Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fighting Melanoma: An update after three doses of Ipilimumab

I have now received three doses of Ipilimumab. I would say that I am still doing extremely well. My weight remains stable and I continue to feel fine. I have one more dose scheduled on Tuesday, November 30. I will then get another PET/CT scan on December 10. From what I understand, the results from the first scan are widely mixed and most patients continue on and receive another 4 doses.

I have finally started feeling some effects from the drug. Tuesday morning was rough for me. I woke up feeling warm all over and quite a bit nauseous. Not long after I had to rush to the bathroom where I did get sick. After speaking with my research nurse, the doctor wanted to me to take compazine which interestingly enough treats both nausea and schizophrenia.

Since then I've continued to feel only a little queazy, but nothing like Tuesday morning. I've not yet taken any of the pills.

My leg continues to bother me with that dull and annoying pain. I was scheduled to receive Zometa, which is a bone hardening agent. They want to shore up my bones which would both alleviate pain as well as provide at least some level of protection from a bone fracture. Turns out that my recent dental work was still too recent for this treatment. Having the tooth extraction created two areas where bone needs to be regenerated which take on average three months to complete. Zometa can cause a condition called Osteonecrosis which would essentially cause necrotic bone tissue to form in my jaw. I definitely don't want that, so we'll go ahead and wait the additional month.

I currently manage the pain with 800mg of Ibuprofen once or sometimes twice per day. If the pain worsens, I could opt for focal radiation to the leg, but I will do my best to avoid that for now.

I've continued showing up for work a few times per week now, which seems to be working out well. I've been able to find organic food options at both of my commuting destinations which include DC and Reston. All in all -- I'm happy, generally healthy and continue to focus on growing old with my friends and family. That's all any of us can really do.

1 comment:

Laurie said...

Hey Mike! Thanks for the update, but let me just make sure I'm understanding....

Without taking the compazine your nausea has subsided...but do ALL of your personalities agree that it's a good idea not to take it? hahaha!

In all seriousness, I'm so glad to hear the positive news even WITH the nausea that accompanied this last round. I think of you every day (and probably check your website that often as well)...but it's not stalking if there's a good reason, right?

Happy Thanksgiving to you and the rest of the Brockey family including the extended family members! There is so much to be thankful for every day, and YOU are one of those things in my life!

I'll be watching for your next update!

Love you all so much!!!