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I just returned from infusion #5 for the clinical trial for lambrolizumab. My doctor says Roscoe is shrinking so we will definitely continue on for another six weeks then reevaluate with scans. I read the MRI report but it was the most confusing thing I have ever seen and I just gave up and filed it away. Apparently it’s difficult to take measurements from a series of pictures of something inside a three dimensional moving object (the heart) especially when the object itself is three dimensional and mobile as well (the tumor) and then you need to compare it against another such set which is very similar, but not exactly the same.

My chest/abdominal/pelvic CT was otherwise all clear of cancer. Completely stable compared to three months ago. Awesome. Also amazing was getting to meet a very brave new cancer survivor who connected to our St Henry’s group through my blog, and I saw one of my melanoma pen pals get her first infusion of lambrolizumab here at Vanderbilt.

I’ve gotten to know a few fellow melanoma warriors, people that I email with back and forth over the miles, and she has been a real blessing and become a true friend.

Last but certainly not least I have all three of my chicks back in the nest and we had a beautiful family photograph made. Because, well, you just never know.

I’m going into the clinic weekly again to have my blood work checked and address my complicatedness which seems to now include blood transfusions (2 units) every two weeks. I’m not happy about those but my Dr says not to worry so I won’t. My hemoglobin keeps dropping, which makes it harder for my heart to pump, so they just keep topping me off.

Of course the heart scan was not the resounding success story of incredible shrinkage I was hoping to hear and on top of that I’ve had trouble with my blood pressure and my breathing this week. I’d like to get back out of the woods far enough to see that little glimmer of sunshine in the clearing beyond the trees. There is always tomorrow. And besides. It’s MELANOMA, IN my HEART. Any shrinking, stability, or even slowing down melanoma is a big V for victory. I feel fragile but optimistic. The past has only shown me that as difficult as my road may be, there is no reason not to hope. Sometimes though, I want to get on the roof and scream.

One more day, One more week, One more month. None of us knows.

I never forget that each day I am here is a miracle and I am humbled and thankful to God.

Wishing each of you peace,