My name is Mihai Ducman, I'm 52 years old and I want to share with you my story, which is a bit sad, unfortunately: in 2015 I went to the dermatologist because I had a black stripe on my thumb's nail and I left the doctor's office with a melanoma diagnosis.
I mostly knew what that diagnosis meant, I started reading about it, but at that time I didn't yet know that this disease was going to become a true enemy, melanoma being one of the most aggressive types of cancer.
Since then I have been fighting the good fight. Up until now, the melanoma has won pretty much every battle.
I'm gonna tell you about what happened since then as shortly as I can: I had surgery on my thumb and, in order to be as sure as I could that I would get it all out, I had my phalanx amputated.
I had regular CT and MRI scans, and in 2017 I received bad news again: I had two lung metastases, so I was now at stage IV melanoma.
I had surgery on the metastases - right upper lobectomy - out with the upper lobe of my right lung.
Then I was included in a clinical trial where I underwent immunotherapy (Opdivo - nivolumab) for 6 months.
After a PET CT scan done in May 2018 I discovered that the melanoma had progressed: I now have metastases in the lungs, liver, bones, adrenal glands, pericardium, scalp and subcutaneous.
I underwent a more aggressive treatment for 2 months (chemo), but the CT and MRI scans have shown that the treatment didn't have an effect - the metastases have grown and multiplied.
The only treatment that can give me a chance at this stage is TIL therapy (tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes), which is not available in Romania and is really expensive abroad: 80.000 pounds in the UK and 120.000 euros in Israel.
I confess that the sadness and depression creep up every day, sometimes even at night. Nevertheless, I didn't and I won't give up. Life is tough, excruciating sometimes, but it is beautiful. And all of us just want to live it well and beautifully. So I will keep fighting, 100%, but right now I can't fight on my own. I need your help.
Thank you for taking the time to read this message. Any contribution is immensely appreciated.