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Interferon

Forums General Melanoma Community Interferon

  • Post
    jwb355
    Participant

      I have been diagnosed with mel. clarks level 4 had surgery on my arm and all lymphnods removed under right arm. Now the oncologist is saying that I need to do a month of interferon but it is my choice. I would like to hear from anyone that is going thru this or been thru it. I just don't know what I will do but need some info before I go any further. Having a PET scan next month and possibly radiation.

      Jerry in Ga.

      I have been diagnosed with mel. clarks level 4 had surgery on my arm and all lymphnods removed under right arm. Now the oncologist is saying that I need to do a month of interferon but it is my choice. I would like to hear from anyone that is going thru this or been thru it. I just don't know what I will do but need some info before I go any further. Having a PET scan next month and possibly radiation.

      Jerry in Ga.

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    • Replies
        joy_
        Participant

          Hi Jerry,

          My husband is currently in his 3rd week of interferon.  His main side effect has been fatigue that has been dibilitating.  It has been tough, but he figured he could anything for four weeks and is hanging in there tough.  Lots of lots of folks here have done the one month as well as the year long protocol.  I posted a message recently asking "are you glad you did it?" and everyone said yes. It is a tough decision and everyone has to decide what they believe is best for them.  Hopefully you will get some good feedback.  If you have any specific questions regarding this treatment, I'll be happy to share more based on our experience.

          All the best,

          Tracy

          wife to Bill, stage IIIc

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          joy_
          Participant

            Hi Jerry,

            My husband is currently in his 3rd week of interferon.  His main side effect has been fatigue that has been dibilitating.  It has been tough, but he figured he could anything for four weeks and is hanging in there tough.  Lots of lots of folks here have done the one month as well as the year long protocol.  I posted a message recently asking "are you glad you did it?" and everyone said yes. It is a tough decision and everyone has to decide what they believe is best for them.  Hopefully you will get some good feedback.  If you have any specific questions regarding this treatment, I'll be happy to share more based on our experience.

            All the best,

            Tracy

            wife to Bill, stage IIIc

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            King
            Participant

              Hi Jerry,

              I did Interferon for 12 months back in 2004-2005.  I did 1 month of the high dose followed by 11 months of a lower dose that involved self-injections 3x/week.  At that time I was Stage III.  Interferon is still the only FDA approved treatment for Stage III melanoma.  It is administered to Stage III patients who have had surgical removal of the melanoma and have no further evidence of the disease (determined via CT Scans, Pet Scans, MRI).  Ten weeks after completing the year of treatment, the melanoma spread to my liver which made me Stage IV.  Five years ago today, I had 70% of my liver removed.  I tell you this to give you hope.  At the time, I sure thought I wasted a good year doing Interferon which caused severe fatigue, brain fog, weight loss, joint pain, etc.  However, here I am alive and quite well in 2010 (I did have other recurrences since my liver mets).  I often wonder if Interferon just might have played a big role in my long term survival.  

              Keep us posted and welcome to MPIP!

               

              Stay Strong
              King

              Stage IV 7/05 Liver mets

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              King
              Participant

                Hi Jerry,

                I did Interferon for 12 months back in 2004-2005.  I did 1 month of the high dose followed by 11 months of a lower dose that involved self-injections 3x/week.  At that time I was Stage III.  Interferon is still the only FDA approved treatment for Stage III melanoma.  It is administered to Stage III patients who have had surgical removal of the melanoma and have no further evidence of the disease (determined via CT Scans, Pet Scans, MRI).  Ten weeks after completing the year of treatment, the melanoma spread to my liver which made me Stage IV.  Five years ago today, I had 70% of my liver removed.  I tell you this to give you hope.  At the time, I sure thought I wasted a good year doing Interferon which caused severe fatigue, brain fog, weight loss, joint pain, etc.  However, here I am alive and quite well in 2010 (I did have other recurrences since my liver mets).  I often wonder if Interferon just might have played a big role in my long term survival.  

                Keep us posted and welcome to MPIP!

                 

                Stay Strong
                King

                Stage IV 7/05 Liver mets

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                KatyWI
                Participant

                  I did the full year of INF in 2001-2002 – the four weeks high dose and the 11 months self-injections.  Interferon seems to increase the time to recurrence – for me it bought eight years.  Now that studies suggest that most of the benefit comes from the initial high dose period, there's not much tradeoff in terms of time..    If I could get that eight-year benefit again for the "low, low price" of one month of reversible side effects…SIGN ME UP!

                  I suggest you investigate; make sure you understand the benefit that interferon may (or may not) offer, and once you make your decision, no looking back!

                  Best of luck to you,

                  KatyWI

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                  KatyWI
                  Participant

                    I did the full year of INF in 2001-2002 – the four weeks high dose and the 11 months self-injections.  Interferon seems to increase the time to recurrence – for me it bought eight years.  Now that studies suggest that most of the benefit comes from the initial high dose period, there's not much tradeoff in terms of time..    If I could get that eight-year benefit again for the "low, low price" of one month of reversible side effects…SIGN ME UP!

                    I suggest you investigate; make sure you understand the benefit that interferon may (or may not) offer, and once you make your decision, no looking back!

                    Best of luck to you,

                    KatyWI

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                    triciad
                    Participant

                      Hi Jerry,

                      I am just finishing up my year of Interferon.  It will be officially over for me on October 30th!

                      I did the one month high dose, followed by 11 months of self-injections.

                      It's not a piece of cake, but it is doable.  I had a lot of fatigue, so I went to bed around 7:30 or 8:00 each night.  I haven't missed a day of work…and I teach first grade!  It was not a fun year, and I didn't really go out much, but I am finishing what I started.  I know several people who are 5 years out after doing a year of Interferon.  That's what keeps me going.  It works for a small percentage of people.  Someone has to be in that small group?  Right?  Why not me?

                      I would not hesitate to receommend it to others.  Fatigue, hair thinning, and loss of appetite because food has no taste were my side effects.  I highly receommend drinking "Slurpees" from 7-Eleven.  They got me through a lot of the really rough days.

                      Best of luck to you with your decision.  By the way, I was NED after my surgery. 

                      Tricia

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                      triciad
                      Participant

                        Hi Jerry,

                        I am just finishing up my year of Interferon.  It will be officially over for me on October 30th!

                        I did the one month high dose, followed by 11 months of self-injections.

                        It's not a piece of cake, but it is doable.  I had a lot of fatigue, so I went to bed around 7:30 or 8:00 each night.  I haven't missed a day of work…and I teach first grade!  It was not a fun year, and I didn't really go out much, but I am finishing what I started.  I know several people who are 5 years out after doing a year of Interferon.  That's what keeps me going.  It works for a small percentage of people.  Someone has to be in that small group?  Right?  Why not me?

                        I would not hesitate to receommend it to others.  Fatigue, hair thinning, and loss of appetite because food has no taste were my side effects.  I highly receommend drinking "Slurpees" from 7-Eleven.  They got me through a lot of the really rough days.

                        Best of luck to you with your decision.  By the way, I was NED after my surgery. 

                        Tricia

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                        ValinMtl
                        Participant

                          Hi Jerry,

                          I did interferon high dosage and then 5 months of low dosage..alas the mel came back in the same area. But I know of a young fellow about 15 years ago..did interferon high and year-long dosage and he is still NED…so would I do it again…Even though it didn't work in the long run (keep in mind I started past the 56-day recommendation period due to healing problems), I would do the high dosage again to give it my best shot. It's not a walk in the park but drink lots of water/Gatorade and rest. Val

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                          ValinMtl
                          Participant

                            Hi Jerry,

                            I did interferon high dosage and then 5 months of low dosage..alas the mel came back in the same area. But I know of a young fellow about 15 years ago..did interferon high and year-long dosage and he is still NED…so would I do it again…Even though it didn't work in the long run (keep in mind I started past the 56-day recommendation period due to healing problems), I would do the high dosage again to give it my best shot. It's not a walk in the park but drink lots of water/Gatorade and rest. Val

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