Dick_K's Journey:

Patient: Skin Cancer - Melanoma

Patient Info: Diagnosed: over 7 years ago, Male, Age: 70, Stage IV, BRAF mutation positive: Yes, c-kit positive: Don't Know

  1. 1
    • Dick_K
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    over 4 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    My eye doctor questions a mole on my neck and suggests a visit to a dermatologist who doesn't like what she sees. Turns out to be melanoma, clarks level IV,

    0 Comments
  2. 2
    • Dick_K
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    over 4 years ago
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    Sentinel lymph node biopsy

    Procedure or Surgery

    November 1998; WLE and SNB nodes are good and margins are clear.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  3. 3
    • Dick_K
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    over 4 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    August 2007. Lump in my throat and sent to a Ear, Nose, Throat specialist.

    0 Comments
  4. 4
    • Dick_K
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    over 4 years ago
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    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    Partial parotidectomy for a myoepithelial carcinoma, doctor believes it was all removed.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  5. 5
    • Dick_K
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    over 4 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    August 2009. PCP unsuccessively treats persistent cough and sends out for x-rays and CT scan, and referred to an oncologist.

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  6. 6
    • Dick_K
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    over 4 years ago
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    Lung needle biopsy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Two lung needle biopsies and a PET scan and it's confirmed - metastatic melanoma in my lungs

    Went as Expected: Not Specified
    Minimal Recovery: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
    0 Comments
  7. 7
    • Dick_K
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    over 4 years ago
    Dick_K's Avatar

    High Dose IL-2

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    After completion and waiting period, scans show no benefit.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  8. 8
    • Dick_K
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    over 4 years ago
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    Phase II

    Clinical Trial

    March 2010. Start trial for what will become Zelboraf.

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  9. 9
    • Dick_K
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    over 4 years ago
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    Many, some severe, most not

    Side Effects

    I developed a rash on my entire body but never on my face. Extreme photosensitivity also was quick to start and continues. Body hair loss; I’m 65 and the hair on my head was already thinning so I do not know if Zelboraf contributed to additional head hair loss but it definitely did not all fall out although the texture did change. Many small warts on different parts of my body. Those that were sore were taken off and biopsied. One such wart turned out to be a cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. Neuropathy in both feet and it was very painful for a time. As to joint pain, there are mornings that it is difficult to get going especially up and down stairs. Similar to the head hair loss, my knees were sore prior to starting Zelboraf (arthritis?) so I am not sure of the cause.

    0 Comments
  10. 10
    • Dick_K
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    over 4 years ago
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    Mohs surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    December 2010. Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, a Zelboraf side effect, successively removed.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  11. 11
    • Dick_K
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    over 4 years ago
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    PET Scan

    Celebration

    December 2010. Tumors no longer light up on PET scan, tumors continue to shrink.

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  12. 12
    • Dick_K
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    over 4 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    September 2011. Melanoma scans showed enlarged Prostate.

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  13. 13
    • Dick_K
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    over 4 years ago
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    Melanoma gone???

    Celebration

    January 2012. Tumors shrunk by 98% and doctor thinks it is scar tissue that show up on scans.

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  14. 14
    • Dick_K
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    over 4 years ago
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    Presented Award

    Celebration

    On October 9, 2012 the Skin Cancer Foundation awarded their 2012 Skin Sense Award to the PGA Tour, Lucy Danziger, Editor-in-Chief of SELF Magazine, and Genentech with Genentech being honored for their drugs Erivedge and Zelboraf. The Genentech award was presented by a patient currently using Erivedge and one using Zelboraf. The honor of being the Zelboraf patient fell to me. It was quite an honor.

    1 Comment
  15. 15
    • Dick_K
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    over 4 years ago
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    Blood Work

    Oh No

    October 2012 - My bilirubin is too high and I am taking a one week holiday from Zelboraf. Hopefully a retest next week will allow restart of Zelboraf but probably at a reduced dosage.

    1 Comment
  16. 16
    • Dick_K
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    almost 4 years ago
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    Anniversary

    Celebration

    March 3, 2013 marks my third year anniversary on Zelboraf. Although bilirubin is acting up, I am continuing on medication with stable scans.

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  17. 17
    • Dick_K
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    almost 4 years ago
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    Test results and future scans

    Celebration

    At my last regular check-up on February 27th, my bilirubin was once again elevated and it was decided to retest in three weeks rather than the normal six. Three week results are in and bilirubin had returned to normal and as a side benefit, my creatinine was also greatly reduced. I was also advised my scan frequency would change from every six weeks to every twelve weeks.

    0 Comments
  18. 18
    • Dick_K
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    over 3 years ago
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    Sharing with others

    Celebration

    Just returned from a speaking engagement with the company who manufactures the medicine I am on. I was asked to talk about my medical history and the results/ benefits I am receiving.

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  19. 19
    • Dick_K
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    over 3 years ago
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    Celebration

    ALL blood work came back good; no toxic kidney or liver issues. Have now completed 40 months and continue in phase II clinical trial.

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  20. 20
    • Dick_K
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    over 2 years ago
  21. 21
    • Dick_K
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    over 2 years ago
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    Biopsy

    Oh No

    Dermatologist removes a mole and it comes back as melanoma.

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  22. 22
    • Dick_K
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    over 2 years ago
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    Local Wide Excision

    Celebration

    Surgery is performed and there are clear margins. Because mole was shallow, no sentinel node biopsy is dome.

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  23. 23
    • Dick_K
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    almost 2 years ago
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    Celebration

    March 3rd - my five year anniversary on Zelboraf with some minor continued side effects.

    0 Comments
  24. 24
    • Dick_K
    • Experience with Skin Cancer - Melanoma
    over 4 years ago
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    Anniversary

    Celebration

    September 2012. 2 1/2 years on Zelboraf and continuing in the clinical trial.

    1 Comment