A blog about us…and journey with Melanoma

Archive for December, 2009

And we wait for melanoma some more…

We are STILL waiting to hear from UCSF on a second opinion of Mike’s lymph node biopsy.  It has taken over a month.  The typical biopsy takes a week.  We arent really sure why it is taking so long – but we know that the pathologists are having a hard time concluding whether or not the cells found in his one lymph node are cancer.  This week UCSF ordered the path slides from the original mole biopsy that was done in the dermatologists office – this is after they ordered the lymph nodes (stored in wax) from the seninel node biopsy.  They said the final report will be ready end of next week.    

My New Zealand friend Vanessa sent me this link to a public service campaign in Australia.  They are showing the footage of a wide excision (the surgery Mike had in August) to scare the hell out of people….great concept.  http://www.skincancer.gov.au/

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Christmas Fun

Even though we had cancer and a car accident as part of our holiday, we always manage to have fun!   


Melanoma Wine Event in San Francisco

We are excited to attend the Melanoma Wine Event December 10 in San Francisco.  It benefits the Melanoma International Foundation which has helped us greatly during the past couple of months.


A Beautiful Family – On the Inside and Out

Pics of our family on Turkey Day at the McAuliffe’s


The Melanoma Waiting Game

One thing we have gotten pretty good at due to Melanoma – waiting. Anyone with cancer will tell you – the waiting is one of the worst parts. Waiting for news on biopsies, scan results, doc appts, etc. It sucks, but you learn to deal with it. We waited a lot this past week. Last Wed, we waited in the surgical oncologist’s waiting room – it was so crowded that we had to wait outside the door for a while because there was no place to sit inside. While we waited, we saw others waiting. We even saw a very young man (maybe early 20s) with Melanoma waiting with his dad to see our doctor (we tried not to stare, but he had a huge wound on his neck from surgery to remove all of his lymph nodes). Today we waited in Mike’s medical oncologists office. The lady before us had brought 4 members of her family to chat with the doctor so we knew we would be waiting a while. And now we are waiting again – for the second opinion on Mike’s lymph node biopsy from UCSF. We should know on Tues.  But if not, its no big deal, we will wait more.  We are pros now.

PS – While we were waiting, we read about the latest news in Melanoma and it gave us hope:

http://health.usnews.com/articles/health/healthday/2009/11/25/implantable-cancer-vaccine-shows-promise.html
http://news.yahoo.com/s/hsn/20091126/hl_hsn/implantablecancervaccineshowspromise
http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/incytu-cancer-vaccine-implant-able,1069213.shtml


Toxic Food and T-Day

Even after watching the movie Food Inc, we enjoyed a gluttonous non-organic turkey dinner (cooked two ways – deep fried and BBQ!). But that movie (and a cancer diagnosis) made us think and we are making a big effort to eat locally and organically. I am also reading Master Your Metabolism (Jillain Michaels) which is not about a diet – but covers the importance of eating whole foods and how toxins can affect your endocrine system.

In addition, I have seen so many reports about the fish in our rivers – they are not reproducing because all the males are turning into females!! The males actually have eggs sacs in them – this is due to chemicals that make estrogens.  Mike used to catch salmon off San Francisco Bay but the fishing season has been canceled for a couple of years now because there are no fish.  See the New York Times article below – these estrogen laden fish are like the canary in the coal mine…what’s does this mean for humans?

Study links estrogen exposure to fish kills, disease

http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2009/06/04/04greenwire-study-links-estrogen-exposure-to-fish-kills-di-29535.html?scp=3&sq=estrogen&st=cse