Our dad's fight started three years ago when he discovered an odd mole on his chest, which turned out to be melanoma. He had his first surgery in February of 2013. His cancer surgery seemed successful, but after a couple days at home he experienced severe pain in his abdomen, and lo and behold he had a twisted bowel. So back into surgery he went. We discovered that some scar tissue from an appendix surgery he had as a kid had fused the intestine together. They cut out a few inches of the intestine; and had we not found this he was at risk for a complete rupture of the intestine at any point in the future. God gave us a gift, the first of many.
The following Spring, almost a year later, new black moles appeared. Melanoma again. This time surgery was a breeze. No complications at all. And all the subsequent tests showed him cancer free. Another gift.
And then again, a year later, a lump appeared. Yes, melanoma again. One more surgery. This one seemed a bit more intensive. In order to get all the edges of the cancer they really had to go deep. But again, he ended up cancer free. Another gift.
And then this last October he started to experience some pain and tightness in all the areas from his surgeries. He ended up with a physical therapist to help with what we were told was most likely webbing, which is a condition many people who have had multiple surgeries have experienced. The scar tissue begins to web and get very tight, sometimes even restricting organs.
In January, my Dad’s therapy ended and within weeks after that his pain began to increase. Again, we were thinking that this “webbing” was causing the pain so we were doing scar tissue therapies recommended for this condition. But nothing seemed to work. We decided that we needed to get my Dad in to a doctor just to rule out cancer. Just in case.
Last Thursday, our parents were blindsided with the report that my Dad has innumerable tumors in his body-extensive hepatic metastatic disease. Too many to operate, too many that are already attached to a muscle or an organ. The report shows numerous hyper-metabolic tumors throughout the liver (the largest in the left lobe at 11cm), a large midline herniating mass extending to the abdomen wall (just below the sternum), multiple paracardiac masses and bilateral pulmonary nodules in the lungs.
And that’s where we are today.
We have our first appointment with an oncologist on Wednesday (yes we had to wait FIVE days!). We’ve all read the reports and we’re fully aware that this is not an easy case, but we are hopeful that the doctor will offer a treatment option. But no matter what a report says, or a doctor concludes, our true hope is in the Lord. Whether He works through modern medicine, or through his divine hand, we want our Dad to be healed. We will be praying for a miracle and trusting God along the way.
The outpouring of prayer and support for our family has already been overwhelming. Oh the tears we’ve shed reading your stories of our Dad-our parents-how they have touched your lives. Your words give us courage, and they are the perfect expression of so many things about our Dad that we love so much.
Amber, Shawna and Gary
Ps. Now that we have this first post out of the way we promise we’ll post more often. We’ll also post on Facebook when we share an update.