I called one of the PA's today about the joint pain and she called him in a prescription for Celberex. After reading the side effects from the Celberex, Steve is not quite sure he wants to start it. It has some really scary heart attack side effects. I have read of many people taking Zelboraf that also take the Celebrex with no problem. It seems those at higher risk for heart attacks are those with heart issues. One of the protocols before starting Zelboraf is to check your heart. So, I think he would be safe to take it and the PA said that that is their first choice in treatment of the joint pain. I guess it just makes Steve a bit nervous. He said he will just wait and see if his joint pain gets worse and if so then he will take it, but for now he will just deal with it. (Ok, Mr. Tough Guy!!)
So far Steve has been able to keep on the 4 pills in the morning and 4 pills in the evening regimen (which is the full dosage). Sometimes if a rash, or side effects, etc get too bad, the doctors will lower the dosage either temporarily or permanently. Again, it is too early to tell if he will be able to tolerate the full dosage the entire time, but so far so good!
Keep in mind that Steve's last CAT scan did not show any tumors in his abdomen. He started this Zelboraf due to the lymph node (that tested positive for melanoma) was enlarging. I am happy to report that after 1 week on the Zelboraf the lymph node has decreased in size by at least 50%. This is not uncommon, but is still exciting. Zelboraf works very quickly, but sometimes only works a short period of time. But that is exactly what we needed.....a little time. Hopefully, the Zelboraf will completely get rid of the melanoma in the lymph node, but if it does not get rid of it 100%, as long as no new tumors appear then he will be able to have that lymph node removed in about 6 months.