Patient Stories

Holiday Spirit

December 19, 2011 | Categories: Patient Stories

 

The holidays can be challenging in many ways, and particularly when the previous year has brought the death of a loved one.  Often, when someone dies of melanoma, the family elects to have donations made to MRF in that person’s memory.  I am always moved by these decisions, that in the middle of a tragic event the people most affected by loss choose to use that event to help other people.

Taking a Chance on Hope

November 22, 2011 | Categories: Patient Stories

His wife died of melanoma a few months ago and he was talking about hope.

I can’t claim to have known her well, but in my own encounters with her and by all accounts, she was a remarkable human being.  She was highly respected at work, a close friend to many, a loving wife and a doting mother of two young children. 

The First Question

August 9, 2011 | Categories: Patient Stories

Over the years I have had the privilege to know many, many people fighting cancer.  Young and old, male and female.  We tend to think cancer ennobles someone—makes them more than they were, somehow heroic simply by virtue of their suffering.  That is not the reality, though.  Cancer patients are just like you and me.  They may be full of hope or be mad as hell at their situation.    They are ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances, and doing so the very best they can.

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Melanoma Patient Profile

August 2, 2011 | Categories: Patient Stories

What does a melanoma patient look like?  She looks like Diane, who posts on MPIP.org as “Dian in Spokane.”  Diane was first diagnosed years ago, and fought her melanoma with a vengeance.  She lived disease free for years, but has since had an recurrence.  But melanoma is what Diane has, it is not what she is

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Watchwords

May 14, 2011 | Categories: Patient Stories, Treatment

Today’s melanoma symposium in Seattle featured a panel of patients telling their stories.    Some have been fighting melanoma for years.  One was recently diagnosed.  They spoke of their treatments - surgeries, radiation, various drugs – and their side effects.

Angels Unaware

May 10, 2011 | Categories: Patient Stories

In some ways cancer patients are just people.  Some are mean, some are nice.  Some are caring, some are indifferent.  Having said that, cancer, like most major sources of stress, tends to amplify these characteristics. 

Last night I had the opportunity to spend some time with one of those people who persists in being giving, warm, and generous despite—or because of—their cancer.

Profiles in Courage

April 30, 2011 | Categories: Patient Stories

After two days of board meetings and tons of other activities I was exhausted.  But I ran to the airport and jumped on an 8:15 flight last night, arriving in St. Louis just before 10:00.  A shuttle bus to the car rental place, then an hour and a half drive to check in to the Sleepy Inn, just around midnight.  I had to get up at 6:00 so I could arrive at 7:00 at the site of a run/walk event.

Profile in Courage

April 14, 2011 | Categories: Patient Stories

I won’t give her name here, but her story is worth telling.  She was a young woman when she found an odd mole on her back.  Simple surgery, but the path report came back as melanoma.  She didn’t know then that melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, but she learned quickly.  Her doctor, though, didn’t believe the path report.  He had another report done and then told her it was nothing to worry about.  She moved on with her life and a couple of years later m