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Brandon & Jenna Cole
Care for the Coles
8/19/2016 Latest post:
Our journey began with a tweaked back muscle. Brandon had been out playing disc golf with friends and injured his back one afternoon. With low back pain and left hip pain that continued for a month, everyone kept saying that he was experiencing sciatic nerve pain. After visiting sports medicine doctors, an ER visit and countless physical therapy visits, a MRI and xrays were done by a family chiropractor. The whole time we were thinking that he had a torn ligament or a disc out of place. However the results were nothing like what we were expecting. They revealed that Brandon had masses in his abdomen that were suggestive of lymphoma or some other neoplastic involvement. I remember thinking "oh okay, its just lymphoma...wait! That's fucking cancer!!" Before we new it we were in an office talking with an oncologist about lymphoma and the treatments options for it. Brandon underwent more tests, blood draws and a biopsy. And then the wait began. For one week, we awaited the results of the biopsy. It was agonizing and in some ways crippling to wait for those results. Time seems to slow down in those cases, making it that much more unbearable. In the meantime, we were admitted into the hospital for pain management. Brandon's pain was escalating and none of the prescribed medications were helping. And then the universe came and pulled the rug out from under us. The lyphoma specialists came in to our hospital room and told us that they had the results of the biopsy and that it wasn't lymphoma. It was melanoma. Since the melanoma had gone beyond the skin and was now spreading to organs and lymph nodes, it meant it was more advanced and not treatable. The final diagnosis was stage 4 melanoma. For it to be cancer in general sucks, but to go from one cancer that is highly curable to one that isn't? Well, we had oficially hit rock bottom. More tests had to be done, which meant more scans, blood draws, and a special genetic test to determine something called a BRAF mutation within the melanoma. This pushed his treatment off for another two weeks and in the meantime, we were hospitalized again, this time for a bowel obstruction from pain medication and from his cancer metastasizing to his intestines. His BRAF did come back positive which is a good thing because they have special medication that targets this specific gene mutation. He started treatment this past Wednesday and although we have a long way to go, we are finally making some progress. The treatments he is undergoing are fairly new drugs and there is not alot of research to support what happens long term on these drugs, but we remain hopeful that God has a plan here. We may not see the bigger picture but we know that He has his hand on us and will guide us through this journey.