Home Forums Melanoma Diagnosis: Stage IV My Holiday Celebration

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    It’s a holiday in the US today and given some of the recent sad news, I thought I would celebrate a little.

    For me, yesterday started out good and then just continued to get better from there. First, in terms of traffic, the drive into New York City was the best I can ever remember. Traffic was very light with no holdups anywhere. Second, my dermatological evaluation started early and went fine with no issues. Next, had my blood drawn at NYU and went on to see Dr. Pavlick. There were no problems with my exam AND both my creatinine and bilirubin were both back to normal. I was given another six week supply of pills and officially start my 41st month on Zelboraf.


    Great news, Dick. Thanks for sharing and keep it up! Enjoy the holiday.


    Catherine Poole

    You are right Dick, it is hard to celebrate this holiday. Mainly I have to drug my dog so she doesn’t freak out from the fireworks in the neighborhood. Just thinking long and hard about Pati and her family. Realizing she not only had physical pain but mental anguish that is now relieved. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have this job, but it is a mission I can’t seem to let go of. So I will celebrate the best I can and hope all goes well for you today and the others touched by this disease.


    Catherine, I haven’t posted since i first contacted you through the site back in March 2012 but keep up with all of the updates on a regular basis ( stage3B). I feel acutely aware of your personal situation re recent events and know I would speak for many, and probably all of this community in saying that your work is of such vital importance and please never underestimate how much appreciation this community has for you and our thanks go to you for the amazing dedication you continue to show.

    Thank you. Mark



    Like Mark, I want you to know that you provide an INCREDIBLE support system and information for so many, many people who need to hear your reassuring voice at just the right time. Earlier this week, when you posted about Pati’s death and your feelings of loss. I saw that you had answered a person or two on the newly diagnosed section with information and sound advice. And I thought, “what a professional she is.” The person you were writing to had no idea your relationship with Pati and that you had suffered such a terrible personal loss.

    Having lost a few of my friends when they were way too young to die, I have great empathy for what you are going through. My friends too had young children who still needed a parent. Going to their funerals were among the saddest things I have ever done. So I do hope you have time to grieve for your friend, Pati and some day again celebrate the spirit and mutual passion for fighting this disease that you two shared. Truthfully, there likely won’t be another Pati in your career, but you will find others with whom you can collaborate and share a vision of treatments available to all regardless of location or insurance or government agencies.

    And I am quite sure that you will continue to be that wonderful voice of calm and reassurance for so many people on this forum. Thank you for all you do for all of us. Now go give your dog his medicine as I am guessing the fireworks are starting in PA!



    Hello Dick,

    That’s the longest that I have already heard : 41 months ! I think that the statistics of the last melanoma forum have been beaten. I’m now taking Zelboraf for 11 months and am NED since two months. The side effects were bad in the beginning but are now tolerable.

    Unfortunately the Zelboraf does not work for everyone. I lost a friend in the UK, who build up resistance against the drug after nearly two months. She was diagnosed stage IV in September of last year and passed away on the 1st of May 2013. She really had no chance. Bearing this in mind, we have to be very grateful that for us and a lot of other people Zelboraf is working.

    I’m so happy about this.



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