Posted by: cg00n | May 10, 2010

Life has lumps in it

Saw Dr. G today and feeling calmer as a direct result.  He agrees that the two still small lumps will have to go but doesn’t seem to think that having that much (or little) show up since last summer is pretty good.  At present I am scheduled to have them removed “while you wait” on May 25th.  However that may slip because we are going to try to get a PET scan in before the surgery for three reasons:

  1. to find out if there is anything going on subcutaneously
  2. to find out if the PET scan will spot the two lumps we can see
  3. to avoid having the surgery light up on the scan and obscure something else

It has been almost a year since my last PET scan so I probably qualify for another one which (with any luck) will happen within the next three weeks.  Obviously we are hoping that the results of the above are:

  1. no, there is nothing else brewing
  2. yes, the scan can see the existing lumps
  3. the PET scan will precede the surgery

The good doctor obviously thinks it is unlikely that anything major will show up or he wouldn’t be planning day surgery for the bits we can see.

While I was there I asked him about drugs since there are several that I’ve read about (Rose Bengal, a vaccine from Israel, Palmerolide-A from U of A and a few others)  which sound as though they might help to prevent a small scale occurrence of melanoma become a large scale one.  He sounded quite upbeat about the prospects for being able to use interleukin-2 or biovex (similar to OncoVex and probably made by the same company).  When injected directly into melanoma tumours or lesions these can be very effective and may even take out other nearby patches.  The really good thing about this sort of treatment is that it is entirely local so there is little or no ‘poison’ effect on the rest of the body.

I also asked him what drug was used in the isolated limb perfusion last year.  For the record it was melphalan.  I’m not sure I’m a whole lot better off knowing that, but there it is.

The last ten days or so have been a bit tense for both P and I but that is about the worst I can say of it.  I’ve been popping a little extra Prozac which seems to take some of the edge off the anxiety.  I have still been eating fairly well, sleeping well and practicing my mindfulness very faithfully to good effect.  A meeting with my meditation instructor last week introduced me to the tonglen technique which gives me something more to work with as well as something more to take my mind off my troubles.  Once more I am feeling cautiously optimistic about the coming summer.

Many thanks to Ms. H.H-J of Calgary for suggesting the title of this entry and thank you to all who commented on my previous post.  I wish you good health and long life.  May you all live in boring times!



  1. So glad you are feeling positive. I really have fears about getting my pet-scans mostly unfounded so much that I run from the doctors calls for awhile but its time to face up to the results. Hang in-I think you are doing great.
    in vegas

  2. I had gotten out of the habit of checking your blog in early April, somehow – but had been thinking of you increasingly over the last two weeks.
    I am glad that you were able to get some peace of mind from the dr. but sorry to read of the new lumps.

  3. i too have been thinking about you. although i cannot tell you i know how you feel, i do however know you. you have always showed me how to appreciate everything in life. including all the ups and downs. just take it one step and one thought at a time. my comforting thoughts are with you!

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