May 06, 2003 - 10:50 am
Hi. My name is Susan. I was diagnosed with Stage IIIB Melanoma in February of this year. It started as a mole on my back. The mole was removed and checked. I have had two surgeries; the first was a wide excision at the tumor site and a Sentinel Node Biopsy. That lymph node showed some melanoma cells, so the second surgery removed all lymph nodes under my right arm. I have also had a PET scan, which looks for cancer cell clusters in the soft tissue and body organs. Both the scan and the second biopsy came back negative. My Dr. is recommending either a Clinical Trial (if he can get me into it) or Interferon. He says that he doesn't really like Interferon because of the associated risks(?) Can anyone help me understand what the risks are and what the treatment is like? I need to know what to expect as far as personal life, work, etc. Also, I want to go back to work as soon as I can after this last surgery. How long has it taken for you to go back to work after the lymph node removal?