Three weeks ago I gave Evan a hug good night. His mom, Lizy was in Seattle with her job. In an instant it felt like the wheels on the bus came off at high speed while traversing an icy mountain pass. There it was. A lump where there shouldn’t be one. For those who are on Lizy’s rapid response prayer chain you have known about the discovery but perhaps not some of the details.
With Evan’s help I was able to change the status on my Facebook page to, “Reeling in the reality of a recurrence, Praising God for an amazing summer without worry!”
The 5 days before Mom got home were some of the most difficult times we have faced as a family through this journey. Our strength has been the ability to fill our roles within the close confines of a home filled with hope, encouragement and prayer.
While it was just a lump, and while I am not a doctor, I have been through this scenario with Evan too many times in the past 2 years. Its size, location, how it felt both to me and to Evan told me all I needed to know. What was missing was official confirmation, determination of extent and a plan of action.
I can go no further without answering the question, “How did you deal with this? How did you get through this?” I didn’t. Evan did. His tone and reaction, curiosity and understanding are remarkable.
“What is it Dad?”
“It’s a lump”
“What is it?”
“I don’t know, but I want your Doctor to take a look at it”
“What do you think it is?
“I think it’s something that’s not supposed to be there, it feels similar to before, but it’s in a slightly different location and only a Dr can tell us. I’ll move up our appointment so we can see the Dr. sooner.”
“Okay, can I sleep in Mommy’s turn tonight.” (Mommy’s turn is where Lizy sleeps, inside communication for can I cuddle with you and fall asleep in your arms Dad.)
Then we prayed asking for healing and understanding and safe travels for Mom.
Lizy got home on Saturday morning, her job with the Railhawks keeps us all busy and the Dr’s appointments had been set up for Monday afternoon. Monday arrived both too slowly and too quickly. If you have not followed Evan over time what I am about to share will seem surreal. Who am I kidding, I’ve never seen anything like it before. My son, Evan, all of 10 years old, is having a fully fledged discussion on treatment options for a recurrent melanoma complete with details such as metastatic pathways, hormonal impact upon his current growth spurt and nutritional recruitment by cancer cells.
PLAIN SPEAK: The melanoma has recurred in an area immediately adjacent to a surgical site over and involved in the fascia of his left side floating ribs. Primary treatment would be surgical excision with wide margins if CT scan does not indicate distant metastasis. This would occur sooner rather than later. This new growth appears to have origins in surgery of 2/2007 and is related to a current growth spurt (Evan has grown ~8% in weight in the past 60 days, and the mass has appeared in that time frame. It is a known fact that nevus tissue grows in proportion to general body growth.)
Evan is fully involved in 6th grade and thoroughly enjoying moving from class to class; although the 40# of books to be brought home each night can be a little burdensome (pun fully intended) Music is still a vital part of his life and he just received a new piece for piano, as soon as he gets it down I’ll post a video. If you would like to check out more pictures of Evan, please consider becoming Lizy’s friend on Facebook.
Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers. This is a long journey, and while we have enjoyed a brief respite, as we travel onward we both desire and appreciate your support.