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8/27/2016 Latest post:
*** I created this Website for Allen and all of our family and friends to have a way of being up to date with his fight against cancer. Many of you have graciously offered to help us out in various ways. We are still trying to process the diagnosis and plan for the journey ahead and are not quite sure of what needs we will have in the months to come. One of my friends has offered to take care of donations/ideas/meals/etc. Her name is Kelly Moore and her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I didn't create this website for the purpose of donations, I did it because I needed a place to let out my emotions and I wanted everyone to know what was going on with my husband and our family. Everyone's generosity has been overwhelming. My brother made me aware that any donations made on this website go to the website and not to us. Please do not feel like you have to donate anything, what we want and need most are your thoughts, prayers and words of encouragement during this difficult journey. Thank you so much for taking the time to visit our site. ***
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
I never in a million years imagined that I would be writing Allen's story about his journey and fight against cancer but here we are. First and foremost, we both have faith and trust in the Lord and know that He has a plan for Allen and our family. We are so encouraged by the love, prayers and support from all of our family and friends.
Anyone and everyone that knows Allen knows that he is a fierce competitor. He loved playing baseball at UNCW so much that he decided to stay there for 5 years instead of 4. We can NOT play board games or card games because he is so competitive. He has also been this way through his career, over the past few years he has obtained various certifications and completed several courses that other people start and can not finish. He even competes with Cole, I have to remind him that he is only two and a half. Allen is also a sweet talker and can con you into almost anything and make you laugh along the way. He charms everyone he meets and will give you a hard time just to make you smile... That's how Allen got me. Telling me that he LOVED watching Greys Anatomy and wanted to watch it with me, bringing Snickers bars to class because he knew they were my favorite (Thanks Momma Terry for buying them for him!) He's even sweet talking the nurses so they will bring him more Pepsi. He's someone that you just can't say "no" to and he is teaching Cole how to master this skill. The quality that I admire and love most about my husband is something that I've only seen in the past three years, its the type of father that he is to our boys. He loves them with all that he has, they are his world, and in their eyes he's a superhero. These are just a few of the things that I love about my husband, I'm sure you will be reading more in the weeks and months to come.
How it all started.... We had just moved to Wilmington and were settling into our new home and new jobs. Allen felt a quarter size lump on his right outer thigh. Of course because I'm a nurse, I brushed it off (unless you are bleeding, blue or on fire... your fine). After a few weeks of hearing Allen complain I finally told him to go the doctor. After going to the doctor they diagnosed him with cellulitis, started him on an antibiotic and told him to come back in a few weeks. The lump did not improve, he went back and was referred to a general surgeon and told that it was a hematoma. The place on his leg started to get a little red, scaly and sore. He followed up and they did an ultrasound on his leg but there was nothing there to cut out. Again, he went back to his primary doctor and was started on another antibiotic. They did a skin biopsy at this time and they also did an MRI of his leg. All of the tests came back negative and only showed swelling and inflammation. At this point we had our sweet baby boy Mason and were adjusting to a life with our 2 babies. The place on his leg had become larger, was red, swollen and painful at times. One evening Allen had a fever and of course I freaked out because we had a 35 week premie baby at home. He made an appointment and went back to his doctor the next day and was referred to a dermatologist who was able to see him the same day and performed a deeper skin biopsy. They had prescribed two different kinds of steroid creams and another antibiotic. We were told that it would be 2-4 weeks before we would get the results. It had been almost 3 weeks and I noticed a few new spots on his other leg that looked like a bug bites and the place on his right leg had not improved despite all of the treatments. I started to get a little worried, why wasn't this healing? He had been on 4-5 antibiotics and 2 kinds of cream and its getting worse. His dermatologist listened to our concerns and called us into his office to talk about what possibilities we could be facing. They had sent off his skin biopsy to look for T cell lymphoma and if that test was negative they would be looking at an autoimmune disease that mimics T cell lymphoma. Waiting.... the WORST part. Three days felt like three years and I will never forget the look that Allen had on his face when he came home that day after getting the news. He didn't have to say a word, I could see the fear in his eyes and I knew... it was the T cell lymphoma.