Posted by: cg00n | December 9, 2010

Positive ex-lump

The most recent lump was “consistent with a deposit of melanoma” according to the pathology report.  Oh well, at least it’s gone.  For now (knock on wood) new lumps seem to be few and far between.  Whether or not this really means anything in terms of my long-term survival I don’t know but it’s good for my state of mind.  Dr. L looked me over for other possibly nasty signs of skin decay and found none.  Dr. M poked his way around my leg and came to the same conclusion.  In another couple of days I’ll be seeing Dr. G who can give it his best shot and sometime in January I’ll have another dose of radiation in the form of a CT scan to check the parts other means cannot reach.  For now I’m feeling great, unusual for me in the run-up to Christmas, so I continue to hope for a happy Saturnalia. and will do my best to help bring it about.  Do thou likewise, my friends!

Last Thursday saw off the last episode of my 8-week course on Mindfulness for preventing depressive relapse.  That was a lot of stuff to pack into 8 – 2 hour sessions.  They had some good ideas and helpful strategies to avoid anxiety attacks and depressive episodes.  I am planning a blog posting summarizing the whole thing but that will have to wait for another day; it will take me a while to sort out my notes.

Meanwhile I have discovered a bunch of articles that had managed to get hidden under the clutter of my virtual desktop, so once again here is the …

News Roundup

OK, let’s start with a study that claims most published research findings are false.  The Atlantic Magazine has a very readable lay-person’s writeup on this.  If you want the high-level executive summary:

[Dr. John Ioannidis] charges that as much as 90 percent of the published medical information that doctors rely on is flawed.

Sigh.  I suppose it was too much to hope that some of the “miracle drugs” will actually produce miracles but 90%?  Well, I suppose Theodore Sturgeon was right all along and now we have the proof.  Assuming, of course, that Dr. Ioannidis’ study falls into the 10% zone.

Bearing that in mind, Aspirin appears to be back in the doctors’ good books and Vitamin D is still on the upswing.  Are they miraculous though?  Depends on where you stand.

As for melanoma-specific drugs, there is some progress on discovering why drugs like PLX 4032 only produces temporary remission:

There is also a new drug (Nilotnib) trial starting at Rush University Medical Center and another promising tumour marker protein (Piwil2-like or PL2L) has been identified by a team at Ohio State U..

Remember:  if 90% of all this is crap then 1 in 10 studies may be onto something.  How many studies have we seen in the last 2 years?  In another hopeful development the understanding of how ultraviolet light affects skin cancer is advancing.

Turning to the psychological side of the discussion Living the Dream is an upbeat piece about life in spite of cancer.  It is hard to argue against the notion of  “a good life,  a good death” and apparently an increasing number of us want to choose when and how we goPalliative care (look for Jeff Myers in this article) is also becoming more mainstream although most people still have little or no access to it.

Finally, The Onion covers a teen’s reaction to her cancer and xkcd talks about positive attitude.

That lot should keep you entertained for a while so I’ll shuffle off and start thinking about the next episode.  Stay well, everyone.




  1. So the bump in the middle of the night (leg?) was worthy of the knife. To our peril it might be something the rest of us overlook. Maybe the 10% of effective melanoma research is surfacing because the two people I know with the diagnosis have already beat the odds. I’ll be interested in the blog on anxiety, depression and mindfulness.

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