March 2013

Realistic and optimistic at the same time

Sometimes I have difficulty figuring out how to do something until I am able to articulate just what needs to be done. My challenge this time is transitioning my focus from Robert’s 10-month (so far) fight against melanoma – surgery, recovery, deciding what treatment course to follow, and clinical trial of an experimental melanoma vaccine – to a less active battle against a recurrence of the disease.

Time for an adjustment

My life is at another crossroads, and I’m learning more about myself as I figure out where I’m going next. It’s another lesson in how we deal with uncertainty – something Robert and I do in very different ways. He is better able than I to face up to difficult situations as they occur. I am – have always been – better at dealing with challenges when I have time to think them through. And this challenge – getting on with our lives, post-melanoma vaccine trial – is a giant.

What's in a name?

My quest for a “name” for Robert’s melanoma came to an end today when we saw Dr. Lipson at Johns Hopkins Hospital. We were there for the one-month follow-up after Robert received the last of four sets of injections with the melanoma GVAX vaccine as part of a clinical trial at Hopkins. I hope my question today about whether Robert’s melanoma has been classified as “nodular” marks the last time I ask for a name.