Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Update: Michele's Cancer Fight

**Edited to add this new update email from Michele I got yesterday (10/13/08):

"Ryan is home!! It was so fun picking him up this morning. Andy, the kids and I all went to pick him up. The kids are so excited to have their little brother at home!! So far, Ryan is doing great :) He weighs 5 lbs 11 oz as of this morning, so he's up 1 oz from his birth weight!!

Enjoy the pic ... it's not the best, but it's the best I could get :)

My surgery is tomorrow morning at Good Shepherd. I will send an update once I'm home at the end of the week.

Take care ... love, -Michele"


Here is an e-mail update I received from my friend Michele today (10/11/08). I am astounded by her positive attitude and ability to see the good in her tragic situation. She is truly an inspiration. Please keep those prayers coming.

Here is what she says:

"Good news (finally) ... I got the results of my PET scan and they were clean which means there is not any significant amount of cancer anywhere else in my body. The PET scan does not show minuscule amounts of cancer, therefore I am still having the lymph node dissection surgery which will remove all the lymph nodes in my left groin. Unfortunately radiation has not shown to be effective for melanoma, so complete removal of the lymph nodes has the best chance of prolonging my life ... so I'll take it! My surgery is Tuesday morning. I'll be in the hospital 2-3 days and the recovery will take 2-3 weeks before I can get around well. One of my biggest concerns is avoiding infection so I am hoping to bust out of the hospital in 2 days and do my recovery at home since it is flu season now and the hospital isn't a great place to be. There will be lifelong side effects with this surgery, the main being lymphedema which is permanent swelling of my left leg. There are things you can do to control the swelling and I will just have to stay on top of it. It's not a fun thing to live with, but I'll take a fat leg in exchange for more time with my hubby and 4 beautiful children! Based on these results, I would say chances are pretty good that I will be around for a long while to come ... {sigh of relief} :)

I will begin treatment within a few weeks of finishing my surgery. It looks like it will be immunotherapy injections, but I am not sure yet exactly which immunotherapy I am going to do. I have not gotten all the opinions on that yet because the doctors really need the results of Tuesday's surgery to do accurate staging of my cancer and recommendation for treatment. I know I am stage 3 right now, and I don't think based on the results of my PET scan that it will be staged any higher than that which is GREAT news!

Ryan is doing well, but is still in the hospital. He needs to be able to maintain his body temperature for 48 hours in an open crib before being discharged. He went in an open crib on Thu and his temp dropped so he was back in the isolette (incubator) yesterday. He was going to try again today! If he keeps his temp up he'll come home tomorrow or Monday most likely! He is doing AWESOME though!! He's so incredibly adorable and I can't wait for everyone to meet him once I'm back on my feet!

The other good news is I picked my hubby up last night from the airport. I got to meet him at the gate and when he got off that plane and gave me a big hug I felt like the biggest load was lifted off my shoulders and everything is going to be ok.

Yesterday was a great day all around!!!! Thank you for all your prayers and constant support. I will be in touch again soon with an update on Ryan and probably not until later in the week about my surgery.
-Michele "

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