New Treatment Decision

Marty seated in his feckless wheelchair, “Mark,” resting for the week ahead.

I am fortunate to qualify for targeted melanoma treatment with two compounds useable on mutations expressed in my particular melanoma genome, especially since my recent treatment with Pembro was complicated by immune-related adverse effects, motor impairment and loss of personal mobility. Clinical trials have produced better-than-usual response rates, and this response is often experienced quickly, within days or weeks.

Of concern are a litany of serious side effects. Care teams like mine are developing techniques to help moderate side effects and tweak the treatments, especially at research hospitals like Portland Providence Cancer Center.

More Ongoing Conversation with Mark, the Feckless Wheelchair


“Mark, I wanted you gone last week.  How is it that you are still here?”


“Marty, you are the boss of this home-nursing facility. If you want me gone you have to arrange for a replacement.”


“I tried, and I failed. Apparently wheelchairs are in short supply around the city of Portland. At least, the ones that are comfortable and appropriate for me aren’t easy to source and purchase. I apologize for my short temper and critical remarks. Thanks for sticking with me over the past week.”