/Melanoma_on_Arm_7Y5935.jpg&w=650&h=444&ei=JFmwT4rPDI2s8AT0-LSLCQ&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=248&sig=115157324366500708412&page=1&tbnh=143&tbnw=204&start=0&ndsp=25&ved=1t:429,r:1,s:0,i:75&tx=150&ty=63 It turns out, he and Steve share the same doctor (Dr. Kevin Kim). It's always nice to meet and talk to other people that are going through the same thing, especially melanoma specifically. It's nice to hear how well Yervoy is working for this guy. Although these drugs are hit and miss from person to person, it's great that they are making advancement in the melanoma world. There are still several promising clinical trials in late stages and I sure hope for even further advancements in melanoma. I will be doing the AIM for a Cure walk in Houston in September and you guys can help Sadie and I raise money to help this "hope" become a REALITY!
Happy Mother's Day to all of the Mother's out there! I miss my 2 monkeys today! We are going to have our own "Mother's Day" tomorrow :)