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Aug 24, 2018 Latest post:
Sep 21, 2018
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. Thank you for visiting.
As many of you know, Steve was recently diagnosed with Mesothelioma. For those of you that did not know, here’s the history to bring you up to speed: Three and a half years ago Steve was diagnosed with Melanoma. He had a mole on his side that was removed. After which, he was under survellience and had frequent monitors/ scans every three months, which then progressed to every 6 months. His CT scan last September 2017 showed a small spot in his right chest cavity, which brought some uncertainty. But because Steve had recently undergone some major dental work, the thought was this spot could possibly be related to an infection or something non cancerous. The plan was to keep a watchful eye on this area. Over the last year, Steve had lost a significant amount of weight. Initially this was attributed to his dental work and not being able to chew/ eat as much as he used to. However, around May or June of this year, Steve started having pain below his shoulder blade that radiated to his rib. He thought maybe he pulled a muscle or had a rib out of place while doing some remodeling work. Unfortunately he was not finding any relief with over the counter pain medications and chiropractor adjustments, etc. He followed up with his oncologist and had another PET scan in early July. By middle of July, Steve was still not feeling well and he was found to have fluid around lung. They did a thoracentesis ( also know as a pleural tap). This is a procedure where the physician places a guided needle into the pleural space ( which is the area between the lungs and chest wall) to drain some fluid off. A little over a week later he had another thoracentesis because the fluid had reaccumulated. Both times the fluid was tested for cancer, and both samples were negative. However the physician informed him, this test can sometimes be inaccurate and provide false negatives. At the end of July, a tissue biopsy was performed and unfortunately, this had come back positive not for Melanoma, but for Mesothelioma. It’s important to note, that this cancer is not in the lung itself, but in the lining around the lung, which makes surgery extremely difficult. At this time, he is not a surgical candidate. Steve’s oncologist has presented him with 3 possible treatment plans going forward: 1.) Try two different kinds of chemo medications, 2).Pursue input/recommendations from Mayo for options including possible experimental drug trials/ studies, etc . Or 3). Do nothing. If Steve chooses to do nothing, his oncologist anticipates his life expectancy could be 3-6 months. If he chooses to move forward with aggressive treatments, he could potentially have one year. This has been a difficult decision to make, but for now Steve has opted to move forward with option #2. He would like to see if Mayo has anything to offer. Steve has an open mind and continues to consider all his options. He knows he can change his mind at anytime. In recent days, he has been in a lot of pain, and his oncologist is helping with different pain medications/options. As a family we all agree and want him to be as comfortable and as pain-free as possible, yet still remain optimistic and hopeful for recovery. Steve and Sharon have greatly appreciated the outpouring support they have been receiving from family and friends. Please continue to keep them both in your thoughts and prayers.