Everette Neil Epps

July 27, 1953 to February 24, 2011

My dad was first diagnosed with melanoma is 2007. At a routine check up, dad's doctor told him he had cancer. Dad ask him if he was going to die and the doctor told him he didn't know. Before he came home to tell me, he went by the funeral home and planned his funeral. Our first visit with an oncologist was 3 weeks later. For those 3 weeks, my dad slept and prayed...we all prayed. At our visit, the doctor told my dad he had stage 4 and he sent us to a specialist at Duke. The doctors at Duke were much more sympathetic and and tactful. The doctor actually said it was stage 2b...I still have no idea what that meant, but it sounded so much better than stage 4! After surgery, we then had 3 month doctor visits, then 6 month doctor visits and finally in August 2009 we were put on 1 year doctor visits. Life was great and my dad was healthy! On February 8th 2010, our lives completely changed. Dad and I were sitting at home watching TV and he had a seizure. He had never had one before and I had no idea what to do. After waiting in the ER, the doctor came in and said dad had a mass on his brain. Later that week he would have brain surgery and we would find out it was his melanoma again. It had metastasized to his brain. From this point on, dad's melanoma would go to his original spot on his back, more on his brain, his abdomen, and his breast. The next year meant many surgeries, many more seizures, radiation, and chemo. Many wonderful people helped us that year and I could never repay them. February 19, 2011 my dad went to hospice. The night before he had a seizure that lasted over 5 hours. That was the last day my dad really talked to me. My husband (fiancé) at the time had planned on getting married on April 2nd but we realized we needed to do it sooner. So February 23rd, we were the first couple to get married at dad's hospice facility. It was beautiful! We stood at the foot of dads bed and he got to be a part of his little girl's day. The next morning at 9:30, he took his last breath. Dad was only 58 and way to young to lose his battle with this awful disease!