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The Wrath of Melanoma

Forums General Melanoma Community The Wrath of Melanoma

  • Post
    Charlie S

      Quick history.   Dx'd 1987 Stage III unknown primary first appearing as a lump in armpit which  turned out to be hot lymph nodes.  Big surgery.  Fooled around with Lax cell therapy in clinical trials.

      Then silence for nine years until 1996 and had new lumps, more surgery,  did a year of Interferon, held for a year then was Stage IV , long story short 12 years of recurrence , about that many surgeries and around 60 some infusions of IL2 in addition to the 144 of Inteferon and 12 years later in 2008 had my last surgery for Melanoma.

      In between all of that I met a lady from this board, Kim Hanley, who was from Iowa and although I was from North Carolina we became starstruck.  She was Stage III and finishing up Interferon.

      Kim died in my arms in 2006 due to complications of melanoma..

      Right after she died, one of my best  friends of more than  20 some years emailed me with a pathology report that he wanted me to help him with:  Stage 2AMelanoma  it turned out and he had surgery that took big margins..  Melanoma laid in quiet.

      Eleven years later in 2017 my friend had what he thought was a ingrown hair dx'd as melanoma.  He had nine rounds of radiation.

      Now, in 2019, just two days ago  had a scan and is hospice with mets in his liver, both lungs, spine, neck and brain with a maybe three to four week  life expectancy.

      What really troubles me in all of this is some years ago I openly declared, taunted and challenged on this board for melanoma to give me it's best shot.

      It never ooccured to me at the time it would go after my friends.

      I hate this disease; it has haunted me and hovered over me for thirty two years and even though it is not in my body it is still so much in my heart, mind , soul and very essence.


      Charlie S




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          Oh, Charlie!!  I have held you in my heart so often…in your active periods on this forum and in your silence.  You have meant so much to so many.  I am CERTAIN there are hundreds for every ONE of us who have communicated with you directly.  You have made me laugh out loud.  You have made me think.  You have shared your hurt and your tears.  Thanks for sharing ALL of it.  Yes.  "I hate this disease; it has haunted me and hovered over me for thirty two years and even though it is not in my body it is still so much in my heart, mind, soul and very essence."  I know.  Since entering melanoma world myself 16 years ago, I too have experienced such hurts and losses of dear ones to this horrible disease.  We have made great strides in melanoma treatment, but there is so much that we fail to understand.  I wish peace and love filled days for your friend.  I wish you my very best – always.  Celeste


            Hi Charlie,

            This is a brutal disease and you and the beast have gone many rounds both personally and with those you love and have loved you.  I'm so sorry to hear about your friend.  But it sure is nice to "hear" your voice.  I came to the board 5 years ago when my husband seemed to be facing a poor prognosis, and yours was one of the first posts I read and I was drawn to your irreverence towards melanoma (George Carlin is my spirit animal, that says it all).  Your posts made me laugh and smile, which as you know is priceless.  please don't worry, it did nothing to cause anything regarding your friend, unfortunately, statistically, this disease is really devestating as the rates have been going up for decades.  It is just ridiculous and you have embraced those with the disease instead of turning away, that's a big deal and at a high emotional cost.

            As a bit of a negative person, I'm always waiting for the other shoe to drop, it sucks.

            just glad you are still around.  holding your friend in my heart.



                Oh Charlie, I am so sorry about your friend, but so very happy to see this from you!  When I was first diagnosed in 2010, one of the first posts I saw was your "Roll Call for the Undead"!  Geez, that one gave me hope, which there wasn't tons of back then.  Throughout the years your occasional irreverent comments have cracked me up and your advice has been much appreciated.  It has been a while since we have heard from you, so one worries…  Please stay in touch.  We miss you!  I am so grateful you are here!!!



                Hi Charlie,

                Yes, this disease truly sucks. 

                Yes, melanoma gave you its best shot and you know what? You kicked its ass. Long term survivors like you show the rest of it that kicking melanoma's ass can be done. 

                I am sorry that it took people from you with whom you were close. They were blessed to have had you as a part of their lives just as we are blessed to have you here.

                As a fellow-melanoma-unknown-primary-with-an-armpit-lump survivor, I have a few more years to go before I will catch up to you. But your posts continue to inspire me and others on this board.


                  I am so terribly sorry, Charlie. Sometimes words can’t express the hurt and the pain this disease brings, but you eloquently did just that. You carry the burden of survivorship, and that weighs heavy on the heart and soul. I hope you find peace and healing for both you and your loved ones.



                    No mincing words, melanoma sucks!  It took my brother in 2016 and is working hard to take me too.  I’m focused now on trying to outlive my Mom so she doesn’t have to deal with losing two kids.  She’s 84 and going strong so it’s a challenge for me.  While it is true that we all die one day, the timing and process can really be messed up.  In the meantime, we do the best we can.



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