I’ve been living in a state of blessed NEDness for just over 10 years after treatment for Stage IIIc melanoma. But according to my oncologist and a recent study I’m not completely out of the woods and never will be.
Researchers at the John Wayne Cancer Institute found in a study of over 4,700 melanoma patients that the recurrence rates were 6.8 percent 15 years after initial treatment and 11.3 percent at 25 years. Principal investigator Dr. Mark Faries summed up the study results with this stark news for all of us living in NEDland:
“It appears that the risk of melanoma recurrence is never completely gone. One change that should result from our study is that people need to be followed up for life with a physician after a diagnosis of melanoma.”
So I’m committed to a plan of lifelong follow-up, and I hope you are too. Because we’re living at The Hotel Melanoma, where you can check out any time you like but you can never leave.
Hoping that I can always afford to stay insured until I reach the age of Medicare-eligibility, I’ll sign off with a new rendition of The Grateful Dead’s “Sugar Magnolia”…
Lurker mel’noma, blossoms blooming, NED for twenty and C don’t care,
Got my Ray C down by a sliver, knew C'd have to come up soon for air.
‘Sweet’ blossom done gone, under the chemo, we can have fine times if you'll just hide
We can discover the wonders of great cure, rolling in the toxics down by the clinic side.
C's got everything be frightful, C's got everything I grieve,
Makes me squeal when I'm seeing trouble, pay my clinic when I need.
C comes skimmin' through waves of violence, C can wade in a drop of you,
C might come and I want followed, waits backstage while I sing to you.
Well, C can dance a Cajun rhythm, jump like a Willys in four wheel drive.
C's a summer ‘love’ for spring, fall and winter. C can make crappy any man alive.
Lurker mel’noma, ringing that blue bell, caught up in scan light, come on out swinging
I'll block you in the sunshine, come on ‘honey’, come stay gone from me.
C's got everything be frightful, C’s got everything I grieve,
The ‘screen’s on my hide in the summer night moonlight,
Ray C’s in the sunlight, yes indeed.
Sometimes when the cuckoo's crying, when the moon is half way down,
Sometimes when the night is dying, I take C out and I wonder around, I wonder
Sunshine, ray ‘screen, stalking in salon pleas, going where the skin glows
Blooming like a red rose, peeling’s so freaky,
Hide from singe thing, I'll block you in the morning sunshine
Sunshine, ray ‘screen. Sunshine, ray ‘screen. Blocking in the sunshine.