Late February of 2012 Mark was diagnosed with stage 4 Metastatic Melanoma Cancer. This is written for our family and friends who have so caringly expressed a desire to know of the current situation. We so appreciate the love and support that has been shown to us and we lovingly empathize with and pray for many of you that have had or are currently going through trials of your own. In love, hope and faith, Mark and Ane

Friday, June 13, 2014

I got whomped on! - by Mark

Two nights ago I was up much of the night with fever and chills.  I was shivering for over an hour no matter how many blankets Ane put on me. I ached all over and couldn't get comfortable.  Fevers and chills are the most common side effect of the new meds we are on, but we have not had any since we started them over two months ago.  I had just been telling some friends how amazing these drugs are as I have had no noticeable side effects.  Now we were both wondering how long we would have to endure this.

Ane looked on the internet at other's experiences with these drugs and found this not unusual.  She also noted that some had gotten off the meds for a few days and then back on with much improvement.  So I didn't take them the next morning and emailed Dr. Urba.  Even though he was at a conference he got right back with us and said it was fine to get off the meds for a few days but it might not be a side effect. It might be an infection of some sort and we might want to see our regular physician.

Our family doctor got us in that day and after several tests, wasn't sure what it was but wanted to try some antibiotic, to see if it would help or not.

Today was a whole new world.  All the pain, fever and chills went away.  Wow, what we take for granted can so quickly change.  So I am staying on the antibiotic for 10 days and starting up the meds again Monday morning.

We still don't know what it was/is but for now things are much better.

Thank you again for your warm support, good thoughts, faith and prayers.

Friday, June 6, 2014

He Feels Great! -by Ane

It's been almost two months since Mark started the new meds - Tafinlar and Mekinist.  One is a new version of the BRAF inhibitor that he took before and the other is a MEK inhibitor.  The combination is working amazingly well!  We know the tumor in his adrenal gland shrunk right away since it stopped hurting within days of starting the medications.  In another month or so Mark will have some type of scan to see the status of the tumors.

The side effects have been minimal - so much better than with Zelboraf.  There is hardly any sun sensitivity or skin growths that were such an issue before.  He has experienced some joint pain, but not much.  That didn't happen with the Zelboraf for several months, so some of the side effects don't show up right away.  It seems that his hair is thinning, but not too much yet.  He started losing weight and lost about seven pounds, but that has stabilized now.

All in all Mark feels GREAT and nothing slows him down!