Stage III biochemotherapy veterans

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2/28/2011 8:27am
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I underwent biochemotherapy treatments at the University of Colorado Cancer Center in 2003, after receiving a Stage IIIc diagnosis (14 malignant nodes).  Today, I'm still above ground and healthy, showing no evident disease.  I've blogged about the lighter side of the journey at www.hotelmelanoma.blogspot.com.  Any other biochemo veterans out there?  Please share your stories.  Best wishes.  Rich McDonald

Anonymous - (2/28/2011 - 9:46am)

OMG - I just read your blog.....to FUNNY!  As I wage this battle myself - I request that you keep blogging because you make me feel better!

Thanks, I'll try to keep it up, but as "March Madness" checkup season approaches I'm hoping not to experience a whole lot of new material for future posts.  Best wishes to you in your battle.  Rich

Rich - Thanks so much for your post and your blog.  Its fantastic!  I, too, am a survivor of the UCCC biochemotherapy treatment.  I just finished my 4th treatment at the end of January (2011).  Its amazing to read something that captures my experience so well.  In particular, the section on Chemo Brain!  Really?!  I couldn't figure out why I wasn't reading and couldn't concentrate on much!  Its still very foggy!  I also loved your description of hitting the web directly after diagnosis.  Surely we all can relate.  We KNOW better, we're told not to...but we do it with disastrous results!  The hazmat suit experience is exactly what I thought too.  Overall, I find the experience something I can't really describe in words, but I feel like I don't have to try as hard, because its all in yours.  Thanks. 

My experiences are similar, I hope I enjoy similar results.  Right now, I'm just entering into the watch and wait phase with 3 month scans.  Your story is an inspiration for me.  I'm heading to Costa Rica to celebrate in April.  I have already taken note of your increased sensitivity to the sun and plan to follow suit.  Please keep blogging - and stay in touch.  - Shari

Shari, thanks for your kind words on the blog.  Congratulations on being DONE!  We share a great group of docs (Bill Robinson and Karl Lewis have been my main guys) and I firmly believe you too are going to be one of UCCC's biochemo success stories.  The Chemo Brain thing will slowly improve (I haven't forgotten my ATM PIN for a long time), but I still don't think I can "multi-task" effectively so, per the advice of a UCCC neurologist (Denise Damek) I just don't try to.  Hang in there.

I'm going to try to keep blogging on, but since next month is my checkup season of "March Madness" I'm hoping not to experience a lot of new material for future posts.

Best wishes!  Rich

Is this band of brothers and sisters really this small?  I can't believe there aren't more biochemo vets out there.  (My doc once joked that as their thousandth patient to complete biochemo, I was the lucky winner of a bonus fifth round.  I just about fainted before my brain kicked in and I got the joke, but I know I was far from their first and most certainly not their last biochemo patient.)   Please reply and let us know how you are doing.  Or, become a guest blogger at www.hotelmelanoma.blogspot.com, which chronicles the lighter side of my journey.  Best wishes to all.