As most of you know, I love God, my family, friends, fishing and gardening! Back in February of this year I began to feel as though I had a virus. I had a terrible pain hit me in the head and I began to have a headache that I just couldn’t get rid of. The glands in my neck began to bulge and were very sore. Betty was gone to the doctor with Doug and Donna came over to check on me. She insisted I go to the doctor and made me an appointment at the clinic for that afternoon since I didn’t feel like traveling to my doctor in Gainesville. So we went and they said it appeared I had a viral and bacterial infection, gave me meds and home I went. After a few days I began to feel better but the knots in my neck did not go away. As days went by, I began to feel better and determined I was getting well, it would just take time. Life continued😊
My regular schedule included three month checkups at my dermatologist. Upon a previous visit I had asked them to look at a spot on my head, which they said just looked like a mole that was normal. So I went on my way. Back at home a couple months later, I caught my comb on that same mole on the top of my head and it bled. When I went for my next checkup at the dermatologist I asked them to check it. When they did, they said it didn’t look good and they needed to cut it off and send it for testing. Some days later they called me and said it was melanoma and I needed to see another doctor. We made an appointment with an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor. There they made me an appointment with an Oncologist who had a PET Scan run. Long story short, the cancer had run down the back of my head and through the lymph nodes and saliva gland on the right side and into my shoulders. The Ear, Nose and Throat Doctor that I had previously gone to recommended me to a surgeon at Shands, telling me he was the best! I took him at his word and asked him to make the connection, which he did. I went over to Shands and met a very nice and confident young man named Brian Boyce. He went over my PET Scan and recommended that I begin treatment very soon as melanoma was a very aggressive cancer. He told me that he was transferring to Emory in Atlanta, Ga to be closer to his aging parents in June, and here it was 5/8/18. He looked at his surgery schedule and told me he was completely booked through the month of May but would somehow find me a slot. It was a very informative visit, as he explained what needed to be done. They sent us home and said they would contact me that night or as soon as they could work out a schedule. They called the next morning and set me an appointment to come back to discuss surgery and have a biopsy. He did a needle biopsy of the lumps in the lymph nodes on both sides of my neck and told me that I would need surgery as soon as possible. He was able to set a surgery date for 5/31/18 and the rest is up to my very capable surgeon and my more than capable God! Thank you in advance for following my journey and keeping me in your prayers!