MRF Blog

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. 

Making the World Go Round

October 24, 2011 | Categories: Research

 

They say that money makes the world go round.  That money talks.  Certainly in the research field, money is the key to progress. 

We can truly say that right now in melanoma research, money is the primary limiting factor impeding progress. 

The Gift of Time

October 23, 2011 | Categories: Research

 

The answers came back fairly quickly:  “Yes,” “Yes,” “Happy to participate,” “Glad to help,” 

 

We are forming a scientific steering committee to direct the research agenda around ocular melanoma and I had sent a request to about 20 researchers asking them to volunteer their time.  The positive responses reflect the dedication and commitment of an amazing group of doctors and scientists.

A Man and His Daughter: A Chance to Make a Great Catch

October 12, 2011 | Categories: Prevention

He was not what you would expect to see at an NFL game.  It wasn’t the way he was dressed.  After all, people put on the wackiest clothes for a game.  He had on the team shirt, was dressed in the team colors.  It was more the expression on his face—a look of deep concern, of worry.

What is Truth?

October 7, 2011 | Categories: Treatment

 

The call came, as they often do, at night.  This time it was a mother who has a teenage daughter battling melanoma.  The family had seen three or four different doctors, each of whom gave different advice on what treatment to pursue.  Now it was decision time, and they had to listen to one person’s advice and ignore that of three other people.  What to do?

The Power of Two

September 30, 2011 | Categories: Treatment

 

When a doctor tells a patient they have cancer, they take great pains to explain the situation.  The better docs will use lay-language and talk about treatment plans and next steps.  More often than not, however, it is a wasted conversation.  A patient hears “you have cancer” then everything else is a blur.  The physician might as well be reciting a Shakespearean sonnet in Swahili for all the good it does.

In Isolation

September 9, 2011 | Categories: Types of Melanoma

I have been thinking lately about how melanoma can isolate people. 

Any life changing event does this to some degree.  Have a baby, win the lottery, lose a job, lose a parent.  It all can isolate. Even though we seldom walk these paths alone, we are, nevertheless, irrevocably changed by the journey, and changed in ways that make us different from people around us.

An Epidemic?

September 2, 2011 | Categories: Causes

The American Academy of Dermatology just had their summer meeting and one of the speakers, Dr. Darrell Rigel, grabbed my attention with some alarming comments.

One More Question

September 2, 2011 | Categories: Treatment

I have written a couple of times about questions patients ask when first diagnosed with cancer:  “Am I going to die?”  “How did this happen?”

Another question I hear emerges later.  It comes after the diagnosis, treatments, surgery and the scans that show no evidence of disease (NED):  “Will the cancer come back?”

Once you are diagnosed with cancer, it becomes part of your permanent landscape and fear of recurrence simply comes with the territory. 

The Second Question

August 22, 2011 | Categories: Prevention

When someone is diagnosed with cancer, they have a lot of questions.  The first question, as I mentioned recently, is this:  “Am I going to die?” 

But another common question follows after that.  “How did this happen?”

Cancer patients often feel regret.  What if I had quit smoking?  What if my diet had been healthier?  What if I had gotten my mammogram sooner?  Guilt and regret, while understandable (and, to some extent, unavoidable) are not productive in walking the cancer journey.

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