Gimme Shelter

On August 10, 2010, my Facebook status update was "Best summer ever."

On August 11, I learned I had malignant melanoma. Yes, sometimes life is like a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie. I underwent surgery that removed a 5 cm circle from the top of my head. I now a rock a great combover, but my tonsure is even fiercer.

A year after my surgery, I was diagnosed with melanoma again. The cancer had broken off and spread to my lung, and I had a tumor on my back, which meant that it was getting very bad quickly. My doctor helpfully informed that "Stage 4 isn't what it used to be," which is good, because Stage 4 distant metastatic melanoma usually means you're going to be dead pretty soon.

I was lucky enough to enter a Phase 1 immunotherapy trial at Memorial Sloan-Kettering, and, wildly, have so far had a complete response. It helps when your doctors are a bunch of geniuses. That's the story to this point. It's still a work in progress.

I've been chronicling my experiences for Salon.com, and it's been an amazing gift to do so. In 2012, I was nominated for an Online Journalism Award for my coverage of my experience in my clinical trial. I have now written a book about it that you can have in your hands in Spring, 2016. I am so grateful for my readers, and the stories they have shared with me along the way. Thank you.

I'm the redhead in this clip for the Do Great Campaign.

My journey is one the "30 Days, 30 Stories" for the Cancer Research Institute.

"My Cancer Diagnosis"

"My Life as a Lab Rat"

"I Have Your Results"

"Now What? Life After Treatment"

Confronting Cancer webcast Part 1
and Part 2