The news of Jimmy Carter’s diagnosis threw me for a loop, as you might imagine. This is exactly the cancer that Adam had. One commentator referred to it as “hidden melanoma” and said that it can begin in the mucous membranes or tissues like the esophagus! And, as in Adam’s case, Carter’s disease seemed to, as Tom put it, have gone “right to the brain.”
Apparently there’s still no treatment for the brain lesions other than radiation. It sounds like Carter’s lesions are small and fewer than Adam had, so perhaps his treatment will be more successful. Reports say that Carter will be receiving an immunotherapy drug, and that’s great, but my experience was that it’s the brain lesions that kill you.
I don’t wish Mr. Carter a poor outcome but I do thank God for his condition because now maybe it will get some attention. Most people (including me, before) think of melanoma as an ugly mole that you cut off and then you’re fine. But now we know how insidious it can be, how its behavior can be nothing like we expect. And all-the-more scary because if it starts inside your body you don’t know it’s there until it’s too late for a cure.
I propose that researchers start working on a cure for *the brain* and not so much for the body. Drugs can’t cross the brain/blood barrier and so the brain is left to be devoured by insidious tumors. Right now the only treatment for the brain is radiation, and if there are too many sites the radiation just makes the brain swell and, well, the effects of that are *not good.*
The memories this announcement has stirred up are not good either, but I can see how much I’ve healed because I haven’t been crying for the last 24 hours.