Posted by: cg00n | January 12, 2012

Dr. No Problem

The results of the CT scan are in:  no visible problems.  This is a relief because You Never Know and it is highly likely that one of these days there will be a visible problem.  However, for now I feel great and it looks as though I will be able to forgo death by melanoma for another year.

We saw Dr. D yesterday.  She is not altogether happy about the side effects of the new drugs (Yervoy aka ipilimumab and Vemurafenib aka PLX 4032) and would rather not inflict them on anyone if she doesn’t have to.  Her experience also suggests that only 3 out of 15 patients tested have the B-RAF mutation necessary to qualify for Vemurafenib, a rather smaller proportion (20%) than the 40% touted in earlier trials.  This is not a whole lot better than the standard treatment, Dacarbazine.  Having said all that she does know of people who have had good (and fairly long-lasting) results, at least from ipilimumab.  She has promised to share any news she gleans from a melanoma conference that she (and Dr. G) will be attending in March.  Anyway, for now we go on as we have: taking out the lumps as they appear.

Speaking of lumps, later in the day we saw Dr. M and just for a change of pace we could find nothing worth cutting off.  The previous wound seems to have healed OK now (after the antibiotics) so we’ve left the next appointment date open.  If nothing else happens I’ll go and see him in 3 months or so just for a checkup.

Now that’s all over for a while I can start planning a few months down the road.  P and I are both going to spend Feb. 4th at a “mindfulness day” where we will eat, sit, lie,  walk and occasionally run while being mindful.  It’s good practice – a sort of mini retreat.  Speaking of retreats, I am going to look into another 1 or possibly 2 week retreat in the spring.  The last one I did was two years ago and I can’t say I’m really looking forward to doing it again.  Spending that long in meditation (including mindful meals, chores, study etc.) is really a lot of work.  However, it is a highly-recommended way to make progress and given how much I have gained from all this mindfulness stuff it is probably best that I grit my teeth and Just Do It.  We are also expecting some friends to visit in late February so there’s lot to keep me amused.  I hope all of you, dear readers, are getting 2012 off to such a good start.

News Roundup

So it goes.  As always I hope you are all staying well and I will also do my best.  Cheers!



  1. Good news. I’ll drink to another year. We must aim to do that in person sometime soon. It’s been too long since I saw you last. Are you and P going to come up to the condo in Banff sometime, veg and let your friends come to veg with you? I remember hearing something about that before you moved many, many moons ago. I read the article about the cancer fighting molecules found in the water or mud (if you prefer). Very optomistic till you get to the their last paragraph that has no less than 3 probablies in it! There has been a lot of money put into detecting diseases earlier and we’ve done well at finding out sooner what we might die of. The article you read is right, we haven’t done much to increase life expectancy. Still, the next great breakthrough might be right around the corner. Many of our greatest discoveries started by happenstance. The movie, “Awakenings” with Robin Williams demonstrates this. I like how Oliver Sasks (author) writes … he thought many problems might be best sorted out if we watched our world more, took note, and pondered on patterns, sequencing, and the like. I digress … so glad you are well and able to enjoy mindfulness, trips, and soon your sometimes empty nest (home tends to have a revolving door for university students).

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