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8/3/2016 Latest post:
On June 24th Mark was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in his left lower lung. On September 9th his entire left lung was removed. He is recovering from that surgery, and preparing for the next step of treatment. We follow up with the surgeon (Dr. D'Amico) on Sept 27th to find out the full pathology from the procedure. Then we'll coordinate with our oncologist for the next steps.
Here is the history of what happened:
On June 23rd, one day after coming home from a family visit in Florida, Mark was mowing the lawn and began a coughing fit he couldn't stop. He eventually came inside and was gasping for air and unable to calm down. Claire and I were home and tried to help him, but we couldn't figure out what to do. His coughing turned into a wheezing sound, and his color wasn't good. I called 911.
In a few minutes the first responders, Firemen from oak island, put him on oxygen and got him stabilized. EMS arrived and took over. Once he was stabilized we decided to send him to Novant ER (in Brunswick County). That night, thinking he had pneumonia and and a mass that couldn't be identified Novant doctors sent him to Grand Strand Medical in Myrtle Beach SC. There we found out his left lung had collapsed, causing the breathing issue, and then a bronchoscopy identified the mass as a cancerous tumor.
Later pathology showed this cancer as adenocarcinoma, a non small cell cancer type of lung cancer.
Marks breathing improved and he was sent home after 2 nights in the hospital.
Now we know from PET scans that he has Stage 2b-3a Lung cancer with no metastasis. His tumor is encroaching from the lower lobe of his left lung into the bronchial area, effecting the upper lobe as well. Meaning, if it is operable, than the entire left lung has to go. We are in the process of getting a second opinion on a surgical option, since that is the best treatment option.