In a Nutshell:
Friday, Feb 5--Found out that Walter had Cancer
Monday, Feb 8--Saw Oncologist
Tuesday, Feb 9--Saw Surgeon
Wednesday, Feb 10--1st Surgery to create margins around original cancer & locate central lymph nodes (ended up being 3 in his armpit)
Thursday, Feb 11--had to wait for official labs to come back on central lymph nodes (details in next post)
Detailed Description Below:
On Friday the 5th Michele received a call from our primary care doctor's nurse, Julie. She said, "Walter needs to come in today and you need to come with him" We knew that couldn't be good news. Ten days previously Walter had an old scar removed. Just to be safe our Dr. (Dr. Bacon) sent it off for testing even though it didn't look like anything we should be concerned about. Later that afternoon we received the news that is was the C word. That's right, those three words you never want to hear from your Dr, "you have cancer. Well I was told I have Melanoma. Dr. Bacon and Julie (his nurse) were wonderful through this initial part of the process. They had already arranged an appointment with an oncologist (Dr. Johnston) for that following Monday. Even though God was amazing to help us get in quickly, that weekend was a little rough for all of us. I felt in total shock that weekend, and it seemed like I would wake up from this dream anytime.
That following Monday we met with Dr. Johnston. She was great at giving us all the information we needed to get through the next couple of steps in the process. So we started to rule out that I had stage 3 Melanoma...it could be merely stage 2. Once again God is good because he acted quickly and helped us get into the surgeon's office that following day. Tuesday we got into see the surgeon. Dr. Harmon explained what he was going to do. He was amazing at putting my mind at ease. I had never gone through surgery before and he could tell I was a little up tight. God again was smiling on us and the very next day there was a cancellation and we were on for surgery.
This entire time, God brought amazing medical personnel into our lives. All of the people at each of the offices surrounded us with kindness and hope. We had to take Caleb with us and he was the light of the show at each office.
I was pretty nervous, but with God's help I was able to make it through the day and Michele thought I looked cute in the gown and blue cap. (and no, no cameras allowed so no pics) The surgery went very well. Dr. Harmon was able to remove the rest of the skin around the original tumor and he was able to close the area without using a skin graft or keeping the area open and having it close over time. God was good again. The skin is tight and I wear a sling, but I could not be happier with that outcome. Dr. Harmon was then able to get three lymph nodes out of my left arm pit and the initial scan in the operating room showed no signs of cancer, so I was closed up and we had to wait for the results from the lab.
The entire time our family and friends have been truly amazing to us. We could feel your prayers, we loved you kindness and willingness to help in any way we needed it. God has been an amazing force during this entire process. Without him we would be truly lost.
Well this will do it for my first official post. I will update in awhile what happened after surgery and what the labs had to say. Love you all and God Bless.