Monday, March 21, 2011

The Bare Facts

As many of you  know our family is facing yet another major bump in this road we call life. In my head, while driving, washing dishes, or folding laundry, I've half written a dozen different ways of writing about this challenge here on the blog. The reality is I don't have the time (things are happening so fast,) or the mental capacity at this point to put a well thought out post together. Also bits of information have been shared here and there, but we haven't been able to contact everyone we should or would like to. So here is what is going on in the bare facts.

Tim had what looked like a mole start to change and to look strange. He called and made a Dr. appointment, and ended up at the dermatologist. She removed the spot on Monday March 14th. We didn't think anything of it. Tim has had several moles removed before.

Thursday the 17th, Tim was at work, and I was out running errands when he called and said that the Dr. called and wanted to see both of us in her office that day. You know that can't be good news, and this was no exception to the rule. It wasn't a mole. It was skin cancer; melanoma.

She said that the next step was a PET scan, and then a surgical procedure to check the skin round the area and remove the next set lymph nodes to check them. The results of those two procedures will "stage" the cancer, and determine what comes next as far as treatment. She scheduled the PET scan here, but recommended that we go to Duke for the rest.

An appointment was set for next Wednesday, the 30th, at Duke, and plans were being made. Today Duke called me to say they could get Tim in this Wednesday, and we decided we should take it. Today Tim had his PET scan, and we both spent the day rearranging everything for us to be gone a week earlier than planned. Tonight the Dr. called to let us know that the PET scan came back clear. It is fantastic news, but it does not mean he is in the clear. The surgical procedure and pathology report will determine if the cancer was just in the skin that was removed or if it had spread.

We are off to NC early Wednesday morning. Tim's parents have been able to get vacation time to come here to stay with the kids. Between them and my mom, who happened to be on vacation this week while my brother's kids are visiting, the kids will still be able to go to testing and the other things we already had scheduled this week.

Our appointment Wednesday is only a consultation. It is not the surgical procedure. Our dermatologist, Dr. Touma, who by the way has been fantastic through this, says the procedure needs to happen even with the clear PET scan. Basic explanation, the PET scan would catch big things. The pathology report will catch things the PET can't.  Best case scenario for our trip to Duke is to meet with the Dr. on Wednesday, and for them to schedule the procedure for this week while we are already there. And of course then for all the results to come back negative.

We greatly appreciate all the wonderful friends and family who are praying for us, and bending over backwards to make this trip doable for us on such a short notice. We are greatly blessed!

18 comments:

  1. I'll be thinking of all of you Stephanie! Let me know if there's anything we can do to help.

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  2. Praying Stephanie! Let me know if you need anything!

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  3. Thanks for sharing, Steph. Will be praying. Just saw you had put something about Tim having a scan on FB and I was wondering!!

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  4. keeping you guys in my thoughts

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  5. The PET scan result is very good news. We'll be thinking of all of you.

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  6. We will be continuing in prayer. Thankful for the clear PET. God has sure provided for the kids this week - what a blessing!

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  7. We're becoming members of your prayer team today. May the news continue to be good.

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  8. hey steph....... so sorry for you guys to be going through this, but we're hoping and praying that everything comes out negative for tim.

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  9. Stephanie: I'm a long-time reader of your great blog and want you to know my prayers are going out to you and Tim--and all the rest of your family & Friends.

    Kathryn

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  10. good luck! Hope everything turns out well for you and your family...

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  11. Hoping the best for you both.

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  12. I am also a long time reader of your blog(s) - feel like I know you as a friend though we have never met. =)

    Y'all are in my thoughts and prayers. Big hugs! Malena

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  13. We will be praying for you. My uncle had to go through this a few months ago. Pet scan and all. I hope your situation comes out as good as my uncles.

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  14. Tammy McNair3/23/11, 11:26 PM

    Sending love and prayers your way!!! ♥

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  15. I've been reading for a while and am inspired and encouraged by your blog. Just wanted you to know that I will be praying for you both the rest of this week.

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  16. Hang in there Steph! We'll be praying, too.

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  17. Michael W Sooy3/28/11, 12:58 AM

    Wish I could be there to do more for you guys, but for now I guess I'll just be praying. I know we haven't got to see each other for quite a while, but I still consider Tim a great friend. And therefore we laugh together and we grieve together. Just heard the news about this tonight and I have to say my heart is a bit heavy. However, we all know that God is a big God, and that He's fully in control. You guys stay strong and keep the faith and I know you will come out blessed on the other end of this.

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