Posted by: cg00n | November 11, 2013

The Summer is Not Enough

Three months later.  Unbelievable, except that the skies now produce cloud, cold, and damp rather than sunshine, warmth, and dessication.  I hope you have all had a great summer.   What little I can remember of my own was very pleasant.  I did quite a lot of messing about in the boat, and we managed a short family vacation to Cape Breton which was fun for all of us.  P was away in Italy for 10 days, 4 of which I spent in a state of radical seclusion at a Buddhist retreat centre.  Ms. Z.J of Calgary spent a week here recently giving us the excuse to ditch the routine and play tourist.  A few of you have called or emailed generally with favourable life reports which we are always glad to receive.

The rune is gradually fading (common with magical markings, so I understand) leaving me with four or five lumps by way of an ongoing situation.  My doctors all seems amazed at my continuing good health which is a source of some concern to me.  I mean, if they’re happy, I’m happy but it would be comforting to feel that my current good health owes more to their understanding and expertise than it does to luck and divine intervention.  Anyway, the pathology report regarding  the lump removed during the marking of the rune confirms that it was (as expected) melanoma and that we did not manage to remove all of it.  So, I expect to continue the IL-2 injections until some other miracle cure is found, or the issue becomes moot for some reason.  Dr. H described my condition as “chronic”  which doesn’t sound so good until you contrast it with, for example, “terminal”.  I now go for shots once a month.  We use one (small) syringe of drug each time, half what was required a year ago.  As a result I feel less groggy and bounce back more quickly after each treatment.

The only tiny fly in the ointment is an unanticipated punch biopsy taken by Dr. L (the dermatologist) a few days ago.  I have a fairly innocuous lump on my belly which Drs. H and M have more or less dismissed.  It isn’t growing, but neither has it shrunk since I noticed it a couple of months back.  Dr. L thought we ought to check it out so I have a single stitch holding together a tiny incision near my rib cage.  It was the only thing he could find to criticize so … better safe than sorry. The results should be in by the time I next get my IL-2 shots.

Speaking of groggy, my experiments with melatonin reveal that a single half-3mg pill gets me a pretty good night’s sleep and a clear head the following morning.  Yes, I said morning!  For the first time I can remember, getting out of bed  is verging on pleasurable.  Doubtless all that psycho-work I’ve done contributes to this happy state of mind, as does the absence of monthly surgery.   Once my back recovers from the abuse it took getting the boat packed up for winter I may try skipping for joy – just to see what falls off.

And speaking of exercise, we have taken the completely unprecedented step of acquiring an exercise bicycle.  It must have been quite high-end at one stage but by the time we got it (for $15 in a garage sale) it was fairly beat-up.  An energetic day (requiring no further exercise) of cleaning, rewiring, and gluing together the display/meter thingy has rendered it once more suitable for use.  I have, in fact, used it once or twice and expect to do more during the winter.  Perhaps you, dear readers, would be good enough to remind me of that commitment.

News Roundup

I may start cutting back on this section.  A three month backlog is no joke, and the weight of even the URLs involved is enough to kink up my back again.  Oh well, let’s dive in:

Melanoma Stuff

More general cancer news

More general health stuff

In summary:  progress on many fronts, and hope for the future.  I’m off to do some skipping.  Be well, peeps.



  1. So glad that the summer– such that it was– went so well for you. “Chronic” is probably an excellent state in melanoma, even though it must be hard to cope with. And melatonin turning you into an early bird? Wow, millions would never believe it. Take good care!

  2. Here is a new/old chinese cure for prostate cancer which you may, or may not, want to post.

    Let me know how the exercise bike works out. I bought one for $10 at a garage sale and I used it occasionally at first and less occasionally till it became a dust collector. I’m sorry you have new outcroppings of melanoma lumps, enough to warrant scheduling their removal before they even appear. But as you say positive that the treatments are less severe and more tolerable. One day we will have a cure. Merry Christmas.

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