Happy 4th of July - I am Drug FREE

HAPPY 4th OF JULY!!!

 

Update on me....

 

I am officially Drug Free!

As most of you know, I'm now 5 1/2 years into Targeted Therapy, first just the BRAF inhibitor, and then both the BRAF and MEK inhibitor. 5 & 1/2 years.....Recently I've been having eye problems. The diagnosis is Uveitiis. According to the docs, fewer than 2% get this, so I guess that makes me one of the lucky ones! 

Anyway, it appears that the Targeted Therapy drugs are causing this, and its taking a terrible toll on my vision. My choices are simple - chance losing my vision in that eye all together or go off of Targeted Therapy drugs. I made my decision - I'm going to go off my drugs......

I had a PET scan this week and I'm still clear of active cancer, so that makes my choice easier. And I'm looking forward to dropping my "vampire" status (stay out of the sun due to sun sensitivity), too!

I'll keep you apprised of my progress with regards to both the melanoma and the eye issues. Remember - if the melanoma comes back, I can always go back on the drugs. I just have to be more vigilant going forward...

I hope you all enjoy this beautiful summer! And don't worry - I'll still keep you up to date with new developments on whats going on in the fun filled world of melanoma!

 

It is that time of year again when there is a lot of fun in the sun happening.  

 

Remember when you are getting ready to run out to the beach to catch that wave or dive in to the pool or just plan hang outside. SPF and lots of it -- don't be like me and strive for that warm tropic glow. It is just not worth it. Over worshipping of the sun landed me years of treatment and $100,000's in medial bills. 

Be smart and think about it / me. If I can save one life it will all be worth it.  

Prevention Tips:

  • Have a yearly skin exam (no matter your age).
  • Wear any sunscreen SPF 30 broad spectrum coverage or better.
  • Wear hats.
  • Wear Sun Protective clothing.
  • Wear sun glasses.
  • Schedule outdoor activities when the sun is low in the sky.
  • Seek shade when possible (10 a.m. and 4 p.m high sun).
  • Don’t burn. One blistering sunburn doubles your chances of developing melanoma later in life.
  • Avoid intentional tanning and indoor tanning beds.
  • Get plenty of Vitamin D.  You don’t need the sun for this. 

Written by : Cheryl Stratos

Melanoma Research Foundation

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