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Bad experience - melanoma cancer treatment

Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2007

On 9-10-2007 I was admitted to Westchester Co Med Ctr for interleuken 2 and interferon cancer treatment of stage 3 localzed internal melanoma In good health. 5 inpatient days- 8hr treatments - round the clock- under doctors care with particular oncology nurses. Care was poor. By 3rd day - body started to decline- bilirubin and creatatine went too high (kidney and liver) potassium nil- not eating- ran out of viabile veins- croasive- threwing up- 4th day they stopped but but kidney and liver levels still rising. 5 day on 6 hour drip for potassium- not eating- threwing up- spirit and body gone. Went home on bread and water. Took weekend to eat. Monday morning - starting bleeding heavy from bladder but I couldnt speak. Local OB/GYN called ambulance- no one home- no neighbers no family- hysterical- ambulance took me to Vassar Hosp med ctr Poughkeepsie. They did a quick scan of my brain and found 4 lesions - one over my left temporal lobe- which impeded my speach. Shock -- shaking - unable to think rational- more info then I could grasp- nurses round the clock hold on - Take one hour at a time. At then end of Monday the radiation specialist and his nurse spent an hour with me and my husband- they knew I had to comprehend the immediacy of the decisions- It went stage 4 - major problem was the brain but I also had a blood clot in the left bladder that later was biopsy - melanoma. Before 9-10 I was strong - pain free and minimal melanoma findings. The interleuken 2 therapy left me with no antibody-s- or immunosystem to fight what happen later. Also my oncologist was located too far away to help me- White Plains to Poughkeepsie. Also my family did not pay attention until it was too late. I was alone during the emergency. Those are the main lessons to learn- You need to pay attention to the specialists who are close to you and your family. Dont wait 6 mos as I did for therapy- wrong. Now I am on immediate symptom only treatment. I have taken 8 of 15 brain radiation therapys plus chemo - I am at home, no headaches, chattering away, take care of myself- no driving, lots of pills- steroids, a little tired- some sleeping problems. I'm still in emotional pieces but the Dyson Cancer Ctr abd Vassar got me thru the worse. I am outpatient- with great neighbors and friends to take me there. I have to check with my husband and neighbors during the day. Take naps. Trying to regain my strenght and joy in my life- sewing, quilting photography. I'm getting a sewing studio which will take a few months - but it is my dream. Think twice maybe more times before considering interleuken 2 and interferon. I left that hospital last Thursday so all of this is tender- but I believe I still have fight left to keep going.

CharlieB's picture
Posts: 9
Joined: Sep 2004

I am so sorry to hear of your diagnosis and related horrible experiences. I am praying for your complete recovery.

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