My friend has been diagnosed with melanoma at stage 3, and it since has progressed to stage 4. She is currently being treated, but the treatments are not working. She is set to start whole brain radiation this upcoming week, and I am wondering if anyone knows of any treatment options, experimental? Trials? This is her current statement on her blog:
How do you even process this? I need to write it here because I can't even think straight right now to explain everything to everyone and I love everyone but I'm too emotional to want to talk about it at this very moment. Well first off, I've been in the hospital for the last 7 days because it turns out that my oxygen was low causing blue lips, confusion, heart racing and shaking I couldn't stand for 2 mins without feeling like this- it turns out an antibiotic they put me on caused the oxygen I was getting to not be released to my body and caused my 'methemoglobin' levels to be high, still don't know what that is but they're going down and I finally feel a little better than I did the day I got here as far as that goes. The part I can't or don't want to process right now is that after doing MRI's and a spinal tap they found out that one of my tumors in the cervical spine/brain stem area grew & there are melanoma cancer cells in my spinal fluid. As if this doesn't sound bad enough, my dr explained why it's a really bad thing. The area that the tumor is in controls your breathing and other important functions that essentially keep you alive and if that grows anymore it could basically be life threatening. Next, since spinal fluid also circulates to your brain and mine has cancer cells in it, these cells can potentially cause more tumors in my brain & up & down my spine or will make the tumors I do have get worse causing more symptoms and making them harder to treat down the line. So the best treatment according to my dr and another team of specialists is whole brain radiation with targeted therapy to the tumor that grew. It's not 100% that it'll kill what's there because lovely melanoma resists radiation a lot of the time.. So now as for side effects, I'll lose my hair, be even more tired than I've been lately & possibly have mild 'cognitive issues' down the line for the hope that this may work.. but right now it's the only choice I have. I really just need to get out of here (they say hopefully tomorrow after they do the set up for radiation) have a day or two to not think about any of this at all then maybe I'll be ready to process it.. Just maybe.View Thread
The opinions expressed in WebMD Communities are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. Communities are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.
Do not consider Communities as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.