Forward and back

I haven't had much to say over the last 10 days - we are still waiting for the appointment at Hopkins, and with Allison et al. visiting I haven't taken time to concentrate on melanoma. That was a welcome relief! But it doesn't mean nothing's been happening ... so here's an update.

The area of the wide local excision is coming along nicely now. The graft is starting to turn pink in some spots, and I can see the capillaries that Dr. Convit told Robert to visualize. There is one spot along one edge where there still needs to be some growth for the graft and original skin to come together, but it's less than a quarter inch in diameter. We are still coating the graft with bacitracin twice a day and keeping it covered, but we are down to once-weekly visits to WHC. I call that progress!

The graft donor site is another matter. Robert may have thought he was healing faster than he really was, and he overdid something - and popped out all the stitches last weekend. Last Monday's visit to Dr. Convit included a session of in-office stitching. This time, we will give it the attention it needs and deserves!

Our visit with Allison and her family was a wonderful diversion. Now we are back to figuring out what's next and trying to make good use of the time between now and our next appointment at Hopkins. We have reached out to two people close to us who can help us do that - our friend Eydie, whose husband's first wife died of melanoma many years ago and who is a top-level scientist in her own right, and our cousin Ilona, a pediatric dermatologist who knows the head of the Melanoma Center at Washington Hospital Center. Loren is in touch with some of the top people at the Melanoma Research Alliance to see if they can steer us to other trials we should consider.

The dilemma is this: as we consult with some of the top melanoma specialists, including Dr. Sharfman at Hopkins and the researchers who are doing some of the other clinical trials, how do we make sure the choice we make is the best one for Robert? We know the researchers have a vested interest in getting people to participate in their trials, and they may not be able to put Robert's best interests first in their minds. This will surely be a time of intense study and decision-making for us.

We encourage calls, particularly from happy voices, and are looking forward to a visit from our friend Peter this week. I'll try to post here more often, when we have something to share.