A Cure?


There are several big stories this weekend.  I think the most important, in the long run, is the fact that former President Jimmy Carter has announced that he is cancer free. Not only that, but the implications are staggering – for us all.  There is now officially a cure for advanced melanoma brain mets.  For me, personally, it says that I will not die from melanoma.  Having had an insitu diagnosed in 1997, I am waiting for the second primary to pop up, usually about 20 years after the first.


Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 6.24.01 PMThe broader implications are staggering.  I’ve been reading up on the treatment Jimmy Carter has received, and have been following the progress of it for quite a few years now.  One of the most horrific cancer diagnosis out there is that of brain cancer.  When hereditary, it is absolutely lethal.  With melanoma it has been lethal.  One of the reasons I quit working on melanoma forums and working with people who have it is because of the people I know who died from brain mets.

Dierdre Mark and I had become very good friends.  She was part of a trial for brain mets.  We emailed back and forth the morning she went in for a treatment.  Four hours later she was dead.  Her death was very difficult for me.  It showed me my eventual future.

I’ve never been a Jimmy Carter fan.  Today, thought, I am celebrating him!  I think he has done more, with the public announcement of his late stage brain mets, treatment, and now cancer free to save lives than any war on terror.  The implication for other brain cancers is also exciting.  I am currently doing a heck of a lot of praying for my favorite opera singer, Dmitri Hvorostovsky who is dealing with a cancerous brain tumor.  This is good news for him, and for his family.

It is wonderful news for us all!  I think it may be an interesting time in opera.  We are constantly hearing about singers who are being diagnosed with brain cancers.  Maybe we have a cure for brain mets which aren’t melanoma.