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    Drug or Chemo Therapy (Interferon shot therapy): Simon received the infusion treatment for 4 weeks, ending mid-June. He's now on Interferon sub-q shot therapy 3x/week. We are able to do it at home and that has been helpful. Our doctor allows us to numb his skin with a Emble (sp??) cream about 45 minutes before his shot. That helps, but it doesn't affect the medicine itself. Simon doesn't quite know how to explain the shot, but the best we can tell is that the medicine burns/stings when injected. With the infusions through his port, that wasn't an issue at all, but with the shot therapy it has taken some getting used to. The pain/discomfort seems to last only a minute or so.

    Side effects are minimal, compared to stories we've read and heard. If there are other children out there, there is hope. All the stuff we've read has been based more so on adults. The stories scared us, but Simon's experience has been pretty good.

    Side effects are intermittent.
    FEVER---He often gets a low-grade fever. Generally it subsides on its own. We do treat with Tylenol/Advil as appropriate. We tend to do the shots in the evenings, so he sleeps through most of that fever.
    ACHINESS---From time to time, Simon will complain of achy feet and legs. I will often rub/massage his feet and legs for a little while and that generally helps. Sometimes the achiness continues off an on for an hour or so, but it has not been debilitating.
    HYDRATION---Not a side-effect exactly, but something we have to worry more about. It seems on shot days, if we can keep Simon better hydrated, the side effects are not so bad.

    Generally, treatments have gone well. He doesn't like the shots AT ALL, but we have maintained open communication throughout this whole journey and he understands why he has to have the shots.

    Part of the good news is that Simon has been able to maintain all normal activities. This cancer and treatment haven't slowed him down much. During infusion treatments he wasn't able to swim and with golf he focused more on his short game instead of full swings. Once infusions ended, he started back with swim team and has had a fabulous golf season.

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    • dnovak's Avatar
      dnovak

      Josie,

      Thank you for this information. Our 8 year old daughter Amelia was diagnosed in Sept with a stage IIIa melanoma on her left jaw. She had the wide area excision and lymph node dissection early this month and is about to start on Interferon 2b on Monday. My wife and I are scared to death of the side effects--both temporary and permanent--that we have read about on the internet.

      It is reassuring that of the 3 pediatric melanoma parents I have talked to all have said the Interferon was not that bad. I pray that is the case for our daughter.

      Thanks again for the post.

      dnovak in Asheville, NC

      about 3 years ago
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    Drug or Chemo Therapy (Interferon): Simon (age 10) started interferon Monday. Days 1 and 2 were shaky with some fever, achy legs, irritability, and general YUCKiness. Added nausea on day 2. He was fine for about 2 hours after infusion, then it began slowly. Peaked around 5 hours. Short nap and then better.

    Day 3 was fabulous. Added Zofran for nausea. Fever no higher than 99.5. He acted like my sweet boy. Day 4 good too. Now we're 4 hours past treatment. Remaining hopeful!

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