A Prayer Request:
Hello to all:
Update on David: As most of you know, the petscan was negative, which was truly good news. This means the cancer has not metastasized into any of his major organs. So, today was the next step – surgery – to remove more tissue from the site and then determine if the lymph nodes are affected. Surgery took 4 ½ hours and was supposed to take two. They had to call in a plastic surgeon to help close the wound, due to the size and placement on his back. They ended up taking biopsies from four different lymph nodes – so he has dressings and stitches and gauze pads all over his back, under his arm pits, and on either side of his neck. He is a mess! We left the house at 6:15 a.m. and got home at about 4:45 p.m. – so it was a long day.
The good news: The lymph nodes were benign in the preliminary labs. Final labs will not be in for a few more days, but the surgeon was confident that they are clean “for now.”
The bad news: Because the initial site was so deep, they are still going to refer him to an oncologist and he will probably have to go through chemo. Unlike other cancers, melanoma can crop up at any time and in any place (including internal organs) – even years down the line. There isn’t that “5 year rule” with melanoma. With other cancers, if you are cancer free for five years, you’re “cured.” There is no “cure” for this. He will always have to be checked closely and will have to be diligent whenever there are any external signs. With the internal signs, sometimes you don’t know until it’s too late. So the surgeon was not Mr. Sunshine. He was very cautious and totally neutral. It was very hard to read him. The only optimistic thing he said was that Melanoma, unlike other cancers, can often be surgically removed – even from internal organs – without spreading. So, he said it is one of those cancers where you “never give up hope.”
We will see the oncologist next week. I will be anxious to hear what they say. Overall, we feel good and we feel optimistic … but I know David is scared about the chemo and I didn’t leave today feeling like “this is over.” He is in good spirits and fairly doped up on vicadin at the moment. In fact, he’s sort of dancing (rather stiffly) to Earth Wind & Fire in the living room with Thomas at the moment. I just had to yell at him to sit down and be still. Gees. What a dummy.
Tonight we have spent a lot of time on the phone to Kaiser dealing with the bleeding. The major site just keeps soaking through and we aren’t sure what that means. I’m supposed to be watching for signs of shock, but they don’t want us messing with the bandages. So, I have a feeling we will have to go back in tomorrow to have it looked at, just to make sure everything is o.k. He is obviously not in shock at the moment. Then again… it could be a long night.
For now… all is well!!!
Thanks for your care and concern,