I had an in office appointment with Dr. Mashru, my medical oncologist today. That’s the first time we have been in the same room in many months. My blood work has been fine for all those months which is wonderful. My recent scans showed one new small melanoma nodule in my lung. That new nodule prompted him to change from pausing immunotherapy after Wednesday’s session to continuing them through the end of June. Then there will be another scan and another consultation.
I am still trying to assess my reaction to this new nodule. It doesn’t really concern me, but any new growth must get serious attention, which Dr. Mashru is giving it.
At Sherry’s request I had Dr. Mashru take a look at a rough spot on my back. He looked carefully, gave a initial suggestion that the skin lesion was a skin cancer of some kind (not melanoma), took a picture and sent it to my Dermatologist. She soon messaged me saying it looks like a “seborrheic keratosis” which is a scary phrase. But she also noted that Dermatologists refer to these benign growths as “barnacles” 😊 So I laughed, thanked her, telling her I am looking forward to my July appointment where she will give me a complet skin check.
I have to admit my bigger emotion is toward Joy Love’s Saturday wedding in Stanfield with Donn and Elizabeth coming from Kansas City and Cyndee coming from Cannon Beach.
My 42nd Western Seminary commencement on Friday and Saturday was a wonderful event. As MABL program founding director, I get to hood all the graduates in the program. There are so many stories in this group of men and women, including two babies born to students this semester. Very productive time.
We celebrated our anniversary in a different way: I got out of town early so we never talked face to face! We did talk by phone as I headed off to participate in the Exiles in Babylon Conference in Boise, part of the pre-conference conversation on Women in Church Leadership. You can hear my view on Preston Sprinkle’s Theology in the Raw podcast: here. I have a lot of material on this website in the “Exiles in Babylon” and “Women in Leadership” buttons.
We headed to Salty’s on the Columbia for our anniversary dinner as soon as I arrived at the airport on Saturday. It was marvelous as usual, though the rainy day meant no beautiful sunset for our dining pleasure.
We headed to the coast Sunday morning, to the Ester Lee Motel (of course!!). It’s been our spot for many anniversaries. This time they had all the paper work including our car and license plate number already filled out when we arrived! It has a wonderful cliffside view of the rocky coastline and the ocean. The problem is that the ocean is eroding the cliff and I have to wonder how long it will survive (!!)
We did a lot of relaxing as well as looking. I was able to go down to the Yaquina Head Lighthouse tide pools at a very low tide and see the ocean critters – including a bunch of seals who have moved into the neighborhood.
One of the very fun things is to see our name in lights!! Well, not exactly in lights, but out on the main highway so everyone can rejoice with us
We had our special coast dinner at Gracie’s Sea Hag on a sunny Tuesday evening over looking Depoe Bay. It was marvelous. The celebration ended with breakfast at Otis Cafe
Infusion and Cancer Prospects
We drove back to Portland and I went to my afternoon immunotherapy infusion. All my blood numbers were great and the infusion went quickly and without any problems of any kind.
I have an in office appointment with Dr. Mashru on Monday, April 24 and final infusion scheduled on Wednesday, April 26. He used the word “done” in our last conversation. There will be follow up blood work, scans, and appointments. Hopefully they will confirm that I am in the 30% of patients for whom the Nivolumab immunotherapy eradicates the melanoma. In the meantime, I have full energy and strength and love what I do!