Today was a big day of appointments! This morning I had my first appointment with the dermatologist at the Cancer Center. She was very nice and went over all my background infomation with me and then did a full body check for suspicious moles. She was very personable and the check was easier than I anticipated! She said I’m a pretty simple case and there are only two moles she wants me to watch. She instructed me to do monthly skin checks myself and only needs to see me every six months! After seeing Dr. Curiel, I was talked to by a health educator about sunscreen and wearing long sleeves(cue eye roll on my part) and given some sunscreen samples. I heart samples!
Danny and I took a break from the cancer center for lunch. After lunch, we met with Dr. Cranmer, my oncologist. He was FULL of information and made sure we understood his role as well as interferon and the controversy surrounding the treatment. Essentially, it’s not a super effective medication, but it does improve odds for some people and is the only treatment available. The current plan is for me to start Interferon next Wednesday, the 16th. I need to have a pulmonary function test, chest x-ray, and IV port put in before I can start. So, I have a busy few days in front of me! I will be having 20 days (4 weeks, 5 days per week) of high dose interferon followed by 11 months of 3x per week self administered (by injection) low dose interferon. Interferon is a protein the body makes naturally to fight infection. So, although I am hopefully already cancer free, Interferon will increase my immune system and help it defeat any remaining melanoma cells in my body. I am also starting an antidepressant tomorrow since 40% of patients on interferon struggle with depression and an antidepressant is considered part of the course of treatment.
In the last part of the afternoon, I took part in some “word games” as part of a study and had bloodwork drawn. At 4:30 we finally left to pick up the kids from my parents after a LONG afternoon! I’m glad to be home and have the appointments behind me. I dread beginning the treatment, but I am glad to begin putting it behind me!