In 2009, I had a mole removed from my back. Even if it was carcinogenic, as I had removed completely, I did not think about it anymore. I was climbing out in May 2015 when I found myself having very little breath. So I went to get an x-ray and the doctor told me to go straight to the hospital; my right lung was almost completely sagging. The melanoma had moved to the walls of my lung causing fluid leaks. I spent 10 days in the hospital with a catheter in the chest that drained fluids from my lung regularly.
I then underwent a bronchial tube biopsy and the results showed stage 4 metastatic melanoma. A CT scan then showed several tumors in my kidneys, my spine and my neck. I had to travel to Kelowna to begin receiving combination treatment with Tafinlar and Mekinist. Back in September, I was already feeling better. However, my body became tolerant to treatment and my cancer came back.
I began to consult a naturopath who suggested I do research on immunotherapy in combination with Nivolumab and Ipilimumab. When my cancer came back, I was admitted to Kamloops Hospital waiting for my oncologist to decide between Keytruda immunotherapy treatment or to find a clinical study for the combination Nivolumab and Ipilimumab. He finally found a study in Edmonton and I went there despite the fact that I was very sick.
Durant le premier cycle de traitement, j’étais constamment déshydrater et on drainait trois litres de liquides de mon corps par jour. Après un deuxième cycle, j’ai commencé à me sentir mieux. J’ai passé six semaines et demies à l’Institut Cross Cancer à prendre des médicaments antidouleurs et à me faire drainer le liquide des poumons fréquemment. Après mon quatrième cycle de traitement, j’ai eu mon congé de l’hôpital. J’ai complété mes neuf traitements de Nivolumab et je suis toujours sur la bonne voie avec une réponse immunitaire complète.
In 2009, I had a mole removed from my back with a wide excision surgery. Though it has been completely removed, so I stopped thinking about it.
I was out hiking in May 2015, when I began to feel surprisingly short of breath. I went in for an x-ray, and the doctor told me to go to the hospital immediately; my right lung had almost collapsed. The melanoma had moved into the pleura lining of my lung, causing fluid leakage. I spent ten days in the hospital, with a chest catheter draining my lung fluids regularly.
I then had a bronchial tube biopsy, the results of which came back as stage 4 metastatic melanoma. CT scans founds more tumours on my kidney, spine, and neck. I travelled to Kelowna to begin receiving the checkpoint inhibitor combination of Tafinlar and Mekinist. By September, I had begun to feel better; however, my body became immune to the drugs I was receiving, and my cancer came back.
I began seeing a Naturopath, who suggested I look into the immunotherapy combination of Nivolumab and Ipilimumab. When my cancer returned, I was admitted to the hospital in Kamloops, waiting for my Oncologist to decide between the immunotherapy Keytruda, or finding a clinical trial for Nivolumab and Ipilimumab. He found a trial in Edmonton, where I went, despite being very ill. During the first round of treatment, I was constantly dehydrated, despite draining three litres of fluid a day from my body. After the second round, I began to feel better. I spent six and a half weeks in the Cross Cancer Institute, taking pain relief medications and having fluid drained regularly from my lungs. After my fourth cycle of treatment, I was discharged from the hospital. While I still have nine treatments to go of Nivolumab, which I receive every second week, I am on track for a full immune response.