Survivor Stories


Diagnosed 01/01/2010

I had a lesion on my scalp that I thought was a sabaceous cyst in January 2010. It would bleed and was non-pigmented. My dermatologist believed it was basal cell. The biopsy came back as 2C melanoma and my world collapsed.

My surgery was the easiest part of my treatment – you can barely see a scar. There was no lymph node involvement. I sought advice from UC-San Francisco and Dr. O’day in LA. Everyone advised me to have the interferon treatment, which consisted of IV infusion 5 days a week for a month. It was a tough month with fatigue and nausea, but with my wife’s support I made it. It took about 3 weeks for my stamina to return and not to have side effects.

The next step in treatment was more interferon, but a lighter dose. I did have some hand tremors from the month treatment (I’m a dentist), so it was decided not to rx the interferon.

I have now started another immunotherapy drug called Leukine which I inject sub-cutaneously for 14 days and off 14 days – each for one year. The effects are very mild and only amounted to mild headaches. I have 11 months remaining of this treatment.

Supposedly, all this treatment will cut down my chances of recurrence from 50% to 20%. But no one can really quantify it.

I don’t dwell on the prospects of my cancer returning. I hope for the best — that’s all one can do.