Crappy news

There is no easy way to say this, so here goes: about two weeks ago, Stefano’s father was diagnosed with Stage III invasive melanoma, based on the biopsy of an itsy bitsy spot on his cheek, which, he said, didn’t bother him in the least but was “wet.” As soon as the biopsy results came in, my father-in-law was scheduled for more invasive surgery (=next week). Last week, therefore, he had a bunch of pre-surgery tests.

Then on Thursday my father-in-law went to see the oncologist/surgeon, Dr. G. (one of the best in Florence), who gave him the results of the CAT Scan: unfortunately, the cancer has spread to his lungs…

Stefano has been home all week with a bad case of bronchitis, which is being treated with heavy duty antibiotic injections and cortisone. And now…this bad news about his father…

Eh, I won’t hide that this has been a very difficult period for us…

Anyway, I have a few reasons for writing about this today.

1. I may find it difficult to answer all of my blog messages and contacts. I answered a whole bunch this morning, but it isn’t easy for me to concentrate these days, as you can imagine.

2. I won’t be doing any myeloma-related research in the next few days, unless something really spectacular falls into my lap. My focus, at least in the next couple of weeks, must be on melanoma. My father-in-law has asked me to go with him to see a second oncologist, Dr. P., on February 16th. Incidentally, Dr. G. personally made this appointment (= three big cheers for the Italian public health service!!! First-rate work!).

Dr. P. apparently treats melanoma without using chemotherapy or radiotherapy or even surgery…we are not sure what he is going to suggest for my father-in-law, but I am going to ask for his opinion of curcumin and other things that I hope to uncover in the next week or so. I will be taking heaps of studies with me, of course. Never go to a doctor’s appointment empty-handed…

3. Finally, I would like to make an appeal…in particular to my blog readers with melanoma: please get in touch with me, especially if you are taking anything non toxic that has been beneficial. I really need your help, here…thank you so very much!!!

P.S. On a lighter note, our new kitten has been THE best possible treatment against depression and sadness. And to think that we adopted her just a few days before receiving the bad news about my father-in-law…talk about odd coincidences! Anyway, she is a laugh-out-loud little creature. Let me give you an example: yesterday, while Stefano and I were lying down after lunch, she came to sit on my chest and began licking my nose…then she opened her little mouth as wide as possible so as to fit most of my nose into it (obviously I do not have a big nose!)…and then, CHOMPPP!, she bit down hard before I could stop her…OUCH! Stefano and I both burst into laughter…

In addition to doing the cute and funny things that most kittens do, she is also a real sweetheart. She happily lay in my lap for hours yesterday as I played cards with my father-in-law. She also loves to lie on Stefano’s chest (or mine), purring, making funny faces and getting him to smile…and believe me, we don’t have much to smile about these days…


  1. Oh my, Margaret, what agonizing news. No doubt he is in for some very taxing treatment if it has gone to his lungs. I hope they don’t find any other met sites.

    No wisdom here. Just empathy. He is fortunate to have you and Stefano to help him through the health care maze. Take care, Don

  2. Only my caring and my prayers to offer, so sorry to hear your news. I remember your writing at Christmas about good times with your husband’s father.

    Later, when you have energy, there are some interesting sites if your Google “cats bite humans” or some such phrase.

    Blessings and best wishes for you all.

  3. Metastases to skin and lungs have a better prognosis. Metastases to brain, bone and liver are associated with a worse prognosis.

  4. That is sad news, Margaret.

    I’ll keep checking in. I hope you get a chance to blog about Dr. P’s treatments. I’m curious. Here in the US chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery are the norm.

  5. Sweet Margaret, My heart goes out to you, Stefano and your father in law during this stressful time. I will see if I can find any info that might be helpful and send it your way. Please know that our prayers are with you. With Love, Debi

  6. Please go back and look at grouppekurosawa for studies on Methyl Jasmonate. It can be inhaled and is very effective against many types of cancers, especially lung tumors.

    Even though Dr. Martin passed away last year, MJ is still available online from several websites.

  7. hi, I was reading your site because of the green tean refs and saw this, I am sorry for this neys, I am living with a stage IV melanoma diagnosis since dec 09, I am 39 has two young kids…so it is bad juju this cancer. Best advice I can give you, mindful meditation AND look at the melanoma international foundation website and see the forums, Catherine Poole who is the founder can help you find something NONTOXIC with help of scientific board. The IT thing in melanoma are immunotherapy, cancer vaccines, these might I guess be considered non toxic, I did a trial on a vaccine made from my own cells and though it did not work for me it has for others. On the I guess more toxic side there is a drug called IPILIMUMAB which might soon become available on compassionate use, gives responses of 30% and the latest sexy B-RAF inhibitor drug called PLX 4032 developed by ROCHE and PLEXICON, ask oncologist if his tumor can be tested to se if he has the BRAF genetic mutation, IF he does this drug can give responses of 80%, NEVER seen in melanoma. There is a trial recruiting in Paris NOW, and being Italian he could get the form E112 to get health treatment in france. Of course, these are all therapies that may have side effects…but woth asking about.
    Good luck

  8. Hi, Margaret
    I’ve just started reading your blog. I met a woman about 3 years ago who treated her own melanoma and is here today to talk about it. It was in her thigh. She used black salve. I’ll have to google it- she showed me pictures of what it did. Melanoma has tentacles much like jelly fish. Anyway, she continued to put the black salve on the site. It took a few weeks and soon the spot started pulling away from the skin, making a hole- sounds weird, I know, but I saw the pictures in person and her scar. This is for real. I don’t have her name but will try to get it for you. She raved about this product. I’ll send more as soon as I try to find it. Her husband a year later had a squamous cell carcinoma on his forehead- used the same stuff- it leaves a deep impression where the cancer once was but both are alive and well.

  9. Thank you for the IP6 sources. I’m going to follow your great example and do some searching around for more info, but it sounds good.
    Meanwhile, your father-in-law couldn’t have a better person on his team than you. You’re all in my thoughts.

  10. Margaret,
    I’ve missed a few days of reading your blog! I just read about your dear father-in-law! I’m so sorry to hear of this news! I have no words of wisdom to share, only my concerns and best wishes for your father-in-law and family.

  11. Margaret,
    first of all I have to tell you that I am enjoying your blog, it is so informative and easy to read.
    I am a Norwegian living in Arizona. I was diagnosed with prostate cancer about 20 months ago. I had surgery and after cancer relaps, I had radiation and hormone treatment.
    Yesterday I had my first check up and the PSA level is less than 0.1 ng/ml which is undetectable ….Hurray!!
    Anyhow, thoughout the process I did a number of dietary changes and I have decided that I would like to add curcumin to my regiment as a preventive measure. I was thinking maybe 4 grams would be suitable. Do you think that is an appropriate amount?
    I have been reading about the issue of absorption. If I understand it correctly, curcumin disolves best in oil and through this medium can more efficiently enter the system.
    Since I am on the Budwig diet (flaxseed and flaxseed oil mixed with fat free cottage cheese) I was wondering if maybe this would be a good way take the curcumin?
    Dr. Budwig went into long explainations on the molecular level why the oil had to be so thorougly blended with the cheese – otherwise it wouldn’t be properly absorbed. She was very ‘militant’ about this aspect and clearly meant it was the key.
    Have you had this discussion before? Do you know if anyone tested the curcumin added to the Budwig diet?

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