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    Mindy91 wrote on Clyde's wall

    Clyde glad to hear you are fairing well from your surgeries. Great news on your lymph node biopsy. I only had one node test positive out of the 33 removed. I remember my oncologist telling me that was great news!! I agree the drain is a pain but keep it in as long as possible. Mine fell out when I was still measuring 90 units a day. My surgeon chose not to put another drain in. Instead he aspirated the fluid under my arm as needed for another two months. He finally thought I was in the clear and released me. Three weeks later I become ill with a rash down my arm, high fever, nauseau and pain. I went to the ER and discover I had an abscesses under my arm. It was to deep to aspirate so I had to have itsurgically drained. I had surgery the next day over 150 units were drained, another drain was put in, and I spent three days in the hospital on IV antibiotics. Since then I have had three more abscesses. I've been hospitalized so many times this year that when I had my last infection in May I begged my surgeon not to hospitalized. I had a picc line put in and I did six weeks of daily outpatient IV antibiotics. That is why I say keep that drain in!!!
    The other piece of advise I would give you about choosing your oncologist is try if you can to find one close to home. You'll be on interferon for one year. The first month consists on 20 treatments and you'll go in daily Monday-Friday. The side effects are obviously different for everyone but it knocked me out. I had the fevers, chills, body aches, migraine headaches, and nauseau/vomiting. I couldn't eat and I lost ten pounds in the first month. My first treatment took about two hours and by the next week it would take three to four hours because of the extra fluids and nauseau meds I was getting. For that month I only got out of bed to get treatments. The side effects aren't as intense once you go to injections because you are only doing it three times a week. You will be seeing your oncologist once a month for the next eleven months and that is if you don't have any complications. I couldn't imagine going through interferon so far from home. Like I said I'm only giving you my experiences and thoughts. Like anything else in life you need to make the decision based on what works and is most comfortable. Take care you are doing great!

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      Clyde

      Wow. That is the first I have heard of how the treatment goes. My drain has started to leak a bit (I think the tube comes loose once in a while, but I just push it back together). I'm way down on units a day (under 50--not because of the leak). If it continues like this, it should be out next week. I'm very worried about the chemo. I don't do well with drugs (still blurry and a little dizzy from the gas and surgery was a week ago but recovering very well from the surgery itself). I'm going to need to do some serious thinking about the future. I did my CT scan first and nothing has spread. I'm seriously considering skipping the chemo. If I react as I expect (worse than you experienced), it would be a total loss of quality of life, work and an enormous drain on resources (financial and emotional for both myself and family). I would probably think differently if the scan showed something or there had been a different result from the nodes. I'm also very healthy, thin (Doc told me this was a very good thing in terms of spotting if the cancer had spread) and see no reason for that to change. I'll do more research and speak to the Doc (surgeon) more when the drain comes out. Thanks for your thoughts and take care.

      over 4 years ago
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    Mindy91 wrote on Clyde's wall

    Hi Clyde I was wondering how you were doing? Praying all is going well.

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    Mindy91 wrote on Clyde's wall

    Going through any cancer is tough and having support and trust in your medical team is imperative. Not to bore you with my situation but maybe it might help you with this process. I was diagnosised with Melanoma last summer. My family physician did the biopsy and he said I had at least stage 2 Melanoma. He referred me to a surgeon who helped start the Melanoma Program at Indiana University. I was warned that he doesn't have the best bedside manor but I wasn't seeing him for emotional support. I was seeing him for his expertise in this area. At my first visit he told me I would need to have a wide excision to remove all of the tumor. I would also have a sentinel node mapping done. Sentinel Node Mapping is a procedure where surgerons can see by dye which lymph nodes the cancer could spread to first. They usually remove 2 or 3. If this biopsy comes back positive then another surgery will be scheduled to have a complete lymph node dissection. I had my surgery and he removed three nodes. Mine came back positive. A month later I was scheduled for a right axillary complete lymph node dissection. In total I had 33 nodes removed. Because of this my staging changed to stage 3b Melanoma. My surgeon referred me to an oncologist in my area and they both agreed I needed to go through interferon. This is a year long treatment. The first month is intense with daily IV treatments. The side effects are awful and as any cancer treatment it isn't for the faint. After the first month you begin 11 months of 3 times a week injections. Interferon is hard and after three months I had to quit. It was doing more harm then good for my body. I'm at a higher risk of reoccurrence since I didn't complete the treatment. I still am seeing my oncologist monthly and have PET scans every six months for the next two years. I'm praying I can stay clean for 10 years and be cancer free!! Just to let you know I didn't have my first CT scan until after my first surgery when we knew it had spread to the lymph nodes. I wish I could recommend my doctors but I don't live in MO. I hope you can find the medical support you need and get your questions answered. I'm not a medical doctor but I'd be happy to try and answer any questions you have as a person who has been there and done it. God bless you and your family as you begin this journey.