We met with Dr. Urba yesterday. Mark is doing great! He has been on the combination drugs, Tafinlar & Mekinist, for 4 months this round, and will continue. He has had no negative reactions. There are a couple of serious side-effects that we'll need to watch for. A particular heart problem is rare, but possible, so Mark will have an echocardiogram before our next appointment in November. These drugs can also cause retinal problems so he needs to see an opthamologist.
Dr. Urba indicated that he has heard of several patients who have been on these drugs for six years! (That's the longest possible since that's when the first trials were conducted.) In the future we may pulse the drugs (two months on, two months off) in hopes that it will extend its effectiveness. He won't go off again for very long because, as we have experienced, the tumors always come back. We're just thankful that these drugs are working so well!!!
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