Sunday, May 20, 2012

May 2012: 5 years out!

It's been five years since our lives took a bit of a shake.  We still remember how the minutes played out the morning Mark was diagnosed, shocked and not knowing if we would have 6 months.  Five years later, we each sat in our offices and shared some simple 'I love you's' to remember the morning. 

We are into a routine with doctor's visits as we have been for years, and of course we always hold our breath a bit before the results come in.  But quite honestly we are so focused on other things in life now - particularly our children, two of the wonderful blessings He has provided to us.

Thankfully, this blog is not filled with regular posts anymore.  We've decided to leave it up, as we do receive regular emails from other CM patients, and we welcome them!  We certainly appreciated all of the support we received from the CM community.  Please do not hesitate to contact us.  We are happy to talk about our experiences and be a listening ear.

Friday, January 8, 2010

January 2009

Surgery for the radiation-induced cataract went well last month, with a slight improvement in vision -- thumbs up!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Quick update

Still on Avastin and the tumor's still shrinking...
We welcomed a baby girl this fall; this year's been a nice contrast to last!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Hello again!

It's been a while since we've written!! Mark is now on Avastin. In a nutshell, it should prevent (abnormal) blood vessel growth and slow down vision loss. Injections and evals are every 6 weeks as opposed to every few months with kenalog. We'll try several rounds of it before deciding whether to switch back to kenalog. After a year+, the tumor is still shrinking...much more slowly now of course, but shrinking still!!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Recent visit to PA

We were in PA two weeks back for visits with Drs. Shields and Sato. Dr. Shields was very pleased with how the eye is healing. The tumor continues to shrink, though much more slowly now. Since most of our treatment decisions now are based on preserving vision, we were encouraged to have Shields' recommend continuing with our plan at Duke (instead of kenalog, we'll try avastin).

This day of appts was the most smooth yet -- surely due in part to efficiency in the drs offices, but we're also getting used to them! Hard to believe our one year CM diagnosis anniversary is just around the corner!!

For the OM folks out there, there are a lot of clinical trials going on right now in the field of choroidal melanoma. Dr. Sato mentioned protein tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy showing some promise. There is a study in particular called "Sunitinib, Tamoxifen, and Cisplatin in Treating Patients With High-Risk Ocular Melanoma." (Disomy 3 may be an exclusion criteria). This study is for patients who have received treatment for OM but who are mets-free.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Follow-up at Duke


We recently had follow-up appts at Duke and UNC. The great news is that the X-rays and bloodwork were clean! The tumor is still shrinking (slowly), and the right eye got another dose of kenalog to help with the swelling of the retina.

Since Dr. Jared Gollob left Duke back in the fall, we have learned that Duke hired a new oncologist - Dr. Amy Abernathy. She was trained at Duke and then did research in Australia before coming back to Durham. Any CM patients familiar with her?

Off to PA in a few weeks to see Drs. Shields and Sato.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Video of Dr. Shields

Here is a video of Dr. Carol Shields discussing the diagnosis of ocular melanomas. She is the doctor we see when we make our visits to Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia.

The blog has been quiet for a while, and that's how we like it :-) We visit with doctors at Duke next week and will be back in PA in March. We'll be sure to update then!