For anyone keeping score, I made it through my first day of interferon. The session consisted of sitting in a Barcalounger for two hours while my venous catheter sucked in the INF with a saline chaser. Pretty straightforward. It’s now three hours later, and I don’t feel too bad—about how I’d feel if I was coming down with the flu. Ellen and I are going for a walk to the covered bridge in a few minutes. After some crummy weather today, it’s a pretty evening.
A couple people have asked me how interferon works. The short answer is, no one knows for sure. The two main theories are that it stimulates an immunologic response against melanoma cells, and the other is that it inhibits the development of tumor blood flow. Either way, it’s not a great medicine, but it’s all we have. Because there’s so little known about its mechanism of action, it’s hard to know what the optimum dose should be, how long you should take it, and how its toxicity can be reduced. The immunologists and cellular biologists need to get to work on this!
I’ll be going to the clinic for treatment every weekday at 3 pm for the next four weeks. I’m relieved to have this process started.