The eight minute clock chimes again

EVERY 8 MINUTES someone in the United States is diagnosed with #MELANOMA, the most serious form of skin cancer.  Word came within the last several days that my brother, Bob, has this diagnosis and has had to have a large growth removed from his abdomen, which would indicate Stage 4, an advanced stage of the disease.

Although the report is that his surgeons believe they removed all of the cancer, they can’t be certain until he has a #PETscan in a couple of weeks.  Given that he admits that he has been symptomatic for about five years, but thought this was some type of hernia, he and our family have reason to be concerned that the PET scan may discover other presence of the disease.

However, there is a new treatment for advanced melanoma called #Ipilimumab that shows real promise for control, if not a cure for even the most advanced forms of the case.

Following results of the PET, Bob and his wife, Claudia, are planning to take the advice of their local physicians in Jacksonville, FL, to seek follow-up consultation, treatment at the Tampa Moffitt Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center (NCCN).

While this video clip is from a year ago, information since this production would indicate the efficacy of this treatment and evidence of actual results are now documented at leading cancer centers around the country.

Still the diagnosis gives our family pause and concern as we wait for further news while anticipating that Bob will fully recover as I have from my 2006-2010 bout with mantle cell lymphoma (#MCL).

Our family history with cancer now officially confirms a sobering statistic:  One in four people will have cancer during their lifetimes and one in three families will have a loved one with the diagnosis.

When you change the way you look at things,
the things you look at change
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BROWSE ON PURPOSE

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New treatments see blood cancer survival rates up

The formula above is not meant as a math trick.  But it does depict some tricky math for cancer survivors like me.

All that I have to say about this search and this topic is that it is good to be counted among the one in four.  That is, according to this source, one in four NHL (non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma) survivors have a chance of surviving for five years.   Count me at 5.8 years since my stem cell transplant and 7 years since the diagnosis of mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), a potent form of NHL.

Reading this article and seeing this illustration of the three bags of stem cells makes for a personal flashback to the August 2007 SCT procedure at City of Hope.

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6 years since our SCT at COH

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6 years since our SCT at COH

This coming Friday, May 10, will mark our return to City of Hope, Durate, CA, for the sixth reunion of SCT (stem cell transplant) patients like me. Not surprising is the fact that this is actually the 37th such reunion at the internationally-renowned cancer treatment and research center.

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When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change