Laser Cut Frames For Model Boats Set Aside While I Fight My Melanoma
www.reliablecounter.com
hip hop mastering

MILTON THRASHER'S IN-TRANSIT METASTACIZED MELANOMA TREATMENTS

First of all, for those who have any cancer and live in the vicinity of Sarasota, FL, be aware that there is a wonderful support group at Lakewood Ranch that provides all manner of support and information. Go online to www.centerforbuildinghope.org and provide your contact information with they type of cancer you want to know more about. They will have a qualified person call you and tell you of the many services they provide that are specific to your situation. I have attended about 5 sessions of Patient Support Groups and found them extremely helpful.

Yesterday by coincidence, when taking my first KEYTRUDA infusion, Julie, the moderator of two sessions I attended was taking Chemotherapy at the FL Cancer Specialists in Sarasota and the lady volunteer who was providing things to patients was the receptionist at the Lakewood Ranch Center for Building Hope that I met the day before. What a small world it is after all!

I had my first infusion of KEYTRUDA today (July 31, 2015) at the Florida Cancer Specialists in Sarasota under Dr. Luis Chu. The infusions will continue every 3 weeks as long as my body responds. Realistically that may be between 4 and 6 or a little more.

Aetna called again to assure me that the KEYTRUDA would be covered by my AETNA Medicare PPO insurance.

That is a big relief as I have developed a high sense of urgency since KEYTRUDA was indicated as the best treatment over 5 weeks ago. My case was presented to the Moffitt Melanoma Board. They recommended KEYTRUDA be started as soon as possible because my melanoma is an especially aggressive type! The infusions are to continue as long as the blood tests show that I am responding.

Dr. Chu confirmed today that 1% or less of his patients have experienced serious side effects which is a big relief. Ammodium is indicated if diarrhea develops which is the most likely case.

I will not need an IV port unless treatments continue for longer than expected if my body continues to respond as determined based on continued blood tests.

Sarasota Cancer Specialists use an independent supplier for cancer medications and expect that they will buy it under my Aetna Medicare PPO Plan B which will not require me to pay Copays.

Dr. Chu confirmed that my melanoma rash will probably become more fiery as the white and T cells fight the melanoma cells and eventually disappear.

Comments following my appointment with Dr. Steven Mamus, Oncologist

Because Dr. Chu was out of town until July 27th, I had an appointment with Dr. Steven Mamus of Director of his Sarasota and Bradenton Cancer Centers.
He recently attended a seminar on KEYTRUDA, YERVOY and one other immunotherapy.

He addressed my concerns about KEYTRUDA side effects. He expected to start my treatments within 3 weeks.

He advised that KEYTRUDA is not TOXIC and very different from YERVOY, the Immunotherapy released 7 years earlier. The KEYTRUDA side effects are different than those of YERVOY.

KEYTRUDA’s many possible serious side effects are as reported on the www.keytruda.com web site. His patients have not experienced significant side effects! He gives his patients medicine to prevent many of the possible problems. I was relieved to learn that because the side effect issues had me very concerned. WWW.KEYTRUDA.COM states that 10% of users cease taking it due to side severe effects and that 36% of a 411 patient study had at least one serious side effects.

I chose to return to Dr. Luis Chu who saw me in November 2014 for a second opinion and after learning that Dr. Mamus wants to purchase KEYTRUDA from the AVS Pharmacy in Orlando and not from the Merck Pharmacy. When purchasing KEYTRUDA from AVS Pharmacy, I would have to pay very large Copays. The AVS Pharmacy salesperson said they could arrange for non-profit foundations to repay me for the copays. But, since KEYTRUDA ordered from Merck's Pharmacy under my Aetna Insurance Plan 2, there would be no copays and others who need repayment may not be able to get them if I took them. When buying from the Merck Pharmacy, all costs are covered from Aetna as reported by my Case Manager, Felicia of Merck Asset Department as long as my body responds to KEYTRUDA.

Aetna insurance coverage was again resolved by calls to them and Merck that I will have 100% coverage by Aetna. This was confirmed twice by letters from Aetna as long as I maintain my insurance coverage payments.

Felica's phone number is 855 257 3932. She told me my KEYTRUDA prescriptions would be fully covered without copays by me if KEYTRUDA is ordered through the Merck Pharmacy by my doctor and his cost would be reimbursed by Aetna and he should not order through other pharmacies. My Merck Case Number is 534239992. My Aetna Case Number is 29423268.

Moffitt had held up treatment while they confirmed that I would not have copays. They confirmed to me on July 15th and that I could start infusions on July 17th. Because I received no returned phone calls to my several calls asking for my status for a week before that, I decided to have my KEYTRUDA infused in Sarasota if possible.

Merck wrote to me that I am not eligible for their $5000 Copay because it was not needed. My Aetna insurance said I am 100% covered for as long as I take KEYTRUDA. The delay was unnecessary because Aetna had previously approved me for 100% of all costs! Felicia of Merck called me on July 20 to re-confirm that Aetna will pay 100% of the cost of KEYTRUDA infusions for as long as needed. Later Felica told me that it must be ordered through Merck's Pharmacy and no other source.

I was told by Moffitt that there would be 4 infusions, 3 weeks apart. But, I am to get as many infusions as needed for as long as my system responds.

I was told it would cost $135,000 but It could be much more than that if I need a lot of infusions.

The melanoma rash blisters will become inflamed and enlarged while the white and T cells fight the cancer cells. The blisters should fade after the battle is won.

It is not known if KEYTRUDA will increase my longevity because there is not enough history.

If I did nothing about my Melanoma, I could expect to live at least two years.

There is 50% chance that my body will not respond to KEYTRUDA and probably only a 10 - 15% chance to have a complete remission if it works at all. It would not be called a cure.

As to urgency, he said another 3 weeks will not be a problem but 3 months would be.

Dr. Mamus's medical history can be found by searching with Google for Dr. Steven Mamus.

My quest of KEYTRUDA information

I was told by Ed Powell (941 920-0795, a multiple melanoma patient I met at the Lakewood Ranch Center for Continuing Hope Cancer Support Center that Professor Dr. Douglas Roentgen, Onco-Dermacologist Specialist of USF Tampa, FL is the best authority on melanoma that I could talk to only if I am referred by some creditable doctor. I will send him a request to him by E-Mail.

I will request that my primary physician, Dr. Larkin provide such a reference for me.

The questions I am seeking answers for:

Will Keytruda lengthen my life expectancy?
Will the nausea and vomiting occur soon after being infused?
Will I have flu like symptoms that other melanoma patients experience?
Should I stop playing tennis or doing significant physical activities beyond walking while being treated?
I read in a scientific melanoma text that some medicines activate melanomas that create more melanoma cells.
What is the typical number of Keytruda infusions? I heard that they might continue as long as my body responds.
What is the quality of life while being infused?
What happens when you stop being infused? Do the side effects continue to develop or do they retreat?
I was told to not use pressure stockings or my air pump to try to control my lymphedema.
But my lymphedema continues to cause swelling since I stopped.
How are others dealing with lymphedema without pressure stockings, manual drainage or air pumps?
I am trying to get more oxygen into my blood by using an oxygenator that produces ozone. It is said that more oxygen in the blood attacks cancer.
I take 25 drops of hydrogen peroxide in V8 juice with lime, lemon and baking soda 3 times per day to try to get more oxygen into my blood and thus into the cells to kill melanoma. Is this safe enough to continue?
What other homeopathic remedies should I try?
Are there good books that tell how to cope with KEYTRUDA or other melanoma treatments?
I have a heavy duty scientific text from NIH that is very discouraging about recurrences of melanoma no matter what!
Some studies show that longevity is a mean of 18 months, others have a mean of 30 months. I am now 9 months since my right great toe was partially amputated. I date the confirmation of my melanoma to July 2014 when the biopsie confirmed I have ulcerated melanoma 1.2 mm thick. I first suspected it in February but did not press the pediatrist as I normally would have.
Surprisingly, I have had no symptoms! People tell me I look great!
Any discussion you can arrange will be greatly appreciated.
Milton Thrasher c/o mthrasher@verizon.net 941 966-9172 This web site will continue to be updated as I gather more knowledge.

My original posting:

Melanoma is the cancer that gives cancer a bad name

Let me tell you about my melanoma experience and provide a link to a great presentation by a Texas victim's wife.

Click for this URL:

https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=1433018CEC71DCC3!254&authkey=!AOenzH5lj6lxfsc&ithint=video%2cwmv
for Leslie Hayes' video of how her husband's melanoma started as a mole and all his treatments until he died from it.

I recommend that you forward this website address to your family and friend in hopes of convincing them to take the necessary precautions to avoid sun and perhaps prevent getting melanomas.

I created this website to warn others and provide information about a new treatments available. Melanoma is caused from excessive sunshine. I have sailed boats all of my life, played a lot of tennis, skied, fished and still do many outdoor activities. I have had a number of severe blistering sunburns. My first melanoma was found in February 2015. Two doctors thought it was an infected ingrown toe nail which is very common. I thought I caused it by stubbing my right great toe while playing tennis.

The toe nail was blackened causing me to go to a podiatrist who removed part of the nail. I said that it looked cancerous. In July on my third visit, I insisted that she take a biopsy. It came back as an ulcerated 1.2 mm thick melanoma!.

I immediately went to Dr. Jonathan Zager, renowned head of the Cutaneous Melanoma Department at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, FL.

My right great toe was excised on August 14, 2014 to the first knuckle. The sentinel node and 3 other lymph nodes were taken. The sentinel node and 2 others had microscopic melanoma bits. I was rated as Stage IIIC - Metastatic Melanoma.

On September 11, 2014, 26 more lymph nodes were taken. Two more contained melanoma. Two drain tubes and bulbs were installed that required emptying twice per day. That was to end when 30 cc's or less drained per day. Unfortunately, one tube came out when I wore long pants to a funeral. Once the tube was out, there was no good way to put it back. The remaining tube had drained much less than the other.

Very soon I had lymphedema swelling in my calf and inner thigh. A Lymphedectomy Specialist for manual drainage therapy at Sarasota Memorial Hospital with over 100 hours training at the Lymphedema Training Academy in Sebastian, FL treated me. She did manual drainage two times per week for three months. That did not keep the leg from swelling.

On December 15, Dr. Zager prescribed an air pump with boot that has 8 air chambers to progressively force lymph fluid back into my body. I was supposed to do manual drainage therapy at the same time but did not see any change from that and did not think it was helpful.

Around June 1st, a rash broke out on the inside calf of my right leg looking a lot like measles. My dermatologist prescribed an over-the-counter steroid and moisturizers. Thinking it was an infection, my primary care physician prescribed a broad based antibiotic and a stronger prescription steroid.

I sent photos of the rash on my right leg and Dr. Zager had me come to Moffitt the next day for examination. He suspected it was melanoma that surfaced.

On July 22, 2015 two biopsies were taken which were reported the next day as melanoma. That established that I have In-Transit Melanoma which is very serious. The melanoma may be carried by contaminated lymph to the skin surface causing it to spread further up my leg. More contaminated lymph may go to other parts of my body.

He referred me to the Moffit Medical Oncologists for Immuno Therapy to increase my immune system's ability to fight the melanoma.

KEYTRUDA was approved in September 2014 by the FDA for Merck & Co and ordered for me on July 6, 2015. It has such severe side effects reported that I was reluctant to take it at first.

It is IV infused for 30 minutes, three weeks apart for 4 to 6 sessions or as long as there is a response. It costs $135,000 and is covered by my Aetna Medicare Advantage PPO as a treatment, not as a prescription medication.

KEYTRUDA has not been studied for extended life expectancy, only reduction of tumor size.

YERVOY, the previously recommended immune therapy costs $122,000. It has similar serious side effects but less success than KEYTRUDA. It only offers a life expectancy extension from 6 months to 12 after starting YERVOY! YERVOY was originally required to be taken first but that is no longer required.

Some of the KEYTRUDA side effects are life threatening. They are reported on www.keytruda.com. Subsequently, my general practitioner and I concluded that I have no other choice as the In-Transit Melanoma may soon attack my vital organs if not already. I have had 5 PET Scans and a MRI of my head as recently as March 30, 2015. They showed no melanoma even though melanoma can be seen near where biopsies were taken. The false negatives are because there must be millions of melanoma clumped cells to register. I asked that CT Scans be done but they are no better in detecting it.

Aetna approved my KEYTRUDA treatments on July 8th. But Moffit waited for approval by Merck of their $5000 copay. I was called a week later to tell me I was approved by a Nurse Practitioner who worked closely with Dr. Gibney, head of the Moffitt Oncology Department. He moved to Washington, DC to be near family and have access to a medical university.

Moffitt has 30 to 40 KEYTRUDA patients at Moffitt at this time. Several stopped the treatment due to severe side effects.

The severe side effects were in the 1.9 to 4% range for each one but there are many possible side effects. They include pneumonitis, kidney failure, changes to the thyroid gland, damage to the pituitary and adrenal glands that cause them to work differently, colitis that may require surgical repairs, liver damage, renal failure, raising or lowering my thyroid and many others.

I have arranged for my KEYTRUDA infusions to be done at the Sarasota Cancer Specialists at 1270 Golf Street, Sarasota, FL 34236.

It is important to treat the melanoma as soon as confirmed. If a biopsy had been taken as first suggested in February 2014 my melanoma may have been caught when small enough to not become as bad as it is now. You must have melanomas treated as soon as possible!

HealthlineNews

Keytruda Just One of a New Class of Cancer Drugs to Restart the Immune System

... The FDA's recent approval of Keytruda could be the start of a golden age of chemotherapy drugs that target the PD-1 pathway.

New drugs to treat cancer come along pretty regularly, and, to gain approval, each one must outperform the current standard treatment. But the share of patients who respond to a new drug can be modest, and the months of life they gain by using it are, sadly, often counted in the single digits.

Now, there’s hope among researchers and pharmaceutical companies that a drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) earlier this month will pave the way toward bigger gains against cancer. The drug, pembrolizumab (Keytruda), is designed to treat melanoma skin cancer, which kills almost 10,000 Americans a year. One in four patients responds to the drug, and many go into a long remission.

Keytruda and others still in the FDA approval pipeline disrupt a process by which cancer cells tell the immune system not to attack them as intruders. The drugs are already being tested on kidney, bladder, and small cell lung cancers and could eventually be used against an even wider range of cancers.

Related News: Emerging Treatments Offer Hope for Patients with Small Cell Lung Cancer »

PD-1 Is Pretty Darn Hot
Keytruda and a handful of other drugs that target the same process are “the hottest area in cancer research,” according to Dr. Antoni Ribas, an expert on cancer immunotherapies at the University of California, Los Angeles.

“This is I think the beginning of what will be a fairly significant change in the way that we treat multiple types of cancer in the years and decades to come,” agreed Dr. Evan Lipson, an assistant professor of oncology at the Johns Hopkins University medical school.

Scientists have long known that cancer somehow tricks the immune system in order to grow and spread. About 15 years ago, researchers discovered the PD-1 pathway that is the basis of Keytruda and other new drugs. The work built on research on a separate but related pathway that resulted in the drug ipilimumab (Yervoy).

Learn More About the Melanoma Drug Yervoy »

We can imagine the immune response as like a car at an intersection, looking for a green light telling it to move forward and attack cancer cells, or a red light telling it to remain stopped, Lipson said.

There are a series of lights that calibrate the immune system’s response. Cancer cells have devised ways to turn green lights red, escaping the immune system’s attack. (PD-1, a protein on the surface of T-cells, is one potential red light, turned on by PD-1 ligand, or PDL, on the surface of the cancer cells.) Now scientists have learned to turn those lights green again, unleashing the “tremendous power of the immune system,” Lipson said.

“This is I think the beginning of what will be a fairly significant change in the way that we treat multiple types of cancer in the years and decades to come.” — Dr. Evan Lipson, Johns Hopkins University

The current optimism comes from observations that green lights on this particular pathway send a lot of cancer-fighting traffic through. And the traffic keeps on coming, so patients remain in remission for longer.

“People have tried to activate anti-tumor immunity in the past, but the approach that seems to work well is to block these paths,” said Dr. Arlene Sharpe, an immunologist at Harvard Medical School.

More PD-1 Drugs Likely on the Way
Keytruda, made by Merck, is the second drug developed to target the PD-1 pathway. The first was Bristol-Myers Squibb’s nivolumab, which is already on the market in Japan as Opdivo, but the company hasn’t yet received the FDA’s okay to sell the drug in the United States. Bristol-Myers Squibb doesn’t think Keytruda is different enough from Opdivo: The company has sued Merck for patent infringement.

The competition among drug companies is good news for patients because it means that more drugs of this type are being researched.

As for why Big Pharma is so keen on anti-PD-1 drugs, the usual suspects are to blame: their price point and the potential size of the market.

Keytruda will sell for roughly $12,500 per patient per month, making it the 6th most expensive drug on the market, according to the trade publication FiercePharma.

More patients will queue up for the drugs for each type of cancer they successfully treat. On their own, they can only free T-cells to fight cancer if the T-cells are already in a cancerous tumor. This is more likely to be true in melanoma, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, small cell lung cancer, and head and neck cancers. Together, those cancers account for at least 300,000 new patients per year in the United States, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Drug manufacturers, doctors, and patients hope that more patients will respond to the drugs if they’re used in combination. Complementary drugs could send more T-cells to the tumor or create more green lights along various immune pathways within the tumor.

“This is a tremendously exciting breakthrough for many of the patients being treated in oncology, and whenever a drug like anti-PD-1 is as successful as it’s been, researchers and pharmaceuticals and patients want to get on board that train and try to maximize the effect of the drug for all of us,” Lipson said.

Even so, introducing new drugs takes time. As of now, only melanoma patients can get Keytruda outside of clinical trials. But because these drugs are so popular, there are clinical trials testing more advances in melanoma treatment and trying anti-PD-1 drugs on patients with other types of cancer.

Learn More: Trials for New Cancer Treatments Reach Only a Tiny Fraction of Patients »

by Taboola Promoted Links

4 Billionaires Say: Something Big Coming Soon In U.S.A

Healthline’s mission is to make the people of the world healthier through the power of information. We do this by creating quality health information that is authoritative, approachable, and actionable.

Join more than 30 million monthly visitors like you and let Healthline be your guide to better health.

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. Copyright © 2005 - 2015 Healthline Networks, Inc. All rights reserved for Healthline. Healthline is for informational purposes and should not be considered medical advice, diagnosis or treatment recommendations. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy

Cancer Support Groups meet at the Center For Building Hope, 5481 Communications Parkway in Lakewood Ranch.

The Lymphedema Network Group meets on August 6th 3:30 - 4:30 and possibly on the 2nd Thursday, 3:00-4:30 p.m.

Learn what you can do that might prevent it and what to do if you develop it. Facilitator: Sherry Ireland, PT/CLT

5481 Communications Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34240 (941) 921-5539

Sarasota Memorial’s STAR® Certified health professionals provide a 3-part series at Health Square.
The nationally recognized, evidence-based Survivorship Training and Rehabilitation program helps cancer survivors physically and emotionally to heal from the side-effects of chemotherapy, radiation, surgery or other cancer therapies. The program focuses on improving not only symptoms, but also personal wellness and quality of life through nutrition, exercise, relaxation and educational services. Join SMH professionals for this 3-part series to learn more about the program as well as some tips and techniques to survive cancer better.

A presentation on balance by Sherry Ireland, PT, CLT is on Tuesday, April 14th, 3-4 pm.
Nutrition is presented by Laura McLeroy, RD, LD/N

Center For Building Hope in Lakewood Ranch, FL - 941-921-5339.
Look in the whitepages for Center for Building Hope-Lakewood.
Go to the Center For Building Hope at 5481 Communications Pkwy, Lakewood Ranch , FL 34240-8476.
From University Parkway going East, turn right on Lake Wood Ranch Blvd. Go a long way to the end and turn left to 5481 Communications Parkway. Center for Hope is the first entrance on the right. Use Google Earth or a GPS to find it.
It is a new fairly large building with a canopy type overhead of the driveway with classrooms.
Ms. Andrea Feldmar, LMHC is the Program Director. Troy is their Website Manager.
Call them at (941) 921-5539.

All Health Square events are free and open to the public. Call The Help Line for Ms. Theresa Briton 941 917-7777
and Sarasota Memorial Health Center for Ms. Inger 941 302-4271
The July 2015 Center for Building Hope Calendar for the Lakewood Ranch location follows. Click for a smaller version to be seen on iPads and iPhones:

Ask for the Center for Building Hope calendar for Venice. They have comparable programs that may be closer for you.

I attended the Cancer Support Group 10 - 11:30 Meeting at Jacaranda Trace main building Room 218 on Monday July 20, 2015. There were 5 women and 1 man who had been meeting for a number of years. Two were care givers whose spouses had died. But, they enjoyed the company of the group that they continued. The moderator is the lady I met on Friday at the Lakewood Ranch Meeting. The distance from my home seemed further than Lakewood Ranch so I may not be a regular there. But, it is a good meeting with a lot of cancer knowledge and helpfulness.

My quest of KEYTRUDA information

Here are the questions I am seeking answers for:

My questions about Keytruda not answered by those I have been treated by thus far:
Will Keytruda lengthen my life expectancy?
Will the melanoma rash on my right leg and abdomen disappear after treatment?
Will the nausea and vomiting occur soon after being infused?
What about flu like symptoms?
Should I stop playing tennis or doing significant activities beyond walking while being treated?
I read in a scientific melanoma text that some medicines activate melanomas that create more melanoma cells.
What is the typical number of Keytruda infusions? I heard that they might continue as long as my body responds.
What is the quality of life while being infused?
What happens when you stop being infused? Do the side effects continue to develop or do the retreat?
I was told to not use pressure stockings or my air pump to try to control my lymphedema.
My lymphedema continues to cause swelling since I stopped.
How are others dealing with lymphedema without pressure stockings, manual drainage or air pumps?
Some consider using diarrhetics like lasix (probably misspelled). My GP said that introduces a host of new problems that must be treated.
I am trying to get more oxygen into my blood by using an oxygenator that produces ozone. It is said that more oxygen in the blood attacks cancer.
I take 25 drops of hydrogen peroxide in V8 juice with lime, lemon and baking soda 3 times per day to try to get more oxygen into my blood and thus into the cells to kill melanoma.
What other homeopathic remedies should I try?
Are there good books that tell how to cope with KEYTRUDA or other melanoma treatments?
I have a heavy duty scientific text from NIH that is very discouraging about recurrences of melanoma no matter what!
Some studies show that longevity is a mean of 18 months, others have a mean of 30 months. I am now 9 months since my right great toe was partially amputated. I date the confirmation of my melanoma to July 2014 when the biopsie confirmed I have ulcerated melanoma 1.2 mm thick. I first suspected it in February but did not press the pediatrist as I normally would have.
Surprisingly, I have had no symptoms! People tell me I look great!
Any discussion you can arrange will be greatly appreciated.
Milton Thrasher c/o mthrasher@verizon.net 941 966-9172

LASER CUT FRAMES AND MEMORY STICKS FOR MODEL BOATS ARE AVAILABLE AGAIN!

I deleted my model boating information temporarily. I will provide Memory Sticks of my many files upon request for $75 including shipping.

Call 941 966-9172 or mail | 4258 Hearthstone Drive, Sarasota, FL 34238 | mthrasher@verizon.net