After Mark had been on the drugs, Tafinlar & Mekinist for a couple of weeks the pain in his abdomen subsided so we knew the meds were working again - shrinking the tumors! YEA!! He had been on them for 7-8 weeks when he started having some discomfort in his abdomen again. Because the pressure/mild pain was in the same location we assumed it must be the tumors growing again. If they were growing while he was on the medicine that meant one thing - the cancer had found a way around these drugs so they would no longer be effective. A pall settled over us as we thought of what the future could be. Mark e-mailed Dr. Urba to let him know. Dr. Urba said that he listens to his patients, but he really listens to Mark because he has always been right. While he/we don't like to have PET scans done so often, it would be necessary if we were to proceed to another treatment. Last Tuesday, June 30th Mark had the scan. Within an hour of its completion Dr. Urba called with the wonderful news that the tumors were gone!!! Mark indicated to him that he had never been so happy to be wrong! We don't know what caused the discomfort, but it's not the cancer! How relieved and delighted we are!!!
Today we are celebrating our 37th wedding anniversary. How well we remember our hope that he would make it for our 35th. Today we are especially grateful to be together!
We are well aware of others who are not having the same positive results and our hearts ache for them. Perhaps Mark had the pain to help us to be more sensitive and empathetic. We also know that it could happen to us at any time. These drugs are not supposed to cure, only stall, and we don't know for how long. We are learning to enjoy the time we have together each day!
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