My Life Since Melanoma Cancer
“The world is what you make of it. If it doesn’t fit you make alterations.”
My name is Mark and I am a Cancer Survivor. Ive been
in 2 different rounds. I have won both rounds but
have had losses each time. In 2001 I lost my left leg to melanoma
during surgery, a procedure called limb perfusion.
Since losing my leg I now have diabetes 2 , high
cholesterol etc… So now I have to balance my meals
to: Low carb for the diabetes, low cal to watch the weight,
and include foods and spices to boost my immune
system to fight the cancer. While fighting the melanoma cancer
I got involved, thankfully, in a clinical cancer trial.
The trial involved experimental drugs to boost your
immune system to fight the cancer from within using your
own immune system. From what I had heard there was over
90 people in this trial and I am the lone survivor as far as I
know. They really won’t tell you a lot due to privacy
regulations. So needless to say I try to include and keep updated
on all foods and spices that fight cancer and boost
your immune system. More later….
Latest scans came back cancer free! (Nov. 2010) In July of 2004 I was told I was cancer free. It still weighs heavily on my mind
when it’s time to get scans and check ups. The scans are due again in March or April, update then. On the plus side the weight loss
continues, 16 1/2 lbs. now! Next update after the scans!
Weight loss up to 27 lbs.! Better diet, portion sizes and workouts. I now use a pedal bike exerciser 2 – 3
times a day, seems to provide the exercise I was lacking. Tough going with
one leg and keeping the weight off. Scans coming in late April.
April 6, 2011
Well my scans came back clean again, still cancer free! It’s been 7 years now since they told me I was cancer free. It’s been a struggle since this started in 1999. June 1 will be 10 years since I lost my leg to melanoma cancer. In ways it seems like it’s been longer and yet in other ways it seems like yesterday. But life goes on and it’s what you make of that life.
August 18, 2011 Well I go Monday afternoon to have a biop on a place on back of right leg. I hate the waiting and then the wait for the biop report to get back. These always make me nervous after everything I’ve been through. Update when I find out.
August 27 2011 Everything negative. It was determined that the place in question is scar tissue.
Nov. 8 2011
Well after changing my diet and eating habits, weight loss, and daily exercise I am off the Diabetes2 medication Metformin! I’ve been on it since being diagnosed in Sept. of 2006. The past year I really cracked down on the late night snacking and a pinch of something here and there. I snack on Gala Apples, Whole Natural Almonds, Sugar Free Jello and such. I’m also a firm believer of Green Tea. I drink 5 cups a day of hot brewed Bigelow Decaf Green Tea. My numbers on Triglycerides, Cholesterol, and Sugar all started turning around when I started drinking Green Tea.
Another problem was getting enough exercise. Being in a wheelchair was making it difficult to get the proper exercise. I can’t afford a gym membership so I purchased some weights and a tabletop Peddle Exerciser and lift weights once a day and the Pedal Exerciser three times a day. So all the changes worked and as of today I’m off the Diabetes2 medication Metformin! Now the next thing is to stay the course I’ve taken and keep making smart decisions on what I eat. Anyway it’s been a good day!
Dec. 8th 2011
Well it’s that time again, I go for my scans to make sure the melanoma hasn’t crept back. It’s good they check this once or twice a year but every time I go it brings back all those bad memories. I’ll get the full results later in the month when I go for my regular 3 month check up. Not unless there is something that came back on the scans which in that case they call me and I go in right away. So hopefully I keep the regular appointment and don’t receive that call, Ever Again! Let you in on the results when I know.
Dec. 23 2011
April 2, 2012 – Well another good check up! Everything looked normal and blood work came back clean. I’ll have scans and x-rays next check up later this year.
June 3, 2012
Ever since I lost my left leg to Melanoma Cancer back 2001 I’ve been dealing with Phantom Pains. Lately they have been getting much more frequent and painful. A phantom pain involves the part of your body where the limb has been removed. For myself the pain couldn’t be more real. Sometimes it feels like someone is stepping on my foot and other times it feels like someone is hitting my ankle with a hammer or stabbing sensation. Last night was a rough night. I got about an hour of sleep. All night it felt as if someone hitting my foot. The pain was terrible and there’s nothing you can do. The Phantom pain’s can last for a day or more or just a matter of hours. The pain is as real as if it was happening to someone with a leg. I’m hopeful that one day someone will come up with a cure. Until that time I’ve got some sleepless nights ahead of me. I left the defenition of phantom pain from Wikipedia.
Phantom pain – According to Wikipedia
Phantom pain involves the sensation of pain in a part of the body that has been removed.
A phantom limb is the sensation that an amputated or missing limb (even an organ, like the appendix) is still attached to the body and is moving appropriately with other body parts. Approximately 60 to 80% of individuals with an amputation experience phantom sensations in their amputated limb, and the majority of the sensations are painful. Phantom sensations may also occur after the removal of body parts other than the limbs, e.g. after amputation of the breast, extraction of a tooth (phantom tooth pain) or removal of an eye (phantom eye syndrome). The missing limb often feels shorter and may feel as if it is in a distorted and painful position. Occasionally, the pain can be made worse by stress, anxiety, and weather changes. Phantom limb pain is usually intermittent. The frequency and intensity of attacks usually declines with time.
Although not all phantom limbs are painful, patients will sometimes feel as if they are gesturing, feel itches, twitch, or even try to pick things up. For example, Ramachandran and Blakeslee describe that some people’s representations of their limbs do not actually match what they should be, for example, one patient reported that her phantom arm was about “6 inches too short”.
A slightly different sensation known as phantom pain can also occur in people who are born without limbs and people who are paralyzed. Phantom pains occur when nerves that would normally innervate the missing limb cause pain. It is often described as a burning or similarly strange sensation and can be extremely agonizing for some people, but the exact sensation differs widely for individuals. Other induced sensations include warmth, cold, itching, squeezing, tightness, and tingling.
6/27/12 – Scans and x-rays coming July 3, always a nervous time. If all goes well as of July 16 it will be 8 years cancer free!
7/2/12 – Took the scans this morning and I’ll find out the results next Monday. I’ve taken the tests for so long at Mercy South Hospital that everyone knows me by name now. They have a fantastic staff there!!
7/11/12 Well the scans and tests all came back negative! July 16th it will be 8 years cancer free! I do have to go in for an in office surgery though this coming Monday. They are going to remove a mole that’s getting a bit dark. Wait and see on this one.
8/1/12 Finally got the results back on the removed mole. I can’t even begin to say the medical name of the mole but it was a bad mole. The biop showed that they did remove it all though! So it’s a good thing they removed it when they did. thank you for all the emails and words of encouragement!
Like Obama Care hasn’t cost me enough money, it rears its ugly head again! I have a Hoveround Mobility Chair which is basically my legs, don’t know what I would do without it! Before Obama Care, if I had an issue with the Hoveround I would call and they would come out and fix it. Now because of Medicare cuts due to Obama Care if I need tires, batteries, an arm rest or most anything else now they send me the parts and I have to install it! If I could and was able to change tires and batteries I wouldn’t need one! I told them being an amputee changing the 4 tires on it would be very difficult if not impossible, their reply don’t blame us blame Obama Care and it’s cuts to Medicare, they said I would to find someone to do it. Thank you Obama Care, you got me again! Go for my yearly Scans on July 3rd, hope everything comes back negative! It was 12 years ago on June 4th that I my left leg had to be amputated. It seems like a lifetime ago sometimes.
Waiting to go for my check-up at the Oncologist and to hear the results of my scans from July 3rd.
I went for my 6 month check-up at my Oncologist and everything came back clean! I’m very lucky to have found not only one the finest Oncologist but one of the friendliest and with a super staff! I’ve been seeing him since November of 1998. He’s helped through some really difficult times with not only Melanoma Cancer but a variety of aches and illnesses, proud to call him a friend. Anyway he read my scan reports and everything was negative on the Cancer front. This month almost to the very day marks my Anniversary of being Cancer Free also, 9 years! It’s been a struggle but I’m still here!
It’s September 9th and I have a Doctors appt. at 3:15 this afternoon. While taking a shower I came across a small lump near my right arm armpit. It’s near an injection site where I had injections for a year while in the cancer trial some years back. Hopefully that all it is, but with everything I’ve been through with Mealnoma it’s better safe than sorry. It’s weighing heavily on my mind so I’m glad my Doctor got me right in. Give everyone an update later today.
Went to my check-up and everything was good! The knot that I found was due to old injection site! So good news and a better night’s sleep tonight.
12/07/13 – Checkup tests have come back all looking good, Cholesterol, Sugar, and such. Thyroid count a bit off, increase meds for a while to adjust it!