Dec 14, 2018 Latest post:
Nov 26, 2022
Cancer. What a heavy word. Up until lately this word has had a feeling of “Oh No”, “Man, that’s terrible”, etc… etc., but until you hear those words being said to you from your Doctor, you never really know how heavy that word is. On Friday, Nov 30 I got the call I thought I would never get… “You have Cancer”.
I had surgery the week of Thanksgiving to remove a spot on the bottom of my foot that was classified as a “soft tissue mass”. The doctor that performed the surgery stated that 99% of these spots are benign and I had nothing to worry about. Well, I’m glad to finally say I reached my goal of being in the 1%, but clearly not the 1% that I wanted to be in.
After I got the call the doctor said my pathology report was read 4 times by multiple doctors at both Methodist and MD Anderson. Living in Houston for the better part of 10 years, once you hear the words, MD Anderson, your ears perk up and you pay attention. My doctor said they would contact me and give me next steps. Remember, this is on the bottom of my foot. Melanoma… isn’t this supposed to be a sun disease? Not the kind I have! This is a rare kind, only 500 cases a year!
MD Anderson called me within 6 hours of being given this shocking news and had me set up with an appointment with a surgeon on the 12th. From my call on the 30th to the 12th seemed like FOREVER! It was so hard trying not to google this term or that term, or let your mind wander, but I can attest it happens.
On the 12th we met with Dr Royal and his amazing team about what was going to happen next. That day was the longest day of running around having tests run and getting bombarded with information. Going into this appointment I/we had no idea what to expect; we just thought we would discuss some planning and get some ideas of what I had and so on. They definitely had a plan alright. I was given the news that I have what is called an acral lentigenous melanoma. This is a super aggressive form of melanoma and it had progressed to what they refer to as “Clark level 4”. You only have 5 Clark levels in your skin. So basically it had reached the most inner layers of my skin and may have entered my lymphocytic system, which is how it spreads to other parts of the body. Since this is an aggressive form of melanoma, they have to be aggressive with the treatment.
So on Monday Dec 17, I will be having another surgery to remove a 2 cm circle from the bottom of my foot around the tumor site, down to the muscle. Then they are going to map out the lymphocytic system to determine which nodes they will take out to test and see if the cancer has reached that area or beyond.
Wow. As I sat there trying to process all of this I had no words, needless to say neither did my wife or mom. I have no doubt that the good Lord above has me in Houston for a reason, but I never thought it would be for this, but I am so thankful I’m here.
One thing about the quickness of this process; it doesn’t leave much time for thought, which is good. I have an appointment with the oncologist on Dec 14 to discuss treatment and therapy next steps.
Because of the rarity of this type of melanoma I will be donating blood and tissue to research so they may find out more about this type of cancer. It is surreal to have people come in and ask you to be a part of clinical trials.
Needless to say the journey is just beginning and the road is long. With the support of my amazing wife, family, friends and God’s power I will come out on the other side stronger. I will update as much as I can throughout this process. As I am now one of the thousands that get diagnosed yearly with cancer, I know that I am not alone in this fight, but also want to do my part to help those that maybe struggling with this and to let them know that it’s ok, and will be ok. Thank you for all of the thoughts and prayers, I will need them.