I hope this new entry finds you well and that you created new, wonderful memories with family and loved ones during this past Christmas and holidays.
As for Teresa and I, even though we did not do much for Christmas (we didn't even put up a tree this year), the both of us truly enjoyed our holiday and our time together, along with family and loved ones.
Well, the break is over and the cancer treatment recommences, but there is a change in plans. Instead of beginning with radiation treatment, two oncologists strongly recommended that I begin systemic therapy. After considering their input, Teresa and I agreed.
So, here is the new plan…
- Starting early next week – possibly Monday, January 6, 2014 – I will undergo a unique type of treatment for my cancer called Immunotherapy, which is a type of systemic therapy for high risk patients like myself. Basically, immunotherapy treats the whole body by attempting to activate a person’s immune system so that it will destroy any melanoma cells within the body.
- The drug they plan to use is called Interferon alpha 2-b. Interferon is a FDA-approved standard treatment for patients with metastatic melanoma. Unfortunately, this treatment induces significant adverse reactions, but my medical team will closely monitor me to mitigate any negative side effects.
- I will have to undergo a high-dose of Interferon for 1 month, daily, via IV infusions at the hospital, then following self-administered injections for 11 months.
So, the battle continues. With high hopes, after this year-long treatment, the recurrence of my type of cancer is significantly reduced.
For your information on melanoma, click here.
As always, thank you for your prayers and thoughts.