Thursday, November 30, 2006

11/30/2006 on to round 4!!!!!!

I start round 4 at 11:30 pm. All is quiet on the western front.

Jimmy B.

11/30/2006 It looks like we are on for round 3!!!

So far, so good. The side effects are quite subdued so far.Round three is slated for 3:30 pm. Not much to talk about. What is going on with Kodak? I heard that GMTO is being broken up. Is that true?

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Jimmy B

11/30/2006 Got the second dose!!!!!

I got the second dose and i am waiting to see what side effects I will get. Right now I am flushed and have a rash on my arms and legs.The swelling is just starting to make a difference.

That is it for now

Jimmy B.

11/30/2006 First dose went quite well.!!!!!

I received the first dose at 11:25 pm last night. I prepared myself by drinking a ton of water and kept my feet raised when I am not sitting around. I also Lubridermedmy feet and ankles to make my skin more elastic.
The next dose is at 7:30 am and I believe it is a go.
I will try to keep you informed as I go.


Jimmy B.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

11/29/2006 I am ready for another round of Interlukin –2!!!!!!!!!!!

We left Rochester about 4:00 am and arrived in Pittsburgh at about 9:00am. I thought my appointment was at 9:00 am but it wasn’t until 10:30 am. So Kay, my mother-in-law and I decided to have breakfast at Ritter’s Diner. We both ordered eggs and bacon with a side of home fries and whole wheat toast.

After breakfast we checked in at the Hillman Center and had my blood drawn at that time. We were then escorted into the holding pen for patients until Pam was available. She is one of the physician assistants that are following my case. She gave me the once over and asked me if I had any questions at this time. I asked her jokingly if she had found a replacement for me, for this second round. She said no and proceeded to give me my marching papers for Shadyside Hospital. You know the ones that they forgot to give me the first time through.
She said I have an appointment at the Diagnostic Imaging –Registration at 12:30 pm to have a Picc put in.

So we headed to the waiting room in hopes that they would take me early and put the picc in. Well that wasn’t the case. We sat there for an hour and a half until I was called.It gave me a chance to cat nap while Kay did here crossword puzzles.

When they finally took me in, my electronic medical record was not entered and they could not start the procedure. It seemed to be Deja Vu all over again. I needed to go to Registration and Testing before going to the Diagnostic Imaging –Registration. Pam sent me to the wrong place first. Now, I think I am getting the hang of this Registration. After the Picc was put in my arm I had to go back to Registration and Testing to get my room assignment (Main section, room 724). It was now about 2:00 pm so Kay and I stopped in the cafeteria to get a bite to eat before we went up to the room.

So I missed the 3:30 start (I am Very upset –NOTTTTT) so I am starting my treatment at 11:00 pm. Freedom From Miss Daisy ( My IV pole) for a couple more hours.

That is it for now.

Take Care,

Jimmy B.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

11/28/2006 It’s back down to Pittsburgh for round two of the Interlukin-2

Thanks to my Mother in Law (Kay), she will be escorting me this time to the Hillman Cancer Center. I could not find anyone to take my place, so it looks like I will have to play the Pop and Dough Boy. I will be there for 5 to 6 days. I will try to stay in contact during my treatment.

Take care,

Jimmy B.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

11/22/2006 Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

When we count our many blessings; It isn't hard to see that life's most valued treasures are the treasures that are free.

For it isn't what we own or buy that signifies our wealth.

It's the special gifts that have no price: our family, friends and health.

I'd like to take this opportunity to tell you just how much your friendship and love means to me.

Many of us have lost dear friends and loved ones this past year and our country as a whole has suffered great losses also.In times like this, it gives us a chance to stop and reflect and think about what is really important to us in this life;
Just how precious and fragile it is, and to not waste what time we are given with the special people in our lives.

For myself, it is the gift of family and friends that are the riches in my life.

Those precious times that we hold dear to our heart and memories and special moments that can never be replaced, neither by time nor all the wealth in the world.

Whether you have planned a grand feast surrounded by friends and family, an intimate candlelight dinner for two, or a simple frozen dinner or takeout, it is not really the edible food, but rather who we share them with that counts most of all, and to me, this is the true value and meaning of Thanksgiving.
I will be thinking of each and every one of you during this season of Thanksgiving, and even though we may be separated by miles, you will be close to me in my heart.

I give thanks for you all, friends and close loved ones.You have touched my life in many ways and I am a very wealthy individual for this.

For those that have passed on to be with the Lord, I know there will be a special place for you in the hearts and minds of many of us as we observe Thanksgiving this year.


Jimmy B.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

11/17/2006 The trip was quite non-eventful

This time around, the trip was quite non-eventful. My appointment was at 3:00pm but didn’t see Dr. Kirkwood until 5:00 pm. He said this round I would have a cardiologist on board for the therapy. He also gave me a prescription for Lasix. This will help me shed the water weight gain from the last round.
I ended up staying at the Family House on Neville Street. It is about 8-10 blocks from the Hillman Cancer Center. There is a UPMC Blue Shuttle that takes you to all the other Shady houses and hospitals. (13 stops in all).

The weather could have been better. It was quite rainy so I dinner at the local Boston Market near the Hillman and then caught the shuttle back to my room at the Neville family House.

Traveling home back to Rochester was quite rainy. So, I had a leisurely breakfast at Ritter's Diner and was on the road about 9:30 am. I pulled into my driveway about 2:00pm

That is it for now. I go back to face the second round on November 29th. I just can't wait to do it all over again. Does anyone care to take my place? Hey!! the hospital food wasn't that bad.

Take care for now.

Jimmy B.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

11/15/06 On the Road Again!!!!!!!!!

11/15/06 On the Road Again!!!!!!!!!

Going back to Pittsburgh for a checkup and blood work. I am making the trip a sleep over. Fatigue from the Chemo has set in, so I will stay at Shady House.
Also my appointment is at 3:00 pm so there is no rush to get there.
My life is just about back to normal except for the head aches and swollen ankles. I am down to 222.1 lbs. and need to get to 214.
I may make a stop to see Margaret and Caroline at the Shantley Gardens. Won't they be surpise to see me.

That is it for now.

Take care

Jimmy B.

Thursday, November 9, 2006

11/9/2006 I’m Still Alive!!!!!!!!!!! (IL-2 Therapy)

Sorry for being off line for so long. This therapy really knocked the socks off of me. To try to put it in perspective, I was battling the side effects from Saturday November 4th to Monday evening November 6th. It was quite ugly. I gained 30 lbs. of water weight and my kidneys were barely functioning. They gave me a dieretic to help shed some of the water but waited until Monday to do so. To this day I don’t know why they waited so long. I guess they were hoping that my kidneys would kick into gear.

I looked so fat, that I could have passed for being pregnant. I looked like Tim Allen when he gained weight to become Santa Claus. The only problem was, it was quite painful. My ankles were as wide as my thighs. My toes were smashed together and I formed water blisters on the instep of my left ankle. My belly was so bloated that it felt like someone was sitting on your chest and would not get off. I use to get that feeling when I would fight with my brother Chuck. He would pin me down and sit on my chest until I said "uncle". He would get me so angry.

Another side effect was a chronic head ache. You know the kind that won’t subside even while taking acetaminophen. They gave me morphine for the head ache and that did not take the edge off it.

Anyway, I hope this paints a vivid picture in your mind. And guess what!!!

I get to do this all over again in 21 days. Fun, Fun, Fun!!!!!!!!

So they released me at about 6:00 pm with two portable urinals in hand to deal with bathroom situation on the way home. Guess what, not even 500 feet from the hospital entrance, I had to go. There was no stopping me.

This went on for hours until we got back to Rochester at about 11:30 pm. Boy, it was nice to sleep in a comfortable bed and not being wakened every 2 hours. In the hospital, I felt like I was going through a Marriage Encounter Weekend. It was one of things Dee and went through to get married in the church. It was weekend from hell!!!!!!!! I think they did it just to try to split up couples before they tie the knot. See if you are fully committed to the marriage.

So the next 3 days we monitored my weight and vital signs.Monday at the height of my porky-ness, I weighed 242 lbs. The next day my weight had dropped to 230lbs. Today, I weigh 226.7 lbs and my ankle are about 4 inches in diameter. I need to loose another 15 lbs, to get to my pre-therapy weight. And the Doctors said that everything would be back to normal in two days. To that I say, Lets switch places with no bed pans.

My head aches are slowly starting to subside and based on my calculation, it will take another 5 days to reach some normalcy.

That is it for Now
Jimmy B.
P.S. Thanks for all your support

Saturday, November 4, 2006

I made it through the 7:00 am dosage. (IL-2 Therapy)

I made it through the 7:00 am dosage. It was an another bumpy ride trying to get all your dosages in. The ploating came back very suddenly and I lost my ability to breathe normally. It comes on so sudden. The Cardiologist took some EKGs and found them to be irregular.He was afraid if we continued, that it might damage my heart so they stopped the trial after 8 dosages were completed out of 14. So now I will let my body heal and prepare for the next IL-2 in 21 days. I was told that completing 8 was not so bad. That it was the average Number of doses of a person able withstand this trial.
I am looking forward of going home to my wife and Kids
Dee will be driving down Saturday and If I get my papers, we will go home that night.

Take care

Jimmy B.

I had a rough night of it!!!! (IL-2 Therapy)

I started to retain to much fluid. It was causing weight gain and my breathing started to get very heavey. So I skipped the 11:00 pm dose because I was not capable of handling it. So they gave me the night off and I tried to take full advantage of it. I had trouble sleeping, so I got about 3 hours of shut eye. The bloating began to subside so I think I will be back on tract for my dosage at 7:00am.

That is it for now.

Take care

Jimmy B.

Thursday, November 2, 2006

I am slated for round 4 at 11:00pm

I had to get two doses of demerol to stop the chills. I am starting to get this down to a science.

What is really strange is that after the 3rd dose, they came into my room with Holy Communion. God works in strange ways. Like my day nurse's name is call Dee like my wife and my night nurse's name is Trina. That is my wife's best friend from the U of R.

Melissa, Stopped by to see how everything is going. She is so bubblely and has the best attitude I have ever seen.

Well I must go back to my room to prepare for the next round.

Take Care

Love you all!!!!!!

Jimmy B.

I made it through another round (# 3).

I should start having the side effects about two hours after they administer the IL-2. It takes about 15 minutes to get the IL-2. The side effects are chills and red rash.
Everybody is so nice here. I got my first wheelchair ride down to the have an echo done on my heart. They ultrasound it to look for any problems.Now I know how women feel like when they have their ultrasound.But, I don't think I could handle Child birth. I hate cramps!!!!!!!!!!
I want to thank each and everyone that are sharing my experiences. It is nothing like being on the frontline of the battle of your life.Your Support is greatly appreciated. Say hello to everyone at Eastman Kodak, Long Island, Texas, Florida,Georgia,Mass. and Colorado and to anyone I missed. I think about you guys every day.

Take care and I will be back on after my side effects subside.

Jimmy B.

Next round of Chemo

The next round of IL-2 is at 3:00 pm. I got the go ahead from the cardiologist. Round 3 with Mike Tyson. I hope he doesn't bite my ear off.

I will Keep you Posted.

Jimmy B.

11/2/06 A rough First dose of Interlukin-2.

I was amitted about 2:00 pm with a little trouble securing a room. We were sent to three different waiting rooms 2 different times. The problem, no papers.
Any way, I received my first dose at 4:30 pm and the tremmors started at about nine (9:00 pm). It felt like someone was sitting on my chest and would not get off. They said my EKG showed some diffeences from the baseline and said I might have had a mild Heart attack. I also looked like a lobster. Red hives all over. I hope to catch a picture so I can post it. It looks like I spent to much time in Mexico.
So, they skipped the next dosage that was planned at 11:00 pm so I got a half way decent sleep. They opted to start the next dose at 7:00 am this morning and as soon as the shakes began (About (9:00 am)the gave me demerol and the shakes subsided in about 15 minutes. I am able to get around so I stopped at the Computer room. to make my entries. I am in room 746 west wing just passed the President (Bush).They are taking great care of me and they don't hesitate to stop if things look out of place.

That Is it for now.

Take Care

Jimmy B.

Greetings to One and All

This Blog is dedicated My Brother Kenny B. who passed away in the late 1970's with Cancer before the Internet.

It was he, who showed me How to live and give back. He was wise beyond his years.

Kenny B

Jimmy and Dee

Carepage: Jimmybreitfeller
Jimmy Breitfeller

My Profile as of 2009

My photo
Last July (2005)I was riding my bicycle to work at the Eastman Kodak Research Labs about 3 miles from home. I was wearing a knapsack to carry my things to and from the labs. I started noticing an ache on my back. So I decide to go to the dermatologist. To make the long story short, it was cancer. I knew from my research that I would be needing adjuvant therapy. So I started communicating with Sloan Kettering, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Center, and a couple of others including the Wilmot Cancer Center at Strong. I realized that by telling my story, I might help someone else out there in a similar situation. So to all who are linked by diagnosis or by relation to someone with melanoma, I wish you well. Stay positive, read as much as you can (information helps to eliminate the fear associated with the unknown), and live for today, as no one can predict what tomorrow may bring. Jimmy B. posted 12/15/08


The information contained within this Blog is not meant to replace the examination or advice of your Oncologist or Medical Team. The educational material that is covered here or Linked to, does not cover every detail of each disorder discussed.

Only your physician/Oncologist can make medical decisions and treatment plans that are appropriate for you. But, An Educated Consumer is a Smart consumer.

As Dr. Casey Culberson Said:

"The BEST melanoma patient is an ACTIVE PARTICIPANT in his or her treatment

Melanoma and the “Magic Bullet” (Monoclonal Antibodies)

Just to let you know I posted the first draft of the Melanoma and the “Magic Bullet” (Monoclonal Antibodies). on Melanoma Missionary In the Shared File Section. you can download it for 19.95 (Only kidding) it is Free for the taking.

It is 33 pages long and may help you in your quest for the Yellow Brick Broad. Just to let you know it is only the first draft. Revisions are sure to come. I wanted to get it to the people that need it the most, the Melanoma Patients.


So, where does Interluekin-2 (IL-2) come into play? According to Byung-Scok et al and recent reports, IL-2 is not needed for developmental CD4+ CD25+ Treg cells in the thymus but does play an important role in the maintenance and function in the peripheral.18 Peripheral is defines as secondary system outside the bone marrow and thymus. It entails the site of antigen, immune system interaction. IL-2 is required for the peripheral generation of Tregs based Abbas’s and colleagues research.19

IL-2 prevents the spontaneous apoptosis of the CD4+ CD25+ Treg cells. It has been reported that patients with multiple advance-stage tumors have elevated levels of Tregs within the tumor microenviroment.20 Interluekin-2 is the survival factor for CD4+ CD25+ Treg cells.21 If the addition of IL-2 is on or before the maximum propagation of the CD4+ T cells, the Tregs population can increase 5-fold in a 96 hour period based on certain growth mediums.

By controlling the addition of the endogenous IL-2, one has a knob to turn and can lead to the control of the expansion of the Tregs. When you combined this control with the anti-CTLA-4 blockage, you can shift the balance of the immune response.

Now here is the catch. The maintenance and function of the CD8+ T-cells require CD4+ cells which secrete IL-2. So we don’t want to deplete the CD4+ cells, we want to control the expansion of the Tregs which are a subset of the CD4+ cells. It has been postulated by some researchers that the Anti-CTLA-4 blockage also suppresses the Treg function in a different mechanism. By using IL-2 as the rate limiting factor, we can suppress the CD4+ CD25+ Treg cell expansion by controlling the concentration and timing of the Inerluekin-2 at the tumor microenvironment.

The Interluekin-2 plays another role in this Melanoma Maze. In a study by Janas et al, Il-2 increases the expressions of the perforin and granzyme A, B and C genes in the CD8+ T-cells. This increase expression causes the CD8+ T-cells to mature into Cytoxic T Lymphocytes (CTLs). The exogenous IL-2 is required for the granzyme proteins. As stated previously, CTLs have cytoplasmic granules that contain the proteins perforin and granzymes. A dozen or more perforin molecules insert themselves into the plasma membrane of target cells forming a pore that enables granzymes to enter the cell. Once in the tumor cell, these enzymes are able to breakup (lyse) the cell and destroy it. This is the beginning of the end for the cancer cells. The tumors begin to shrink and the rest is history,

On the other hand, prolong therapy with Il-2 can result in causing apoptotic death of the tumor- specific CD8+ T-cells.23

Clearly in a clinical setting, timing, dose, and exposure to these drugs play a major roll in the immunotherapy, and can have dramatic effects on the outcome.

All it takes is that one magic bullet to start the immune reaction..

Melanoma And The Magic Bullet (Monoclonal Antibodies)

Public Service Announcement

A call for Melanoma Patients by Dr. Steven A Rosenberg

"We continue to see a high rate of clinical responses in our cell transfer immunotherapy treatments for patients with metastatic melanoma", Dr. Rosenberg said.

"We are actively seeking patients for these trials and any note of that on a patient-directed web site would be appreciated."

If you would like to apply for his trials, here is the website and information.

Dr. Rosenberg's information

Dr. Rosenberg's Clinical Trials

For the Warriors

The Melanoma Research Alliance has partnered with Bruce Springsteen, the E Street Band, and the Federici family to alleviate suffering and death from melanoma. Please view Bruce Springsteen’s public service announcement inspired by Danny Federici. Danny was the E Street Band’s organist and keyboard player. He died on April 17, 2008 at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City after a three year battle with melanoma.

Source Fastcures blog

Join the Relay for Life!!!


Dear Family and Friends,

I’ve decided to take a stand and fight back against cancer by participating in the American Cancer Society Relay For Life® event right here in my community! Please support me in this important cause by making a secure, tax-deductible donation online using the link below.

To donate on line now, click here to visit my personal page.
Jimmy B AKA Melanoma_Missionary

Relay For Life® is a life-changing event that brings together more than 3.5 million people worldwide to:

CELEBRATE the lives of those who have battled cancer. The strength of survivors inspires others to continue to fight.

REMEMBER loved ones lost to the disease. At Relay, people who have walked alongside people battling cancer can grieve and find healing.

FIGHT BACK. We Relay because we have been touched by cancer and desperately want to put an end to the disease.

Whatever you can give will help - it all adds up! I greatly appreciate your support and will keep you posted on my progress.

Keep the Fire Burning!!!



Jimmy Breitfeller
Turn off Music before you "Click to Play"
Signs of Melanoma Carcinoma Skin Cancer

How Skin Cancer Develops by " : Dermatology"

Call for Patients with Unresectable Liver Metastases Due to Melanoma

Delcath Systems Granted Orphan-Drug Designations for Cutaneous and Ocular Melanoma

Delcath is actively enrolling patients in a Phase III clinical trial testing its proprietary drug delivery system, known as Percutaneous Hepatic Perfusion (“PHP”), with melphalan for the treatment of ocular and cutaneous melanoma metastatic to the liver.

This NCI-led trial is enrolling patients at leading cancer centers throughout the United States. Commenting on these orphan-drug designations, Richard L. Taney, President and CEO of Delcath, stated, “These favorable designations are important steps in our efforts to secure Delcath’s commercial position upon conclusion of our pivotal Phase III trial for metastatic melanoma. We remain steadfast in our commitment to become the leader in the regional treatment of liver cancers and we continue to enroll patients in this study, and advance our technology and the promise that it offers to patients with these deadly forms of melanoma and other cancers of the liver, all with limited treatment options.”

Orphan drug designation, when granted by the FDA’s Office of Orphan Products Development, allows for up to seven years of market exclusivity upon FDA approval, as well as clinical study incentives, study design assistance, waivers of certain FDA user fees, and potential tax credits.

Current Trial Centers

Phase I Study of Hepatic Arterial Melphalan Infusion and Hepatic Venous Hemofiltration Using
Percutaneously Placed Catheters in Patients With Unresectable Hepatic Malignancies

James F. Pingpank, Jr., MD, FACS
Associate Professor of Surgery
Division of Surgical Oncology
Suite 406, UPMC Cancer Pavillion
5150 Centre Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
412-692-2852 (Office)
412-692-2520 (Fax)

Blog Archive

Call For Melanoma Patients!!!!

Call For Melanoma Patients!!!!

Dr. Rosenberg Has a New Clinical Trial.

Our latest treatment has a 72% objective response rate with 36% complete responses.

We are currently recruiting patients for our latest trial.

Is there some way to post this “Call for Patients” on the web site?

Steve Rosenberg

Dr. Rosenberg's Clinical Trials

(For a copy of the research paper.. see My Shared files)

The news headlines shown above for Melanoma / Skin Cancer are provided courtesy of Medical News Today.