Lee’s Story

Site created on July 11, 2018

Lee has been battling with melanoma since 2008 when a rouge mole was discovered on his shin.   He had recurrences in 2013, 2017, and early 2018.   He is now in a really tough battle as the cancer has settled in his spine and under the meninges (a protective layer that prevents many drugs from reaching the tumors).  He has begun a two drug series which is generally know as BRAF inhibitors because they key off a mutation that 50% of melanomas have.   Using that genetic mutation, the drug can attach to the cancer and prevent it from growing and kill it.    Here is hoping it can cross that barrier.

Newest Update

Journal entry by Amber Cowles

(from Facebook 7/11/18)
Hello again.  I am not much a poster on Facebook and when I do its usually about my health.  This will be no different.   The cancer is back and this time its playing for keeps.   The cancer has moved into the space between my spinal cord and the meninges that cover the cord.   This is problematic in that drugs have a hard time trying to cross that barrier and kill the cancer.   I have started a new course of drug therapy that is based on a mutation in the melanoma that the drug can jump on and prevent it from growing and shrink the tumors. Hopefully the drug can get to the nasties. Outside of the fact that this course of medicine is my best hope at the moment, my body is betraying me.  As the tumors press on my spinal cord it is causing a bunch of neurological issues, the worst of it is double vision and dangerously weak legs.
Lori has been a trooper as she digests the news we only received two days ago.  The hardest thing we ever had to do was tell the boys last night that I am in a fight I may not win.  I am surrounded by a beautiful set of family and friends who are incredibly good at making me laugh.  In that I am blessed.  My prayer to God is to give me Grace, Peace, Stength, and Wisdom in the coming weeks.  If the drug works, it should start releaving my symptoms in the next two to three weeks as the tumors shrink.
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