Malignent Melanoma Survivors who climb


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Trad climber
Redwood City, CA
Aug 20, 2010 - 01:35am PT
Paul -

Thanks for posting, and keep up the fight.

I got checked about 4 years ago after a friend died of melanoma. I had a mole I'd been worried about but just couldn't find time to deal with. The doctor said it looked like it was no problem, but agreed to get it biopsied just in case. It was malignant melanoma. I caught it right in the narrow zone between "no problem" and "you're f**cked." So far, I've stayed clear. I get a few bits snipped each year, but so far nothing else malignant.
BLT&P Sandwich

Social climber
Aug 20, 2010 - 02:06am PT
You are definitely in our Prayers. May God bless you and stay positive!

Cosmiccragsman & BLT&P

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Aug 20, 2010 - 02:14am PT

Thx for the post. I have a mole I've had since a kid on my leg about short length too. Worthwhile to check it out. thx!

I remember your topos. May still have some printed out somewhere around here. It got us to Humboldt and north on several trips. Very fun!

Keep up the fun! My nephew had leukemia at a young age with a port. Free of A.L.L. at this point. I think he survived by playing xbox. :)
Disaster Master

Sport climber
Arcata / Santa Rosa, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 23, 2010 - 10:08am PT
Well, the experimental clinical trial treatment for Metastatic Melanoma I am on is not working. I don't think I want to feel bad from treatment any more in the hope of feeling good later.

Instead, I'm going climbing. Good food, good love, and other "altrnative" tretments may be in the future.

But my new motto is "move it before you loose it."

Climb on,
Paul Humphrey

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Aug 23, 2010 - 10:12am PT
Take care Master Disaster.

Aug 23, 2010 - 12:21pm PT
A little off topic (lung cancer vs skin cancer).

A former co-worker had stage 4 lung cancer. This has a 5% survival rate. He was a very active cyclist before he was diagnosed. He had the majority of one of his lungs removed and went through a year of treatment. It is now 8 years later. He is still cycling (100's of miles a week, both mountain bike and road), looks great and at his last check-up he was declared cancer free.

My point here is that there is always hope. Stay strong.

Social climber
chica from chico, I don't claim to be a daisy
Aug 23, 2010 - 12:41pm PT
"My point here is that there is always hope. Stay strong."

Beautiful words, worth repeating...

Mr Paul, sending *Hope, love and prayers...

edit, love the sun tat..


Social climber
El Portal Ca.
Aug 23, 2010 - 12:45pm PT
Hello Master,

I don't know quite what to say to such an inspiring, empowering, wonderful human being such as you. It's apparent you shine with brilliant light! Thank you for reaching out and strengthening the tribe.

-some light coming right back at cha!
smiling your way from Yosemite


P.S. if you're in Yosemite area and want to climb please look me up, I'm a pretty good rope gun.

Disaster Master

Sport climber
Arcata / Santa Rosa, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 23, 2010 - 02:22pm PT
Thanks, everyone.

I have picked myself up off my ass,
And am off to teach a Hot Yoga class.

Rock on,

PS - check out another thread I started: Pauls "Post your poety" post.
Or something like that any way.

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
Aug 23, 2010 - 08:09pm PT
Best wishes.

I had cancer removed from my hand and from my face just above the lip. These are places that I did not formerly slather with sunscreen. Somehow the arms always ended at my wrists. It's time to go get checked again.

Disaster Master

Sport climber
Arcata / Santa Rosa, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 24, 2010 - 04:39am PT
Paul Here.
Keep it going.

Tip of the night: Its hard to remember if a mole is growing. Get a camera, some whatever to imbibe however and a woman / man / aassorted. Strip down and take pictures of each others moles. SAVE THE PICTURES! Continue debouchery. Repete six months later and compare pics. Prevention is fun!

Taught yoga to about 20 people this morning. 105 degrees, 90 minutes, hot sweaty stinky fun. It always makes me feel better to help someone else fell a bit better themselves.

Then it was off to try vitamin C IV treatment. Consulted with hole-istic Doctor too. In the end, while I was still hooked up to the drip, she said it probably won't be enough by itself (the Vitaminc C drip). Still charged me $250 for the privilige and $150 to tell me so. Then more news. Most people spend well over a grand a month at alterntive spots like this. Got money, got credt, got hope? No?

OH, yeah. Oh, well. Oh, Sh#t,

Well, as Bart Simpson once remarked, "I didn't think it was physically possible, but this both Sucks and Blows!"

Enough whining. On with the unknown.


Trad climber
East Coast US
Aug 26, 2010 - 07:44am PT

Penn study makes breakthrough in shrinking tumors of terminal melanoma patients
Disaster Master

Sport climber
Arcata / Santa Rosa, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 26, 2010 - 10:47am PT

Thanks! I just saw that on the news last night. I have an oncologist appoint. at Noon. I will ask for more info.

Had a rough few past days. Infection in the lymph nodes is causing more swelling and gnarly pain in my leg. Bought some expensive compression tights. Look like a sexually ambivilent superhero, but they help.

Disaster Master

Sport climber
Arcata / Santa Rosa, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 16, 2010 - 08:34pm PT
Got a few e mails asking if I am still alive.


Just kidding. Yes, I am.

Hard month. The cancer is growing fast, and I feel tht it will be hard for me to actually climb by the time I get to rock!

I have swelling and pain in my right leg. My balls are swelling, at last, but not in a good way. And my energy is tanked.

I got biopsied today to see if I am a BRAF mutant. (Thanks Gunkie for the heads up, thats the drug I'm trying for.)If I am a mutant, I will get a new drug that had good potential. If i'm not, Bye-bye.

Freinds lent us a cabin in Wawona for the next week. I will get to rock,cane inhand or on my hands and knees, damn it!

then Sushi-fest in IC.

Lots of typos, to tired to care. Props to all still attempting to pull down.

SuperCrack or die!

...or Supercrack and then die!

Either way, I am f-ing going climbing.

Trad climber
Lake Tahoe
Sep 16, 2010 - 09:03pm PT
Send it, Paul!
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Sep 16, 2010 - 09:04pm PT
important developments in melanoma research and cures:
Disaster Master

Sport climber
Arcata / Santa Rosa, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 16, 2010 - 09:08pm PT
Yeah, peter, my tisue samples are being fed exed as we speak to the drug company that makes the drug. I am far along, yet unusually strong, so my doc at UCSF has taken an interest in geting me up the line. We will see. But the cure moves slower than the tumor, so far...

Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Sep 16, 2010 - 10:58pm PT
Good luck D-Master. M is one of the really bad-assed ones.


Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Sep 22, 2010 - 04:09am PT
any word on the fedex tissue samples?

any word on what was sent on rock?

Disaster Master

Sport climber
Arcata / Santa Rosa, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 22, 2010 - 11:34am PT
Paul Here.

No word on the tissue samples yet....

I am weaker by the day. 5.7 takes 5.10 effort now. it sucks. Two months ago I was climbing .11+ solid. Yesterday my girlfriend and I went to Fresno Dome. I wanted to take her up her first Grade 3 multi pitch trad climb. That morning I woke up and threw up. Said screw it we are going anyway. Racked up in the lot. everything was fine, except the massive pain in my leg and gut. My girlfriend had a wrecked knee too, so we are all gimped up.

Never ones to stay home though, we gave it a try. Only 5.7, the cancer had me breathing hard, and I feel WEEEEEEEEEEEK! Moved too slow and vomited from pain at about 120 feet or so.

Not good. I knew I could drag my carcass up still, but not guiding my inexperienced girlfriend. She looked nervous. Who wants to see their leaader barf on the route? "That looks hard," she said.
"It's not. I'm just dying babe, thats all. You can do it." But her eyes showed too much concern.
SO. I rapped off of a couple nuts (booty!), cleaned it and abandoned.

It is beyond frustrating to die slow, to have the rack on your back and feel so heavy you cant stand up. I don't quit, and deciding that was the smart thing to do felt like being stabbed.

I could have gone sport climbing. All the logistics have been engineered away. But I had to sell my rack 6 years ago when I grounded from 80 feet and shatteered my back (tree climbing). It was the rack or the rent and medical bills.

I came back fron that, climbed again, but on borrowed gear and with my rope gun posse helping me along. But I want all the way back in.

My mother died last year. I used much of my small inheritance to by a trad rack again. Used to be good at all this. When I found out I was sick I decided to go trad climbing. Not because it is easy or convienent. But because it is hard and scary and forces me to face fear, not cower from pain. And I wanted to honor my mother by climbing with her (re incarnated as my rack of cams).

Life is sufering. That I don't mind.
Dying is Bullsh#t. Make me healthy or dead. This limbo is a torture of the soul.

We are going to Indian Creek for Sushi Fest. Perhaps there will be a few hardpeople there to get a rope up for me so I won't barf on my belay.

Vomit, retreat, pandamonium. I am still going climbing, if I can.

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