ScrappysWife's Journey:

Caregiver: Skin Cancer - Melanoma

Patient Info: Currently in active treatment (initial surgery, receiving chemo rounds/radiation), Diagnosed: about 9 years ago, Male, Age: 47, Stage IV, BRAF mutation positive: No, c-kit positive: Don't Know

  1. 1
    almost 6 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    Dave was diagnosed with an ulcerated nodular melanoma on his upper back, 2.2 mm, in September of 08.

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  2. 2
    almost 6 years ago
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    Sentinel lymph node biopsy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Dave had a wide excision and SNB to his right axillary. Tests revealed that he had 3 sentinel nodes, and all three came back positive for micromets.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  3. 3
    almost 6 years ago
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    Full lymph node dissection

    Procedure or Surgery

    16 nodes in right axillary were removed, 0 showing cancer. Drain was put in place for 4 weeks. Healing time was approximately 8 weeks.

    Went as Expected: Not Specified
    Minimal Recovery: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
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  4. 4
    almost 6 years ago
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    Immunotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    In February of 2009, Dave started high dose interferon for one month, followed by low dose for 11 months. Nasty stuff, but doable. Finished in 2010.

    Easy to Do: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  5. 5
    almost 6 years ago
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    Cancer has spread/Metastasized

    Oh No

    After 15 months of being cancer free, Dave requested a scan due to feeling like something is "caught" in his throat. I should mention that at the same time, my brother received his diagnosis. Scans showed massive adenopathy in peritracheal and mediastanal lymph nodes. Now stage IV.

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  6. 6
    almost 6 years ago
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    External radiation

    Radiation

    Some fatigue. Severe case of hiccups and some heart burn, controlled with meds.

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  7. 7
    almost 6 years ago
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    Immunotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Started 2 weeks of radiation to nodes in August, followed by IL-2 on August 29. One week in patient, one week home to rest, then back in. In October he went for 6 week scans, and it was determined that he was not a responder. IL-2 caused vision loss which was treated by 80mg of prednisone. Currently off all steroids, and vision has returned to normal.

    Easy to Do: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  8. 8
    almost 6 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Due to the steroid use, he was not a candidate for Yervoy. His options were limited, so he chose low dose Temodar (160 mg daily for 42 days, then 14 days off). He will be scanned on 12/22, results on 12/28.

    Easy to Do: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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