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I have just been diagnosed with Stage IV melanoma after a brain tumor was removed a couple of weeks ago and a CT scan revealed several spots on my lungs (I won’t know the extent of the lung tumors or the treatment plan until I meet with an oncologist on July 28th). In 2008, I had a melanoma removed from my back along with the sentinel nodes under both arms. The nodes came back negative and there was no additional therapy advised. I thought I was totally out of the woods until now. I was shocked to see the survival statistics for Stage IV, so I am seeking out as many survival stories as possible to inspire me to get my game face on. Although I am 57, I have a 17-year-old daughter that I just cannot leave so soon. I retired from the Air National Guard in 2008, and am very grateful for the wonderful career that I had. I would so much love to be able to enjoy some years of my retirement and helping my daughter grow into adulthood.

Sept 2011 – After a few appointments with my oncologist, Dr. Rajappa, both of us came to the conclusion that Yervoy would be the best first course of action since my mets had been stable for three months (except there was a new met in my liver). I had my first infusion with fairly minimal side effects and will have the second infusion on October 17th.

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Initial Diagnosis Month


Initial Diagnosis Year


Stage at Diagnosis

Stage 1

Current Stage

Stage 4