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A bit of history for those who wonder how I got here. From 2009 to 2013 I have had 3 melanoma sites removed. In October of this year I went to the dermatologist regarding two disconcerting spots. The dermatologist biopsied them but assured me that they were just cysts. On November 11 I got a call from the doctor (never a good sign) who informed me that both sites were melanoma. She was very concerned because they were secondary site melanomas which means they do not know the source. She earnestly wanted me to go to Duke Cancer Center and assigned her nurses to the task of getting me in. By 2:00 PM they had not only accepted me but assigned a case manager who called me the next morning with my first doctor appointment 4 days later. A week later I had a PETscan and an MRI. The doctor called the next day to inform me that we were dealing with stage 4 cancer. Apparently, chemo and radiation are not effective treatments for melanoma so I am undergoing immunotherapy. I will get 4 doses over a 12 week period followed by another set of scans to see if there has been any progress. Dec. 14 was my first treatment. I am feeling positive and hopeful and ever so grateful to know the LORD and be lifted in prayer every day by my dear family and friends.
From Pat 12/14/20: Yeah, made it to and through my first treatment! The process was very manageable with no allergic reactions and according to the attending nurse the side effects shouldn’t be nearly as drastic as I read they could be. Praise God!
This is a path in life I didn’t expect and wouldn’t wish on anyone but I am grateful for what it is teaching me. #1 Things are not always as they appear. I am beginning to see that I need to be more sensitive and recognize that many more people than I would have imagined are dealing with heavy issues that are not evident to others . #2 The best gift of all is an expression of love, a word of encouragement or an offer of prayer. I will certainly ramp up my tenderness toward others in the days and years to come.
I can’t thank you enough, my dear family and friends, for how you have lifted me these last few weeks. Your texts, cards, emails and calls are medicine to my soul. I will keep you posted on my progress.
Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save. He will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you with his love; he will exalt over you with loud singing.