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Need hope, and need to pass on good stories to my step father!

jesscamry
Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2009

Just joined this site, not for me, but for my step father Brian. He was just diagnosed with stage 4 malignant melanoma. He went in today to find out everything from his MRI to his PET scan. They found a spot in his bowel, a spot that is leading to his bowel (can't remember the name), and spot in his lung. They aren't going to do the therapy they originally were going to proceed with due to the biggest side effect being heart attacks. And since he's been through a heart attack before, his heart isn't reliable enough to send through such stress again. So, they are going to the skin doctor to see if they can't be cut out, along with seeing another doctor including the surgeon. If they can't be cut out, they're going to do chemo, and if the chemo doesn't work they will turn to clinical trials. Please, is there anyone out there who has been through this? And do you think they will be able to cut them out? If you have any uplifting stories, PLEASE SHARE!! We are in great need of hope and giving him even more power and strength to make it through this. He is going to beat this!!!
Thank you all!

yalleh's picture
yalleh
Posts: 36
Joined: Jul 2009

they couldnt cut mine out of my lung because they couldnt contain it (they would just have to keep cutting things out as it spread). I am Stge 4 with tumors in my lungs, brain and throughout the body. I am on a clincal trial right now and it has kept me alive for over 2 years (I was first diagnosed stage 3 almost 5 years ago). I would tell you the name but it doesnt matter as not everyone can get on this drug (most cant)... amd nor would it matter since almost very cancer is different (even within Melanoma) that is why its so hard to cure.

Now as for hope... as long as you keep that attitude of beating this that is really all you need. they advice I give others on this sight... Give your step father a hug (maybe 5 or 10 a day) hugs kill cancer, tell him a joke and make him laugh (also daily), and most of all enjoy your time with him, whether its 5 months or 50 years... even if he didnt have cancer you should do this that way you will never have any regerets

kmcfarla54
Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2009

Keep up the hope.

It is hard to remain hopeful in the face of a dire diagnosis. I was first diagnosed in June of 2001, had it excized and was told there was no problem. Three months later I was back in surgery with a series of multiple surgeries and some HEAVY DUTY bio-chemotherapy that my oncologist didn't recommend, but a different melanoma specialist was doing it in a clinical trial. I chose to have the heavy bio-chemo without the trial because I didn't want to risk getting a placebo. It was a series of 4 treatments that required me to be in ICU a week for each treatment because of the risk of body temperature spikes and blood pressure drops. TORTURE!!! My husband, oncologist, and I chose to stop the protocol after 3 treatments because we weren't sure I would live thru a 4th one. I was 47 years old at the time and very healthy in every other way. Within a year, I was having mestatic recurrences and had more surgeries than I can count. Given a 10-20% chance of surviving 3 years, it was hard to keep my chin up when every time I went to the doc, he found more tumors and ordered more surgery. I went thru 3 years of that, including a radical mastectomy.

Then the miracle: I have had no known recurrences for 5 years now and will reduce my twice yearly body scans (bone, PET, and CT) to once a year. The doctors are cautiously optimistic. But I give you this info to let you know that there is ALWAYS hope. When I have scans in 2 weeks, I may find my body invaded with melanoma tumors. I pray not.

One piece of info that I found helpful: melanoma is one cancer that is somewhat interactive with the immune system--thus the interferon protocol. I chose to change my lifestyle as much as possible to promote a healthy immune system: increasing exercise and eating healthy foods. I am new to this site and haven't read many other comments, but I wish your family the best of luck and hope.

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