I am a 47 year-old man, Stage IV, two young sons, determined to do everything possible to keep myself alive.
After a year of surgeries (primary excision on scalp, neck dissection, excision of various skin lesions), my latest PET scan from last week showed the melanoma has spread to my shoulder area and back of both legs (visible bumps), along with some yet to be determined small nodules in the lungs. My oncologist has run the BRAF gene test, determined that I qualify and wants me to begin taking Zelboraf (vemurafenib) this week. The question I have is: Should I press my surgeon to remove the visible turmors as quickly as possible, or should we wait to see if the Zelboraf is working, and ideally shrinking the tumors I can see protruding through the skin?
The information in this discussion forum has been invaluable to me and I sincerely thank all those who have contributed. The journey is difficult for all of us, but can be made easier by sharing helpful stories and information not always available from the medical community.