My best friend

Posted By
8/18/2010 12:46pm
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Replies: 9

My best friend and the love of my life lost his battle with melanoma on August 3rd.  I don't know whether to say it was a 12 week battle or a 26 year battle.  He was diagnosed with superficial spreading melanoma on his chest in 1984.  He was treated at the Pigmented Lesion clinic at Penn.  They did a WLE, no SNB was done.  He continued to be followed there until 2008 when they told him he didn't need to come anymore, just see a dermatologist every year.  He never had another primary lesion and we thought everything was good.  Unfortunately in May he found a lump under his arm, and the CT scan showed lesions in lung, liver, brain and almost every bone in his body.  He never even had the chance to fight.  I am so sad and am looking for someone who can tell me how they got through this.  I feel like somehow I didn't do enough to help him.  I have asked my friends and family to donate in his memory to MRF in the hope that someday no one will have to face what we did.  Thank you for listening.



dian in spokane - (8/18/2010 - 1:01pm)



I am so very sorry for your loss. There was nothing you could have done. Unfortunately, this terrible disease runs it's own course, and little can be done to stop it. Some of us are lucky enough to keep it at bay, and some, despite all of their fighting, lose the battle. Some, like your love, never even have a fighting chance.

And in much the same way, no one can really help you get over this horrible grief. It will run it's course in it's own way. I know you have a dark hole in your heart right now, and I hope that you can call on wonderful memories of best friend..and that those memories will one day replace this darkness, and sustain you to the point where you can find joy againin your life.

My deepest sympathies.

Dian in spokane

Sherron - (8/18/2010 - 1:06pm)

Hi Janis,

I am so sorry for your recent loss.  Melanoma is such a beast and comes back when and if it wants to.  There seems to be no rules for it.  I pray that the memories in your heart will help you thru the days ahead.  You are most welcome to come here for support.  You may meet others that you can share with or that can help you.

Take Care,

Sherron, wife to Jim

lhaley - (8/18/2010 - 7:26pm)


I am so sorry for your loss.  Melanoma has no rules.  There were no SNB's offered in 1984. Don't feel there was anything else to be done.  That far out from his primary most would have no issues, scans would not be continued.  My story is similar. Univ. of Penn. My primary was in 79.  Maybe we met sitting waiting for an exam.  27 years later mine came back. 

Give yourself time, cherish your memories and continue working on ending this disease.


Katie - (8/19/2010 - 10:39am)

I am very sorry for your loss.  My brother was diagnosed originally in 1998 but the docs said that it had not spread and that he should continue to see a dermatologist once a year.  He never had health insurance, so he did not continue his follow up care.  He had a stomach problem last July (2009) and was diagnosed with 20 mets in his stomach area, lungs and liver.  He had no treatment options available due to bleeding mets.  He went from fine to too sick to get out of bed in weeks.  He passed away September 25, about 9 weeks later.  He did not have time to deal with the idea of leaving a young wife and 1 year old baby.  He was angry and bitter, and we could not help him at all.  We all felt as if we had been hit by a bus. 

I was so very angry at everyone on this board who had had treatment options, when he did not.  I no longer feel that way.  I now feel very grateful to all those who listened and provided advice and support.

My advice to you would be to let the tears out, they really do help.  And to join the chat room in the evening to talk to those who have been through similiar experiences.  My thoughts are with you and your family.  Take care.


yensidw - (8/19/2010 - 1:29pm)

Thank you all.  I found this site right after Ron was diagnosed and had so much hope when I read about all the Stage IV survivors.  Unfortunately it was not to be for us.  I hope I can come here for support when things get hard. When things are better for me I do plan to get involved with spreading the word about this terrible disease.  



JoanR - (8/19/2010 - 2:48pm)

Dear Janis, I have walked in your shoes, and I share your grief and frustratins. The worst has now happened and now is the time for healing and caring for yourself, and down the road the opportunity to help others with their fight with melanoma. My husband died 9 years ago, and like yours had a lesion on his chest, no SNB(they still don't do them routinely in Canada), was told they had it all..and died in 7 months. Treaure the years you had after dx and the wonderful freedom from melanoma when you got the news you didn't even need check-ups.

I would love to keep in touch with you as you begin your new different life, it is a long process, but if you know you have the support of understanding friends it makes it much easier to bear.

I will share my email with you if you wish..My best thoughts go out to you...Joan Robinson

mlittle - (8/20/2010 - 10:55pm)

I'm so sorry for your loss.  Please accept my sincere condolences. 



JuleFL - (8/20/2010 - 11:31pm)


My heart goes out to you.  Yours and Ron's story is all too common.  My husband, Cal, had his primary in 1981 with no SNB.  He continued visiting dermatologists over the years.  He fell playing tennis and subsequently a lung and adrenal met were discovered on the rib xray. CT's and Pet showed mets from head to foot.  He immediately started chemo, then biochemo with maintenance, then, finally, ipilimumab.    Unfortunately, he was so advanced and weakened that all treatments had to be stopped.  I fought hard for him and doubted myself often.  Reading the posts on this board have helped me put things in perspective.   He is now with hospice.  We've had 9 months since diagnosis so I have been able to get a head start on the grieving process.   I cry everyday knowing that I'm losing my sweetheart, but I'm still able to be at his side for a while.  This has been a terrible shock for you and has happened so quickly.  I hope that you can find some people close to you to talk to.  I'll be praying for you and hoping that you will find some peace and comfort.

Jule wife of Cal

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings.........put out my hand and touched the face of God.
John Gillespie Magee, Jr

Char C - (8/21/2010 - 2:13pm)


I am so sorry.  Bill has been gone now for two years and it still really tough.  All I can say is one day at a time.  Some days are better than others but the saddness lesses as time goes by.  The missing never seems to pass, at least not for me.