Survivor Stories

Susan Califf, Stage IV

Diagnosed 05/11/2006

Found a dark, big,  flat spot on left side of my scalp in April 2006. Biopsy came back Melanoma in Situ which I had surgery to remove. In April 2017, I  had dark spot on left side of face, cheek. That also came back as Melanoma in Situ which I had removed. Then in May 2018, I  had a lymph node behind my left ear removed and it came back as Stage 4 melanoma.

Started on Keytruda and while on it I had good results for that area of my neck.  But in Feb 2019, I  developed a spot on my lung. Biopsy of the spot came back as Melanoma so I stopped Keytruda and started Chemo pills-  Talfinar and Mekinist. Tried those  for about 8 months with bad side effects so now on Mektovi and Braftovi which I still have side effects, but taking 10mg of Prednisone to help.

Happy to say my last scans showed a remarkable improvement. So I hope anyone dealing with this,  as I am,  understands there is no promise that we will be cured but that we can live longer with proper meds. My family knows I am a fighter, my husband and I have had a big change in our lives but still making plans to do the things we enjoy. Very thankful for every day!