It is a reality captured in the Nationwide Insurance advertising campaign. What is not captured so cleanly is that it is not life we fear or its speed, but the ultimate reality that death stalks the road we travel, seeking to nip us at the finish line like Jeff Gordon or Dale Earnhart Jr.
At our last entry things were going great. We had just returned from a family vacation and were excited to be getting back to a sense of normalcy. May 15 had Evan in for a 2nd PET/CT scan, and while we were concerned about a ‘warm’ area, it was not in the area that Mom & Dad saw as a slight thickening the size of a dime (~1.25 cm dia) under one of the skin grafts. We (parents & oncologist) determined to follow the course of wait and see. A month later saw the dime size had grown to nickel size (~1.75 cm dia.) The oncologist was called to arrange a consult with Dr. Marcus, the surgeon who had performed the wide margin excision. We saw Dr. Marcus on June 16, had surgery June 17, and today we learned the results of the biopsy/excision.
Spindle Cell Melanoma was back in the vicinity of the original mass that started the cascade of events detailed previously. We were also given the information that there was little doubt as to the certainty of the diagnosis as this mass was more uniform in cellular structure, and additionally that it had none of the genetic markers that would make it a good candidate for known positive outcome chemotherapies. Evan is too young by 8 months for the most promising therapy that it is understood to be so toxic that he would not survive the treatment, let alone the melanoma.
The medical consensus is a 2nd round of wide margin excision with a focus on wide margin of depth, especially the latisimus dorsi which had become infiltrated by this latest tumor; followed by some form of chemotherapy to be determined as information is gathered from pediatric cancer doctors from around the US.
While we know of the proposed course of action, this family is in need of two very important things: 1. Regardless of your faith, we need your thoughts and prayers that Evan may be healed, and that we might be strengthened for the fight to come; 2. Information, any and all information on Spindle Cell Melanoma presenting in Children with Nevi.
Thank you for your time and continued love, it means so much to each of us.