Home Forums Melanoma Diagnosis: Stage IV Moving From Stage 2 to Stage 4

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  • #57156
    rmccuskey1
    Participant

    Went through training today for my chemotherapy. I’m starting Yervoy on the 21st. 4 treatments every 21 days. After that I will be on maintenance every 90 days for whatever period the results provide. I have a follow up MRI next Monday to determine the effects of the 14 whole brain radiation treatments. I will go over those results with my Oncologist on the 21st before I start the first treatment.

    #57157
    Catherine Poole
    Keymaster

    Wishing you all the best on this. Are you BRAF neg or positive? I would also make sure you have a plan B. We’re here to support you.

    #57158
    rmccuskey1
    Participant

    My BRAF was negative.

    #57159
    Catherine Poole
    Keymaster

    I would ask them to test you for NRAS.

    #57160
    rmccuskey1
    Participant

    The MRI shows that 2 of the 5 cancers have disappeared and one has shrunk significantly. That’s the good news. The bad news is that 2 have increased in size.

    The next step is to attack those two and the small one with stereotactic radial surgery. That’s being planned right now.

    I had to postpone the Yervoy ipi was postponed until this Friday. I did take the blood tests and all of my blood work has come back with excellent results. Even my PSA test for my prostate cancer was 2.57 which was lower than the previous test.

    Still hanging in there.

    Got the whole family here for Christmas. The house is packed with lots of love and support.

    #57161
    Catherine Poole
    Keymaster

    Sounds good, packed with love and support to cushion you through a stressful time. Hope the therapy continues to work for you! We’ll be thinking of you here!

    #57162
    rmccuskey1
    Participant

    Had my 1st. Yervoy treatment Friday. So far no side effects.

    Going in today for a Higher concentration MRI with contrast. Next step is Stereotactic radiation surgery on the 3 remaining tumors.

    Sure getting tired of the metal taste in my mouth.

    Happy New Year everyone.

    #57163
    rmccuskey1
    Participant

    Stereotactic Radiation Surgery today.

    #57164
    buffcody
    Participant

    Hope the day is not too tough on you. I know it’s a very long one. I had two. Three probably adds another hour. I found it too late that they could adjust your halo for things like eating and drinking more easily.

    #57165
    rmccuskey1
    Participant

    Stereotactic results.

    The whole process lasted 1 hour and 15 minutes. 55 minutes actual radiation treatment. The techs where very upbeat on the execution of the plan. They felt that they did a very good coverage of the tumors and margins. I haven’t had any side effects to speak of last night or today. Just a little more tired today than normal.

    I was reviewing my charges to my insurance today and saw what the bill was for my Yurvoy treatment. WOW, The bill for the 1st treatment was $78,000. My insurance company is really challenging this cost. My copay is $890.00. This stuff better work.

    Bristol Meyers must have a huge amount of cost in developing this drug.

    #57166
    Catherine Poole
    Keymaster

    Hope all of your therapies do the trick! Yes the cost is pretty unbelievable. But sounds like you are doing very well. Keep up the good work!

    #57167
    marlee425
    Participant

    This is my first time posting to this board. I’ve been reading these posts for the past year, learning more about melanoma than I ever imagined or ever wanted to. Your situation sounds similar to my significant other. He was diagnosed with malignant melanoma on January 6, 2012. He had a wide local excision on his left flank and had 17 lymph nodes removed . . . 1 being positive. By April, it had metastasized to the brain with 3 lesions. He had SRS. First MRI after indicated lesions were showing signs of decay. However, next MRI showed the 3 were getting larger and now there were 3 more. He had WBR, 3 weeks, Monday through Friday, in August. He lost his hair, has major hearing loss, and some memory loss. The next MRI showed little response and now there were 7. At the end of November we were referred to Dr. L. Dade Lunsford at UPMC for Gamma Knife which took place the first week of December. We are currently playing the “waiting game” until the next MRI at the end of the month. He had 4 infusions of Yervoy, plus Dacarbazine beginning last April. He handled the infusions quite well with the only side effect, diarrhea. However, because he had little response, he never made it to the maintenance phase. He is now on Temodar. He is BRAF negative, as well and we are in a battle to get the NRAS testing done . . . as it’s considered not the standard of care.

    I applaud your courage and stamina as you battle this horrible disease. My significant other is a fighter, too. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Here’s hoping both of you have success getting the brain mets stabilized so that you have the opportunity to get into one of the clinical trials out there . . . PD-1 is what the onocologists are hoping for in our case.

    Don’t ever give up the fight and always believe!!!

    #57168
    rmccuskey1
    Participant

    Had my 3rd Yurvoy treatment Feb 8th. Each time i have a treatment i have to have blood work so that they can determine to compond plan. In addition i am given an x-ray to compare what has happened to the 4 tumors in my lungs. My Oncologist has said not to expect much in results because Yurvoy works vary slowly and we should not see anything significant until well after the 3rd treatment and generally after the 4th.

    Long story short, when we reviewed the x-rays there was at least a 25% reduction in size of all 4 tumors. You could not hardly see the 2 smaller ones and the 2 larger ones were significantly reduced.

    Needless to say my Dr was like a kid in a candy shop. He couldn’t have given us more encouragement.

    Does anybody have a remedy for this lousy taste I’ve had in my mouth since the Radiation treatment of my brain? I keep hoping it will go away. I’m using some “Dry Mouth” mouthwash but it doesn’t seem to be working.

    I’m going to Texas this week to celebrate my grandson’s 2nd birtday and my 69. I plan on playing some golf down there.

    #57169
    buffcody
    Participant

    This is absolutely fantastic news to read this evening. I’m so glad that things are so clearly going in the right direction. Have a good time and keep it coming!!

    #57170
    rmccuskey1
    Participant

    Well I had a contrast MRI done yesterday on my brain, 3 months after the Stereotactic Radiation Surgery (Gamma Knife) was performed. The results far exceeded our expectations. 5 of the 6 tumors are gone and the 6th has been changed significantly. My oncologist believes that it has been killed because of how it’s appearance has changed. We believe that my brain tumors are solved!!!!! I’m scheduled for another follow up MRI in 3 months.

    I have a follow up on the Yervoy treatments for my lungs scheduled for next week. Hopefully we will continue to see successful change there also.

    I am really impressed with the quality of cancer care I’ve recieved here in Peoria Illinois.

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 49 total)
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