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Three Things I Noticed After Being Diagnosed With Melanoma

Updated: Feb 9, 2020

Everyone seems to have the cure for cancer

Alternative treatments are fantastic if they are used in conjunction with proven treatments and I am most definitely applying several to my entire treatment plan. But the likelihood of your favorite method curing cancer is small.

Cancer is heterogeneous and you cannot treat all cancers the same. So there will never be one thing that works for everyone. There is no cure all. All of the advice comes from a good place regardless and I do appreciate the input even if it’s bananas.

Medical care is astonishingly insufficient at most institutions here in America

The lack of knowledge from our medical professionals really needs to be addressed.

I’m not sure how, but perhaps ensuring that they learn how to actually read science in school and not get their information from handouts would be a nice start (being a smart ass here).

Not sure if we can teach critical thought either, but we need to start trying. Not everyone is a poorly done statistic and no one has a time stamp on their foot. All cancer does not follow a linear path and medical professionals have a hard time understanding this fact.

This isn’t black or white “all doctors are” statement — I have many friends that are medical professionals that utilize critical thought, and do stay up to date with the literature — but again, it isn’t the norm.

Time is an issue for these busy professionals too, and I have the upmost compassion for this flaw in our system. There needs to be some way to draw upon the importance of scanning the current literature for more than five minutes, while also being able to make the money they need to pay off those asinine loans.

These humans are looked at as authoritative. Most of the population trusts them to make decisions regarding their treatments and life. Therefore they have the responsibility to stay up to date on the research even if time is limited.

Also something to note; many, not all, seem to have an inflated ego that makes it impossible for them to take in new information that challenges their belief paradigm. If it wasn’t taught in school it doesn’t exist to many of them.

With all that said — I’m fairly certain I found my main squeeze for addressing this cancer situation. He is brilliant, is one of the main clinical researchers for immunotherapy, and can say “I don’t know” which is a direct reflection of having an ego that is in check. I like him a lot and he’s a wonderful role model for many in the medical profession.

Melanoma is not the type of skin cancer y’all think it is

I empathize, because I thought it was just something that happens to old people too after a lifetime of sun and shitty lifestyle habits.

Ya, no... Melanoma is the leading cause of skin cancer deaths worldwide and cannot be confused with BCC or SCC. Both of which are highly curable.

Melanoma is not just skin cancer — it is an aggressive, unpredictable, and dangerous cancer that often metastasizes throughout the body organs if not caught early enough.

The type of melanoma I have is commonly seen in children. It can occur in children with or without sun exposure. I had ZERO symptoms, felt phenomenal, and just had an aesthetically annoying skin colored “mole”.

Some meaty details of my personal situation; I am homozygous for a deletion on chromosome 9p21. Polymorphisms on chromosome 9p21 are associated with coronary artery disease, diabetes, and multiple cancers including melanoma. So hai fam please stay up to date on your dermatology appointments.

We are also testing BRAF, another mutation commonly observed in melanoma patients — that will determine my treatment. Waiting for pathology reports has been the shittiest part of this entire experience.

So ya. Point is; this isn’t something minor, and no I’m not in the clear. I have stage three as of now. We still haven’t done the CT scan or MRI to ensure it hasn’t spread to organs.

Regardless the risk of it reoccurring and coming back as stage four is quite high.

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