Happy Anniversary Melanoma! (not!)   March 22nd, 2012

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the diagnosis of my malignant melanoma cancer. I was standing in the kitchen of my mother-law’s house in NH, answering the telephone, surprised the call was actually for me. It was the dermatologist’s office advising me that my mole’s biopsy results were not very good, and that I had a deadly form of cancer. That news in turn led to the contents of this blog, and my current health issues. Stubbornness on my part also contributed, as did unexpectedly difficult to cure aggressive brain mets.

I have been doing quite a bit of Physical Therapy to help rebuild my strength and weight (I am down to 170 pounds – 55 pounds below normal).

Tomorrow I have a brain MRI scheduled at MGH Chelsea, to see if I can cut back on my steroid intake. I then head over with Krystyana to the Boston Museum of Science to test out my new Lytro light-field camera at the live gecko exhibit.

My MRI results will be reviewed with me on Tuesday, after which I spend the morning getting my last of four ipilimumbab infusions – so far, no negative or positive results from the ipi (a.k.a. Yervoy) treatments.

We are still working on move coordination for the weekend of April 13th and hope to contact our growing list of volunteers this weekend
with more details.

We also learned today that my melanoma buddy Bill H. just had his melanona upgraded from Stage IIIA to a Stage IIIC/IV today meaning it had metastasized. Our love and support to you and Jodi, Bill. Melanoma is a real bitch.


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This entry was posted on Thursday, March 22nd, 2012 at 01:44 and is filed under Blogging, Family, Health. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.Both comments and pings are currently closed.

25 Responses

March 22nd, 2012 at 02:51
Martin de Weger Says:

Hi Jake,

I’m looking so forward to seeing all of you guys again! I bet the new gadget will be put to good use. :)

Lots of hugs,


March 22nd, 2012 at 06:59
Kitty Says:

Much love and positive thoughts to you all.


March 22nd, 2012 at 07:06
Scott Says:

Positively a big thumbs up :)

March 22nd, 2012 at 07:53
Ann Phelan Says:

have a blast at the museum…lunch? Where?

March 22nd, 2012 at 08:19
Meryl Says:

Enjoy the museum and the new camera! Again this blog sounds stronger then the last one, please let me know what I can help with in your move…Love you guys! xo

Meryl and Steve

March 22nd, 2012 at 08:34
Tish Says:

A live gecko exhibit???? Wish you were here photographing geckos. Many hugs and much love to you all from Bonaire.

March 22nd, 2012 at 08:35
Jean Stefanik Says:

A huge hug and positive thoughts to you all. I’m happy you are finding moments of joy beyond dealing with the melanoma.

March 22nd, 2012 at 08:43
Bill Heyman Says:

Thanks for the update, Jake. I now join you with Stage IV.

Yes, melanoma is a bitch, but we need to make it OUR bitch (to paraphrase a longtime friend of mine). Good luck on the next MRI, may it bring great news!


March 22nd, 2012 at 09:09
John Engelman Says:

All positive thoughts your way. Your spirit is amazing. I had to look up the Lytro light field camera. Wow, looks like fun. Please send me a full report. Geckos will be perfect subject matter. Keep fighting.

All Best,

March 22nd, 2012 at 09:29
Steve Smith Says:

Hi Jake,

Hoping for the best possible MRI results on Tues. I’ve read some of the hands-on articles about the Lytro on the web. Should be fun. Will expect a “Jake’s Take” report, when possible.

All the best,


March 22nd, 2012 at 10:26
Cynde Says:

Jake, good to hear you will be doing something enjoyable tomorrow :-) I’ll look forward to the move email. I’m booked Dano, for the move. Good juju and vibes for the MRI results as well. I think I’ll play your set of “fight songs” today and visualize more positive results.

Bill, I like it….OUR bitch! Thoughts and good healing vibes to you as well. CANCER SUCKS is all I can say, I imagine you’d agree?

Again, looking forward to seeing you all on the 13th to give real, live hugs from me, and a whole lot of other folks that can’t be with you, but will be channeled through me.

Hugs and love to you all, and never forget NED!


March 22nd, 2012 at 10:31
Karen & Rog Says:


March 22nd, 2012 at 11:10
Barbara Leary Says:

and more HUGS to you, Linda, Bas and Krystyana

March 22nd, 2012 at 11:17
Ann Dederer Says:

Jake – thanks for your nite! Have a great time with Krystyana and those geckos! We’re thinking of you and will be sending good vibes for the MRI.

Lots of love to you all from the Boulder duo.

Bill and Ann

March 22nd, 2012 at 12:15
Mike Drips Says:

Always glad to see you’re still here, so that the island’s only taxi will still have a customer. If you need some extra weight I would be more than happy to send you about 20+ pounds. Maybe we can do that with liposuction and reverse liposuction. I’m not sure. Enjoy the camera. Geckos? Isn’t there something more interesting like say a pole dancing exhibit?

March 22nd, 2012 at 12:33
Erin Waetjen Says:

Hugs to you Jake! Sending you good healing energy! Enjoy the geckos :)

March 22nd, 2012 at 14:58
Bob Gibson Says:

Hi Jake,

You and your family are in our thoughts daily. Good luck with your upcoming MRI. I look forward to hearing about the Lytro. The information I’ve come across is intriguing.

Again, Barbe and I are sending positive thoughts from the Oregon Coast.

Bob and Barbe

March 22nd, 2012 at 16:00
Mercy Says:

Here’s to a 20 yr anniversary!!

March 22nd, 2012 at 16:10
Margreth Says:

Just don’t give up and have a good time in the Museum. Love and hugs for everybody

March 22nd, 2012 at 20:54
dara Says:

Sending shamrock juju, love & hugs your way. Stay focused on a positive MRI outcome and exiting this Yervoy detour – getting back on a direct route to NED! Have fun with your new techno-toy! For so much out-of-box thinking on imaging, I’m baffled by Lytro putting their technology in …..a little box. Enjoy the museum – physical therapy for your third eye :-)

March 22nd, 2012 at 21:00
Denise & Teddy Says:

To NED, hugs and prayers … <3

March 22nd, 2012 at 22:32
elaine sculley Says:

jake so glad u enjoyed new york. have a fab time at the museum with krystianna. prayers and lots of hugs coming ur way. fantastic vibes for a great mri. hugs to linda, bass,and krystianna. i admire u muchly.

March 25th, 2012 at 19:21
Carole Says:

A new toy to test out and play with! That will be fun. Can’t wait to hear how the experiment went at the gecko display at the museum. Sounds neat. Hope Tuesday is good news for you. Think of you and the family all of the time. Sending you a photo of Jake’s Saloon…a corner place in NYC we hit for burgers this week. Down the street from our hotel. Hang in there, Jake…we’re with you all the way. Carole & Joe

March 25th, 2012 at 19:30
Jake Richter Says:


Look at FB – I am returning the whole Lytro camera…


April 13th, 2012 at 18:50
Todd Klukow Says:

Good luck with the move. I am with you in spirit. I enjoyed the gecko photos, glad to see you still have your curiosity and sense of adventure. Much yoga love always headed your way.