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Treatment Advice

Forums General Melanoma Community Treatment Advice

  • Post
    Wendi Lynn
    Participant

    Hi Everyone!

    Hi Everyone!

    You are always so helpful, so here I am seeking help again.  I had a modified left neck dissection on 9/22 after a lymph node biopsy proved positive for melanoma.  Results are only the one lymph node was positive out of the 32 tested, so I'm very happy about that.  And I had a PET scan on 9/13 that was questionable on 3 lymph nodes in my arm pit.  My surgeon spoke with the PET doc (can't remember exactly the title of the nuclear doc) who said that the 3 in my arm could have been just enflamed.  With all that said, my oncologist said that if the lymph nodes were involved that we would need to do the interferon high dose and 11 month follow through.  I haven't seen my oncologist since before the lymph node biopsy (I have an appointment with him on 10/19). 

    So, for those of you who have, sadly, too much experience with this, I'm looking for your opinions on treatment and timing of such. 

    Thank you in advance for your words of wisdom! 

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  • Replies
      Fen
      Participant

       

      There's some controversy about interferon with some research showing that the high dose alone is as effective as the high + 1 year.  That's a decision you and your dr. can make. I hope you're seeing a good melanoma specialist.

      If you do decide to do interferon, responses to it vary widely. Some people have mild side effects and continue working while others have to go on disability.   Regardless of your side effects there are some things you can do to ease them – drink lots of water, try to get a little exercise, etc.

      It's hard, but you have to make an informed decision based on your particular situation and just stick with it – don't look back.   

      Good luck and let us know what you decide.

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      Fen
      Participant

       

      There's some controversy about interferon with some research showing that the high dose alone is as effective as the high + 1 year.  That's a decision you and your dr. can make. I hope you're seeing a good melanoma specialist.

      If you do decide to do interferon, responses to it vary widely. Some people have mild side effects and continue working while others have to go on disability.   Regardless of your side effects there are some things you can do to ease them – drink lots of water, try to get a little exercise, etc.

      It's hard, but you have to make an informed decision based on your particular situation and just stick with it – don't look back.   

      Good luck and let us know what you decide.

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      DebbieH
      Participant

      I'm sorry you're dealing with this but it's good that you found this site.  It's always good to see others who are going through the same thing and its VERY good to find people doing well years out from the same diagnosis that are doing well.  I know when I went to stage IIIC all I heard was doom and gloom from doctors – THIS is where I found the hope I needed.

      I did interferon in 2001/2002.  It was no picnic but I'm glad I did it.  The first month was very rough but doable, and I got through 8 more months before I had to quit due to a severe rash.  I went into it with the idea that I WOULD quit if it got too bad.  It was very difficult to make a treatment decision, I initially wanted a clinical trial but didn't qualify and I didn't feel comfortable just watching and waiting after hearing the stats for stage IIIC.  It's a very personal decision and not one that anyone can make for you.  For me, my overriding thought was how I would feel if it came back, which was probably, and I was then stage IV.  I didn't want to wish I had done more, and interferon was the "more". 

      I am now over 9 years out from progressing from stage 1A to 3C and I'm very glad I did the interferon.  For me, I think it delayed things long enough for my own immune system to get back in good working order.  I have no idea what the future will bring so I always like to say "so far, so good".  Good luck to you.  Let us know how everything goes.

      DebbieH, stage IIIC, NED 9+years after interferon

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      DebbieH
      Participant

      I'm sorry you're dealing with this but it's good that you found this site.  It's always good to see others who are going through the same thing and its VERY good to find people doing well years out from the same diagnosis that are doing well.  I know when I went to stage IIIC all I heard was doom and gloom from doctors – THIS is where I found the hope I needed.

      I did interferon in 2001/2002.  It was no picnic but I'm glad I did it.  The first month was very rough but doable, and I got through 8 more months before I had to quit due to a severe rash.  I went into it with the idea that I WOULD quit if it got too bad.  It was very difficult to make a treatment decision, I initially wanted a clinical trial but didn't qualify and I didn't feel comfortable just watching and waiting after hearing the stats for stage IIIC.  It's a very personal decision and not one that anyone can make for you.  For me, my overriding thought was how I would feel if it came back, which was probably, and I was then stage IV.  I didn't want to wish I had done more, and interferon was the "more". 

      I am now over 9 years out from progressing from stage 1A to 3C and I'm very glad I did the interferon.  For me, I think it delayed things long enough for my own immune system to get back in good working order.  I have no idea what the future will bring so I always like to say "so far, so good".  Good luck to you.  Let us know how everything goes.

      DebbieH, stage IIIC, NED 9+years after interferon

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