As you can imagine, with a circle as broad as Tracy has, it is hard to keep everyone informed. So here's what is happening:
On December 19, 2016, Tracy had a biopsy done for a spot on her chest that had been bothering her. On the 26th, she was notified that it was being sent for a second opinion (she later found out it was sent to the head of pathology at both Harvard and Brigham Young).
On January 9th, she received the diagnosis - malignant melanoma tumor. Pet scans and labs were completed on 13th. The pathologists suggested that the cancer was originating from somewhere other than the tumor.
On January 16th, we found out that the melanoma was confined to her chest. We are so grateful. As her precious husband says, "we're not out of the woods, but they're not as dense as we feared."
Tracy endured major 3.5 hour surgery on Feb 6, 2017 with Dr. Merrick Ross at MD Anderson, the top melanoma surgeon in the country. 65 stitches and 4 incisions. The tumor is rare and aggressive. However, post surgery reports indicate it did not spread to the lymph nodes. After a challenging recovery. Tracy completed 5 potent doses of radiation at MDA by a radiation oncologist that solely radiates Melanoma. The characteristics of tumor removed puts her in the highest risk for reoccurrence. Adjuvant therapy is mandatory in order to do everything possible to prevent this disease from spreading. A sigh of relief came on April 28th with clear scans. (CT scans of pelvis, chest, and abdomen and brain MRI) and again on July 14. These scans will be repeated every 3 months due to the aggressiveness of her disease. The clear scans and clean blood work qualified her for two clinical trials in the US. After much thought and research, Tracy will start an extensive clinical trial at Mt. Sinai in NYC. We made two trips to NYC in May 2017 in preparation for the trial. 10-12 remaining trips to the big apple with a total of 30-35 nights. We are moving forward with urgency and purpose, always with hope and gratitude.
The trial in NYC officially started in NYC on July 25th. Tracy will stay in NYC for 7 days and come home 12-13 days. The trial has 4 cycles and 3 additional follow-ups in NYC. The trial finished in November 2017.
The PET and brain MRI both looked good on January 11, 2018.
Again, one thing we all know about Tracy - she has so many friends and family who love her and want to be there for her on this journey, just as she's been with so many on theirs. This site will be updated through journal entries when there is news to report.
Thank you so much for all your love and support of my sister, Tracy Brown.