Survivor Stories

Richard Rockwood, Stage IV

Date Diagnosed – 10/29/2013

I had a small dark blue/purple area on my neck and wasn’t sure what it was.  I searched the internet for pictures of skin cancer and cysts but I couldn’t find anything like it.  I went to my family doctor several months later after I noticed it was getting larger and he thought it was a cyst and that he would do surgery on it after his vacation.

The results came back as Melanoma.  I had surgery on the neck area three months later and started on interferon a few months after that for a year.  About a month after I finished that I started having severe headaches and after I called my oncologist he sent me for a pet scan and MRI.  They showed that I had four brain tumors and spots on my lungs.

I had radiation on the brain tumors and then started Keytruda shortly after.  I have had four treatments now and the results have been good.  My recent scans showed the brain tumors have shrunk and the lung tumors have shrunk and some even have gone away.  Compared to interferon Keytruda is a breeze as far as side effects go.

My advice is if you see anything strange on your skin go see a dermatologist asap!

I’m feeling good now and enjoying whatever time I have left with family and friends!