Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Good news Week 4

**Quick update** Thank you to my awesome support crew! CT body scan yesterday at MDA showed NO NEW BODY CANCER! This is common with melanoma and it returns 70-90% of the time. I am doing everything I can to stop it including the Yervoy which was done yesterday also. Friday is another procedure to clean up the tumor bed site in my brain with some radiation.

This week makes my 30th day since diagnosis of stage 4 malignant melanoma cancer. It is challenging to say those words and many days I am still in denial because I feel pretty good, generally have no impact from brain surgery and I look OK from the outside. Most people have no clue how serious this is, my wife and I are still in denial. I hope feeling good continues as I start my first treatment of YERVOY tomorrow and have brain radiation (Gamma Knife) scheduled for Friday at Barrows.

Erin and I had a great weekend playing in San Diego as we are trying to fit as much life in as possible in a short time. What would you do if you knew you had a high probability of dying? How would you spend your time? What would you say to your friends and loved ones? We had 6 hours both directions to discuss life and the possibilities of the "what ifs". What would you say to your young wife about continuing forward? Not comfortable conversations I EVER expected to have to have at 44 years old. Erin and I are an amazing match and I never thought this love existed until we found each other 3+ years ago.

This disease is wicked. You can have no outward symptoms, no warning signs, and it is attacking you internally. We figured out I have had cancer for over a year, ever since I went to the Dr. March 2013 and asked about a lump under my arm. He said after ordering a few tests without anything suspicious, "if you were my son, I wouldn't do anything about it unless it changes". I continued on with life. I trained, competed in the 2013 CrossFit Games and finished 16th in the world...all with cancer. Little did I know I was in trouble. Little did I know I was doing everything RIGHT, went to the Dr., did regular check-ups, physicals, had my skin and lump checked by dermatologists in November, had moles taken off and biopsied, went back to the Dr. to have it looked at AGAIN in March (3rd Dr.) and was told nothing. It took the 4th Dr. to find it. But I was one of the 10% of the population who does not have a primary cancer site. There was NO WAY TO KNOW until it was too late and it spread to my brain. Should I be mad? At who? I am mad at the disease and this mutation that occurred with hopes the Dr's and my body can find a way to keep me alive.

I am still not able to exercise much at all. I am fighting daily depression, doing my best to stay out of the rabbit holes and fight the gut wrenching feeling that the clock is ticking and I cant stop it. The Yerovy treatment over the next 12 weeks is a staggering $120k and may or may not do anything. This is the first treatment option and there are also clinical trials I am looking at including PD-1.

Thank you for all the support, love, messages, company, food, hugs, pictures, cards and donations. This is truly a team sport and I will never be able to thank you for all you have already given.

Stay positive and never give up!
Much Love, Jason & Erin Fine

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