Thomas Pugh Tom Pugh

First post: Dec 4, 2017 Latest post: Feb 18, 2018
Welcome to my CaringBridge website.  I am using it to keep family and friends updated in one place.  I appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.  

In April I went to the dermatologist with what appeared to be just a regular cyst on my lower left thigh.   It was biopsied and the pathology report indicated positive for Merkel Cell Carcinoma.   My first PET scan was reassuring in that it's findings showed just the one growth on  my leg.  I then sailed through outpatient wide excision surgery on this site.  After the site healed, I had radiation therapy.  At  the end of August, I had a second opinion at the UW Health Carbone Cancer Center.  The doctors at UW  came to the same conclusions for treatment as my Dean Medical group doctors and to monitor the situation with quarterly PET scans.  

My second PET in October was not what I was hoping for, as it indicated a new growth in a lymph node in the left pelvic area, situated below the iliac artery.  The  doctors say this is not a spread of the cancer, but should be considered as a second growth in the same area.  Dean surgeons recommended that the pelvic lymph node dissection (PLND) be performed by the surgeons at the UW Cancer Center.  Again,  this surgery went  very well.  A total of 15 lymph nodes were removed, and had the best possible news that none but the one growth had Merkel Cell!  I was cautioned about potential leg swelling to occur within 2 days of surgery but I didn't have any swelling.

Now, after consulting with both physician groups, it is recommended that we treat with 4 rounds of chemotherapy to begin 12/04/2017.   I will provide a report on how this goes on my next update. 

I appreciate your prayers and words of hope and encouragement!  My trust is in Jesus who is "the strength for the weak and the comfort for those who suffer, who can turn this sickness into health, and sorrows into joy."


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