Thursday, June 19, 2008

Six more sessions

I can’t get to the end of this radiation treatment fast enough. The skin in the groin is now burned, and the surgical scar has broken down and is weeping. I’ve been prescribed a topical antibiotic to ward off infection. I’ll have to take a break from radiation if the skin gets much worse. I’m scheduled for six more sessions (daily through next Friday). The scar will take a few weeks to heal again after the radiation is over, which will inhibit my mobility. No more cycling for a while.

The interferon injections continue, as does my fatigue. Some days are pretty good, like yesterday, when I felt 80% normal. Others, like today, are better spent in the recliner. I’m having a problem getting enough calories, as most food tastes salty or makes me nauseous. I’ve lost a few pounds and have discovered there’s not a lot I can stand to eat. I only need about 2000 calories/day right now, but it’s a job getting there.

I haven’t decided yet whether I will continue with the interferon. I have an appointment next Tuesday with a melanoma specialist at Providence Cancer Center in Portland to talk about my options. My oncologist here knows less about melanoma than I do, and I want to hear from someone who has seen hundreds of patients. As time passes I’m progressively more discouraged about the side-effects of interferon. I still can’t imagine staying the course for a full year, which is what the standard protocol calls for.

2 comments:

Wags said...

Peter,
Thanks for the update. Michelle, Hannah and I counting down the days with you. As you continue with this treatment I'm struck by the irony: it beats you down so that it can lift you back up. The minds that come up with these processes seem strangely twisted at times, don't they? We can only encourage you to press on this next week, then take a deep breath and decide how to proceed from there. We will pray that God gives you insight, wisdom and clarity. We are also praying for the blessing of unexpected relief as you proceed.
Take care,
Steve

Carl Pelz said...

The situation seems to be getting even tougher. The story of Job comes to mind. Part of my ongoing prayer is you get the right advisers and they're given wisdom on the right course of care. May you and family be lifted above all this.