Stage IV melanoma survivor: Immunotherapy clinical trial gave me my life back

I was diagnosed with stage IV melanoma in December 2014, a year after I had a cancerous mole removed from my left calf. I thought I was done with it. Then I felt a lump in my groin while shaving my legs when I was 20 weeks pregnant with my second child. A lymph node biopsy revealed the melanoma was back, but it appeared to be confined to that one area. Not wanting to hurt the baby, I deferred any additional scans or treatment until after I delivered. A PET scan taken the day my son was born showed the cancer was also in my liver, spine and other places. When I heard the results, my daughter was two and my newborn was only a week old. I went to one of the larger hospital systems for treatment, but the chemotherapy they recommended didn’t work. All of my tumors were still growing. The doctors there told me to enjoy what time I had left. But having such a young family, I couldn’t accept that prognosis. Instead, I found a clinical trial at MD Anderson that combined targeted therapy and immunotherapy. It saved my life. Why I chose a clinical trial for my melanoma treatment I knew I was in the right place at MD Anderson when I first met with my oncologist, Dr. Isabella Glitza. She started my appointment by simply listening. Then, she sketched out a list of all my options and explained each one, as well as its risks and benefits. My husband and I picked the one we thought was best: a clinical trial yielding tremendous...