MEDICAL: Diagnosis: Recurrent Malignant Melanoma without metastasis. The CT scan revealed a primary mass and an adjacent mass within the confines of the original wide margin border. These two growths sit on top of the left side 11th rib. They do not involve the surrounding fascia on the scan and the scan revealed no distant metastasis within the body but especially to no organs.
Treatment: Local wide margin excision of the masses including overlying skin, involved fascia, muscle and potential the periosteum (bone covering) of the underlying rib.
INSIGHT: When battling cancer there are fewer more clear paradoxes than potential surgery. The silver lining to this battle in this war is that the proposed surgery is the most appropriate course of action at this juncture. The looming cloud prior to scan results is multiple distant metastases with a lousy prognosis. The tension prior to hearing the results was palpable. The relief was equally real, and there was a collective sigh on the part of us; the parents.
The primary good news this time around has been the rapid identification of the recurrence. In the past 10 days, the second mass had become visible; and this recurrence seems directly related to an overall growth spurt. Because it has been caught early, the underlying rib will remain, and there is no need for a skin graft. It will also mean outpatient surgery; waking up and going to bed in his own bed – priceless.
SPIRITUAL: Unsure as to the parts, roles and lines in the plan of the great play, trusting the director and appreciating a prayerfully and thoughtful audience participation.
EDUCATIONAL: Teachers and Administrators: informed, involved and supportive.