We spoke to the Dr. Lee about future surgeries. Of course all treatment decisions will be made through Steve's melanoma specialist, Dr. Kim. But, we asked Dr. Lee if Steve's scans later this month show no new growths if it would be a good idea or possibility to go in and remove the swollen clavicular lymph node (where we first found that he had cancer). Dr. Lee very eagerly said, "Yes!" He said he thought it would make a lot of sense to remove that lymph node if everything is still going ok and there are no new growths. Again, we would have to clear this with Dr. Kim, but it was good to hear that Dr. Lee was on board considering that they all have to meet and agree on things. At least we know where Dr. Lee stands. Dr. Lee said the lymph node surgery is much, much less invasive than the adrenal gland surgery. You are typically only in the hospital 1-2 days. If Steve had the surgery, he would go home with a drain tube for about 7 days and then would have the drain tube removed. Another option instead of diving right in to surgery would be to have another fine needle biopsy to see if there were any cancerous cells in the lymph node. If there were not, Steve could possibly just skip the surgery. I don't know how I feel about that option? I kinda feel like if it is still swollen, dead cancer cells or live cancer cells, just take it out! So, we will get a little more information later this month.
On Sunday, July 1st, Steven's Uncle Darril passed away. Uncle Darril had a lot of medical hurdles the last few years. He had open heart surgery, a lung transplant, a hip replacement surgery, and then the last couple of months dealt with skin cancer. I was originally told Uncle Darril had melanoma also, but I found out at the funeral that he actually had another type of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma. This is a non melanoma form of skin cancer http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001832/. Uncle Darril had a wonderful turnout at his services. He was a great husband, dad, grandfather, great grandfather, uncle, brother, and friend to many. He will truly be missed.
Steven went back to work today for the first time in over a month. He is also going to a co-workers home after work to play poker. It sure is nice to have a little "normalcy" in our lives. These days we are home together all day and all night, 24/7......I think I'm going to miss him today :)
Here are some photos over the last month or so......