Living with Melanoma

Some of you have probably noticed that I haven’t written a post for a while.  Reason being my health hasn’t been good as I have had Melanoma for the last nine years.

I will try to keep the details short.

2008 I had a small brown mark removed from my left shin, results came back that it was Melanoma and had grown into the dermis the 2nd layer of skin, which means that it had probably spread into my lymphatic system.  Also had a skin graft on my shin. One month later had eight of my lymph nodes removed from my groin and they found three of the nodes had cancer cells.  Then had 20 days of radiation on my groin.

Five years of no recurrence.

2013 I found a small lump on my shin, had surgery to remove it and another skin graft followed by 25 days of radiation.

2016 I found a large lump on the inside of my leg above my knee. Results from a pet scan showed that I had tumours sitting on my artery and vein in my groin.  I had an eight-hour surgery which involved a vein graft as surgeons were unable to remove the tumour from the vein, but they managed to remove the one from the artery.  Then I had extensive plastic surgery where a muscle was removed from my stomach and put into my groin, as I had tissue damage from earlier radiation and the muscle held everything in place.

Two months later I had a Pet scan as I was having a lot of pain in my back.  Results came back that I had a 5cm tumour in my stomach, cancer cells in my voice box, bowel and lymph nodes.  I started Keytruda Immunotherapy Treatment at the end of December and after 11 treatments (7 months) the results have been good.

My last CT scan showed tumour in my stomach had gone and all lymph nodes clear. My treatment has been temporarily canceled as I have a small problem with my kidneys which is a side effect of the treatment.

I have changed my diet cutting out sugar and dairy, don’t eat much meat and have I lost 9kg.

As I am now feeling healthier, hopefully, I will get back into the swing of things,  I miss blogging and my online friends.





Time Stands Still in Devonport, Auckland

Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand

Devonport is a harbour-side suburb of Auckland, and one of the earliest settled areas in New Zealand.  Daily ferries run  to downtown, Auckland City, which takes 10 minutes.

Last week I visited a friend of mine who lives in Devonport.  We went for a short walk and both took photos of  these lovely two storey Victorian Villa’s.  Built from the 1880’s to World War I, with kauri wood and tin roofs.

Most villa’s have a balcony/verdanda and are usually decorated with intricate lace work and finials.

Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand

Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand

Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge Time