Sorry it has taken me so long to post the results from my latest visit with my docs. I needed some time to process the information.
I met with doc and he confirmed that the tumor in my kidney was melanoma. We reviewed the results from my CT scan and he explained that I have 3 tumors on my lungs. A 7mm on my lower right lobe, a 8mm on my lower left lobe and a 2mm on my left lingula (small area of the left lung). He is not recommending surgery as he believes they are to small for a surgeon to find and since this is the second time a met has come to my lung (initial in 2008). He is recommending a chemo treatment. His first recommendation is a treatment called High Dose IL-2. It is nasty, but in the words of my doc, my best bet for a cure. Yes, he did use that word which I haven't heard him utter in the 4 years I have been working with him. In his experience this treatment has worked with melanoma patients with mets in their lungs. Although he believes this is my best option, I am scared of this treatment. It requires a 5 day stay in the hospital a 9 day break and then another 5 days. This is round 1. If it shows success (tumor shrinkage), then I would do a round 2. I would get a 15 minute infusion of the drug every 8 hours for the 5 days. Some of the side effects include vomitting/nausea, pain, itchy rashes, fatigue, kidney damage. That last one is the biggie for me as I now only have one. At this point I only know of the treatment being offered in Tucson (a 2 hour drive from Phoenix). If this is the treatment we choose, my mom is going to fly out here to be down there with me so Todd can stay in Phoenx with Teya. Teya will need to have one of her parents and as much normalcy to her life to get her through. This will make it easier on me as well knowing that she is at her home being taken care of.
I had a follow up PET/CT on Friday and will have an MRI of brain (no symptoms - standard follow up) on Monday. I am then heading back down to Tucson on Tuesday to discuss everything with my doc. I have a list of questions for him to help me decide. There are other treatments out there that I'll discuss with him. I am also looking into a second opinion with the Cancer Treatmet Center of America in Good Year, AZ.
Here is information regarding the IL-2 treatment: http://skincancer.about.com/od/treatmentoptions/a/interleukin.htm
The other treatments that are less toxic are:
Ipilimumab, this is the one that has been in the news. I can't get it right now for 2 reasons: 1) I haven't failed another chemo treatment and 2) my tumors are not at least 1 cm. This drug is going to be reviewed by the FDA on December 25, 2010 and will hopefully be approved soon after. This drug has been in clinical trials for 10 years and is really promising as it is showing long term results. 1-2 years NED (no evidence of disease).
PLX 4032 - There is a BRAF mutation that has been found for melanoma tumors. Mine is being tested and if it comes back positive this might be an option for me, but it isn't showing long term "cure". It has shown close to a 80% response rate in terms of tumor shrinkage or stopping of growth, which is fantastic news, but then progression of growth is shown about 8 months later in a large number of patients. If I do have this mutation then I would like to discuss my case with the docs running the trial to get more information.
I'll keep posting as I get information and make decisions.