I had a doctor's appointment on Friday which for the first time since starting this melanoma battle I got some good news. I though that Dr Spira might start doing jumping jacks in the exam room as he over and over again expressed how good that I looked. The last time time he had seen me was right after my hospital stay where I was doubled over in so much pain that they had me drowned in all sorts of pain medication. At that appointment, he was talking about hospice care and he even called me "sick." His gave me his personal cell phone number to call him if I needed help while we were away on our Disney vacation, he was certain that he'd receive a phone call from me. He was telling a different story this time. He was really excited to see me in such good condition especially knowing that I've been greatly reducing my pain medication. You see, pain from cancer just doesn't go away. Unless, of course, the cancer is going away.
"Clinically speaking, from everything we see, I think you have received a delayed response from Ipilimumab. I now think that the drug is working.", I believe were his exact words.
The original timeline was for me to get another set of scans in the beginning of March as it is known that the drug can take some time to activate. It is also known that patients tend to get worse before they get better. This is the frustrating thing about Ipilimumab. The hope is that patients are not so sick that they can afford to get a little sicker in the first place. For many this is just not the case. I'll now go back to Washington Hospital Center and get another scan to find out for sure. If the results show that I am stable or that the tumors have in fact regressed, I may be eligible for another round of Ipilimumab.
This is extremely exciting news!! We've never had this kind of possitive news from the medical insitution. Sure they've been happy to see me before and unable to explain why I look so good so far into a melanoma diagnosis. Never have any of these doctors been able to tell me that they actually think something is working. This is exactly what I needed as it is once again refreshed me mentally for the continued fight. I will, of course, update again once I know the results for sure.