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15 01, 2015

It’s a four-peat! Add topical chemo to my therapy list

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I thought I had been through it all; oral chemo (Revlimid and pomalidomide), infusion chemo (high dose melphalan and Velcade IV) and most recently, Velcade via sub-q injection.  Three different ways to administer chemo.  Who knew there was a fourth? Three months ago my dermatologist at Mayo Clinic biopsied and removed three suspicious spots.  Since

24 12, 2014

Emotional side of multiple myeloma

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I met with several members of the hard working Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) team at ASH.  I agreed to blog monthly on their site.  I was asked to share my emotional reaction to ASH in San Francisco to get things started.  Here's an excerpt from my first post, Hop on my hopeful multiple myeloma

11 11, 2014

Mayo Clinic drama–and some good advice from a reader

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Doctors at Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, biopsied three different spots today.  Good thing Dr. Roy pulled some strings to get me in so quickly! I should know which ones need further attention next week.  One was, "possibly melanoma."  According to the attractive young resident that did the exam; an opinion that was shared by the attending.

1 11, 2014

Halloween memories

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Halloween reminds me of a series of posts I wrote a few years back.  It was this time of year.  My dermatologist had identified a troubling spot in the crease of my left ear.  It turned out to be a secondary cancer--melanoma--caused by the combination of my compromised immune system and the powerful Florida sun.

31 05, 2013

ASCO kicks-off with a bang! Immunotherapies continue to impress

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Immunotherapies.   Thus far most oncologists would classify them as an oh so promising bust.  They work in the lab.  They should work in human patients.  Should have, would have, could have.  But finally, after decades of trying, researchers are starting to figure things out--and the results are impressive! I want to share excerpts from an

22 03, 2012

Details about my skin cancer follow-up appointment today

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Sorry that I'm so late getting this post out to you today.  I planned to post right after I returned home from my short follow-up  dermatology/skin cancer appointment first thing this morning. This "short" appointment ended-up taking up over an hour.  Not because I was sitting around waiting too long, but because 2 additional procedures

23 12, 2011

As multiple myeloma patients live longer, secondary cancer risks need to be addressed…

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Yesterday I asked if this secondary cancer issue "is much to do about nothing, or something that concerns you enough to keep you up at night?" Based on the response, I have to conclude the answer is "NO!" I understand that this isn't a very pleasant topic to be discussing right before Christmas.  We can

22 12, 2011

Should multiple myeloma patients fear secondary cancer risk?

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The risk of developing a secondary cancer following years of ongoing treatment was a red-hot issue one year ago. Why?  A clinical study--presented at last year's ASH meetings in Orlando--showed multiple myeloma patients have an 8% risk of developing a secondary cancer if they use Revlimid maintenance following a stem cell transplant. The day following

5 12, 2011

Medical Update: Myeloma and melanoma bonus coverage!

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Yep.  Visit my site for a medical update and you get "bonus" coverage--updates about both my myeloma and melanoma. Melanoma first.  I saw my oncology plastic surgeon, Dr. Mosiello Friday.  My final surgical pathology report looked perfect stating "No evidence of malignancy." There had always been the possibility that the margins Dr. Mosiello used would

29 10, 2011

Why should I be surprised: My melanoma damaged ear will need to be surgically repaired

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During a pre-op  appointment today with the surgeon who will be cutting my ear, I discovered something which probably shouldn't surprise me:   This melanoma thing is a bigger deal than I was originally told. Instead of a "local" in the University of South Florida Department of Dermatology offices, I will need full-blown surgery. Apparently, there