This is a weblog of my current battle against stage IV (metastatic) melanoma. I'm John Hall, a 24 year old hacker/geek/pilot . . .
One of my main purposes in blogging this is to alarm people into getting suspicious moles checked out by a doctor immediately. If you are even remotely concerned about anything on your skin, please make an appointment with a doctor today. You definitely won't regret it.
And remember that there is still a very good chance that I will recover from this. Melanoma is bad news, but it is not a death sentence. (Update: my case is currently in a partial remission.) (Update: no, actually it's not.) I have a strong feeling that this will be a monumental hassle but that I'll make it through in the end. Either way, though, I want to make as much noise about the experience as possible so that others can learn from my mistakes.
Overcode is a guy who's probably like a lot of you reading this. He's in his early 20s, is highly intelligent, very computer-literate, attends Georgia Tech University, and has been to Def Con a couple times.
Up until recently, he led an active lifestyle -- competing in marathons, flying a small plane, and hanging out with friends. In late 2004 though, it was discovered that an unusual mole on his shoulder was actually a signal that he had developed cancer.
His condition has had its ups and downs over the last several months. Overcode has a gift for writing though, and has documented the entire journey thus far, including his emotions throughout the diagnosis process, and pictures of his CAT scans. The folks at the yak.net site have been kind enough to host this information (since he's a fellow Georgia Tech student), and it's a fascinating and alarming read.
I don't know Overcode personally (he's a friend of a friend), but I offer him my best wishes for a recovery.