September 4, 2018
A week out from my first immunotherapy treatment. Swollen lymph nodes on my neck with a little soreness, both of which are good signals that it’s working. Dr. Nik’s PA said I should see reduction in lymph nodes w/in 2 or 3 treatments, which are scheduled for every three weeks.
My next appointment is September 18.
A positive side effect: apparently I have bad sinuses, as evidenced by the MRI on my brain. The immunotherapy treatment is attacking that problem too, as I had a noticeable sinus headache the day after. Nothing a single advil couldn’t handle, and no problems since.
Spent the Labor Day weekend with former Ultimate teammates at Tate, my first visit to that beautiful spot in the north Georgia mountains, and it did not disappoint. Watching Birdy swim and play was too much – hard not to be happy while watching her. Looking at the Milky Way, watching shooting stars and an awesome moonrise with good food (thanks Johnny O and Tracy) plus laughter all around was perfect. Thanks Laird, Alexia, Charlie and Lisa too!
My friend Elizabeth got my dermatologist appointment moved up from September 24 to today, so we should be closer to honing in on the diagnosis of melanoma (or not). Her husband, Dr. Patrick Retterbush, working out of Dr. Lockman’s office, removed a small cell off of my back today for biopsy. We should get results w/in a week but he didn’t think it was the smoking gun for melanoma. I felt really good about the visit as he was thorough and explained exactly what he was doing along the way. Really appreciate Elizabeth’s help to get that done earlier than expected.
Meanwhile, my lymph nodes are off to Emory and Seattle for further analysis. It’s important to remember that none of this affects the treatment plan for now – just trying to track down the source; we know the make-up and it’s responsive with a high degree of certainty to the immunotherapy program.
Every person you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.