Tell us a little about yourself
My name is Josh, I’m 35 and I have a wonderful wife, 3 children and 2 much loved dogs
When and how did you first find out you had melanoma?
In 2011 I had a thin melanoma measuring 0.6mm which was removed and then just regular skin checks. In July 2019, I was diagnosed with Stage IV BRAF+ Metastatic Melanoma after being admitted into hospital with severe anaemia.
Tell us about your treatment
My PET CT scan came back with multiple avid tumours throughout my liver, lungs, small intestines and stomach. I commenced combination immunotherapy Ipilimumab and Nivolumab which at the time was not listed on the PBS, so I had to self fund this treatment. During this time I also had radiotherapy, a resection to treat a bowel intussusception, plus I had a number of side effects from the drugs. I’m glad to say that I have had a complete metabolic response. I’m very thankful to be a responder and am very aware that this treatment doesn’t always work for everyone.
What challenges did you and your family and/or friends face after your diagnosis?
After hearing the extent of my diagnosis, it was a real struggle to find a positive patient story or outcome. We were searching the internet trying to find something. For any person it would be horrible but, being 35, with a wife and 3 kids; it was a really hard blow. It certainly puts all of your life into reality quickly.
Tell us about your involvement with MPA
I came across the MPA Closed Facebook Support Group which has been great to be able to read others success stories and also provide hope to others.
How has melanoma cancer affected your outlook on life?
It’s been good to have a great medical team, and a supportive family. It certainly puts all of your life into reality quickly, and it’s important to have a positive attitude.
Do you have a motto or personal mantra?
Never give up hope.
I’m happiest when…
Spending time with my family.