A Good Day

February 19th, 2010

Friends and Family,

Without a doubt, today is one of the best days of my life.

This says a lot, considering that I have experienced the absolute worst days of my life this past year and a half.

I met with Dr. Hwu today in Houston. It was scan results time. I had been particularly nervous about my brain MRI results because I had not had a brain scan in a few months. Also, the GSK drug has not shown much success in the brain. So, as my mom’s and my heart pounded out of our chests, he delivered us the news that we both had been fearing and anticipating for weeks. “Your brain looks great!” My mom and I both let out a big sigh, and for once, tears of joy.

The results showed the tumors/lesions in my brain have ALL reduced in size. You have to look extremely close to see the very small faint shape they now take. Dr. Hwu even said that if he was handed the scan and didn’t know it was mine, he would say its a normal brain, thats how faint they are. He even called me a melanoma “pioneer.”

I also had a chest, abdomen and pelvis CT scan including my lungs, and the results there were even better. A few lesions have COMPLETELY gone away and again, as in the brain, what is left is very small and fading fast.

It is so easy to blog when the news is good. For so long I have been handed blow after blow. Or, I would get good news mixed with bad news. Well, now I have received good news two times in a row and it feels incredible.

While I experience this incredible high, I must acknowledge that I have been carried here on the shoulders of my fellow melanoma warriors, who are now my melanoma Angels. My two good friends Karie Schlukebir and Blaine Duhon lost their battles with this ugly beast a few weeks ago. They were my inspiration, my guides, my mentors and my strength throughout this entire process, and they will continue to be.

Thank you so much Karie and Blaine for your camaraderie, support and inspiration. I WILL run that marathon we spoke about doing together, and you both will be with me when I cross the finish line. Karie, I will fulfill our promise to educate young athletes and students about the dangers of the sun and skin cancer. You will be standing right by my side.

Karie and Blaine were truly a blessing in my life and I know they were for so many others. I am so thankful to have been a part of their lives. God Bless them, and both of their amazing families.

As I did last month, I am celebrating today’s news cautiously, but celebrating none the less. As my doctor said, I am in uncharted waters here with this drug trial and I know that this crazy roller coaster ride can take a sudden turn at any minute. So, with that in mind, I will continue to live every day to its fullest, and I hope that you all do the same. And please, always remember awareness is key. Spread the word.

Love yourself. Love one another.

Life is good today.

-Andy

 

Posted by andy in His Own Words