May Marks Melanoma Awareness Month

May Marks Melanoma Awareness Month

May Marks Melanoma Awareness Month

Wow…..it has been a while since I posted to this site!  We have been focusing on updating the daily Fighting Melanoma Facebook Page and Twitter Accounts to share updates involving research, patient stories and trial options. 

As Melanoma Awareness Month begins, I have to pinch myself as I attend events and speak on behalf of the Melanoma Research Foundation. First, to make sure I realize why I am still here, and second, the very fact that I am still here – LOL!

I know melanoma and skin cancer is personal for everyone. Specially, for us in the “Over the Hill” gang that “baked” a bit too much in the sun during our youth and visited tanning beds to achieve that all too-important “base tan”.

You know, the one that was supposed to save us from that horrible sunburn!

Were we morons or what?

We are now seeing the side effects of those actions. 

Melanoma is the fastest growing cancer in males over 50 and young adults (our kids). Try as we might, they just don’t always listen…..

People are still “dying” for that warm glow. 

My son, Sergei, has had 2 stage I melanomas removed to date. 

He’s 21 years old. 

At least his parents have a degree in Fighting Melanoma!

I tell Sergei your skin is like an elephant - it never forgets!  His reply is, “I know, mom!”, as he goes off to have fun in the sun. At least he’s good at wearing his SPF now.

I recently found myself back in the patient advocate game - my dear friends, Jim and Kim Flanders, who helped us so much through our ordeal now find themselves face to face with the beast. For those of you who don’t know, Kim and I have been friends since she was five years old.  And yes, it involved horses.

Jim was just diagnosed with Stage III melanoma cancer (yes, he is in the targeted age).  I found out that our connections and education of melanoma mattered. As we guided them through the maze, we found that the doctors we met along the way care and remember my story. Jim is so fortunate that during this time there are a variety of treatment options that will help them breathe a bit easier.  For those of you who are interested, our Jimmy will be doing the same treatment as President Jimmy Carter…..Anti-Pd1 drug we now know as KEYTRUDA®.  

I find this a good omen.

Have you seen the commercials for Keytruda?

Also, did you see our MRF Jimmy Carter Video?

Check it out at 

Regardless, CANCER SUCKS.

The side effects of the treatment are still real.

Sorry Jimmy, but we’ll be there with you along the way

When we started talking about PLX 4032 we didn’t know how much this drug would change the landscape and move us to what is now more than a dozen new treatment options.

Crazy, huh?

It is amazing to find out five-year survival rates for Stage IV patients have jumped to almost 70%. 

IT WAS  4% ONLY 9 YEARS AGO!!!!

Incredible advancements have been made in such a relatively short time.  

Let’s use May to stand up to melanoma cancer and pioneer change.

Get a regular skin check, wear your Cooolibar sun protective clothing, slather on your SPF, sport a wide brim hat and sunglasses.  It’s all cool and can save you time in the future from visiting a bunch of doctor’s offices!

Come to The Yard for a free Skin Check on Saturday at 7:30 am!  We would love to see you and have you walk with Team Fighting Melanoma to celebrate our 7th fundraiser for the MRF!

DC Miles for Melanoma link http://join.melanoma.org/site/TR/5kRunWalk/MilesforMelanoma?team_id=4332&pg=team&fr_id=1482