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Mar 8, 2018 Latest post:
17 hours ago
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!
In the spring of 2016, I went to the local eye doctor for flashes in my left eye. He referred me to Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston and never did I expect to be diagnosed with an Uveal Melanoma - a rare malignant tumor in my eye. The treatment was proton beam radiation for 5 consecutive days. Although it was a nerve-racking few weeks, I made some great friends during that week long treatment, all whom have had the same rare diagnosis and we still keep in touch today.
Fast forward to Feb 20 2018...after a couple of sleepless nights, awake with some sharp abdominal pains, I decided to go get checked out. I went to the ER and after some bloodwork, ultrasound and CT scan, I heard some words I didn't wan to hear - I have some lesions on my liver and blood clots with those lesions (causing the sharp pain). I was admitted and stayed for 3 nights, while I had a work up that confirmed the melanoma had metastasized to my liver with a couple tiny spots on my right lung. But good news - nothing on my brain!
February vacation week, were visits to Massachusetts General Hospital, Dana Farber and a call to MD Anderson in Houston for consults. The doctors were honest in that melanoma is an aggressive form of cancer. And this melanoma is not like your typical skin melanoma. They want to hit it hard but need to get the liver tumors under control. They also want to make sure that whatever therapy is given, it doesn't prevent the ability to try another should the first not work or, doesn't "disqualify" me from any trials - like a lot of things in life, it's a balancing act - but I know I am in good hands with the team of docs at MGH and now it's Game On!
Although the liver is still functioning well, the biggest concern is to slow the growth of tumors on the liver. I am fortunate to have had an appointment scheduled so quickly and had a radioembolization on 3/7. Radioactive beads were inserted to block the blood supply to the tumors to prevent them from growing and the radiation we hope, will also shrink the tumors. In addition to the radiation treatment, I will be undergoing immunotherapy - similar to chemotherapy but it will be boosting my own immune system to help fight off the cancer cells. First treatment will be Friday, March 9, and then every 3 weeks.
The outpouring of support we have received already has been amazing. We're so fortunate to have such supportive family and friends and live in the community that we do. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts, from Joe, Collin, Courtney, Cameron & myself.