Feb 19, 2018 Latest post:
22 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. Thank you for visiting. Last year I developed a cyst on my back directly over my shoulder blade. Since Kathren had just had a lumpectomy we were naturally a little extra cautious about lumps, so I had it checked out. My doctor said it was probably a fatty cyst and wouldn't be a problem unless it became uncomfortable. About a month later it started to become uncomfortable. I scheduled an appointment to be seen at the surgical clinic and met with a surgical physician's assistant (PA) to have it removed. She does these things all day and commented that it did look like a fatty cyst that had become infected. When she opened it up it was not what she expected, so she sent if off for a biopsy. When the biopsy came back we were shocked and devastated to learn that it was melanoma and it had spread from another location. The following week we met with an oncologist who staged the cancer at stage IV. At the same time we were extremely encouraged by Dr. Dudek's experience with melanoma and my treatment options. The options are much better than they were just a few years ago! Dr. Dudek scheduled both an MRI and a PET scan to check the rest of my body. The wonderful news from those scans was that the cancer has not spread beyond my shoulder. Plans going forward include immunotherapy (cutting edge medicine there) and additional surgery to remove the rest of the cancer that is still in my shoulder. We are so grateful that we have had such wonderful care at Regions Hospital. Most of you know that I am very familiar with Regions as Kathren is receiving her treatment there and Sue received treatment there before she passed away. God is truly with us, walking with us every step and surrounding us with a loving and caring support network. Get out the boxing gloves, this cancer is in for a real fight!