Tomorrow is 10 years!!!!!

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2/9/2014 10:16pm
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Replies: 11

Today is February 9, 2014. 

On February 10, 2004, I had my most recent (what wound up being the last so far) of 6 cancer surgeries. When I woke up  later that afternoon, I found that my arms and hands were numb and tingly. My wife explained to me that while on the surgery table, my iliac artery exploded due to the cancer which had so compromised the arterial wall that it could not take the pressure. 
When the surgeon came in the next morning, he explained to me what had happened. He was finished working on the tumor which had wrapped around the iliac vein, and was ready to tackle the part of the tumor which had wrapped around the iliac artery. When he touched the scalpel to the artery wall, it exploded. He continued on, telling me if not for the quick response from his partner, I would've bled out on the table. He said that I lost 1250 cc's of blood. 
According to Melanoma protocols, the standard procedures for cancer diagnostic scans, and follow up, the first 24 months following an occurrence, or recurrence, the patient is observed closely every 3 months. If the patient reaches the 25-60 month mark, they are observed once every 6 months. Once they hit the five year mark, they are observed annually out to the 10th year. 

If they reach the ten year mark, two things occur.
1- if there is no recurrence, aka "NED (no evidence of disease)", they are considered cured. 
2- the time between appointments for ongoing is decreased to once every 5 years. 

As of this point, I am cancer free. 
I am acutely aware of the precarious and uncertain nature of this disease. 
I cannot tell you how many friends and family members, and acquaintances have lived for only days, to months, to even a few years with their cancer, gone into remission, and had their cancer return with a vengeance, killing them swiftly. 

All that aside..... according to Medical science, I am now considered "cured", and will now only see my oncologist every 5 years, probably get PET scans, or at least blood tests. 

I am presently about as ecstatic as I can be, because while my life is still in a precarious state-- the intensity is feeling lifted. I suppose the title of the movie-- Waiting to Exhale-- applies here as an expression of how I've felt. I.e., I can exhale now. 
 

I'm posting this as an update. I was here last on September 13-14, 2013. I was excited then, and even more so today. 
I hope that all of you hold on to the Hope that God, in Jesus, gives. 
I saw an article yesterday, from Noetic.org. It was on unexpected remissions, and published back in 2011. 
I don't want to give false hope, because I believe the only real, lasting hope is found in Jesus Christ. I.e., even if we do die, we immediately enter God's Kingdom, and are in paradise for an eternity (2 Cor. 5:3-8). I do however want to say-- there is Hope. 
So....
Hi. I am still alive. 10 years since last reccurence, 26-1/2 years since onset, 16-3/4 years since diagnosis. 
One heartbeat at a time.

JoshF - (2/10/2014 - 8:23am)

Amen and God bless you!!

Let's work for better treatments....for a cure!!!!

BrianP - (2/10/2014 - 8:39am)

Thanks for posting Steve.  I read your profile and that is one heck of a story you have.  Congratulations on 10 years NED.  Hope you continue to have a blessed life.

Brian

Jewel - (2/10/2014 - 9:02am)

These stories give us all such hope. Fantastic news!!!!

Jewel

Maureen038 - (2/10/2014 - 9:21am)

Thanks for posting such amazing news!! It gives all of us hope!! Enjoy your life!!!

Maureen

Congratulations, Steve. What a fantastic milestone. Gives hope to all of us.

Kevin

Brendan - (2/10/2014 - 9:56am)

Great news, Steve.  Thank you for sharing-you give us all hope.  God Bless.

Brendan

 

Steve,

 

Amazing. I remember reading your profile back when my husband was first diagnosed.  Thank you for sharing your story, it gives everyone hope.

Rebecca

Believe

Yvonne.D - (2/10/2014 - 8:31pm)

Thank you very much for sharing his wonderful news! God bless Steve!

POW - (2/10/2014 - 9:05pm)

Wow! "Melanoma" and "cured"-- I don't think I've ever seen those two words in the same sentence before. Good for you! And thank you for taking the time to share your experience and provide hope and encouragement to other melanoma warriors.

KYDonna - (2/11/2014 - 10:15am)

Steve-

So happy for you!! Your news gives me great hope-my husband is fighting to become a long-term survivor, too! 

 

KYDonna - (2/11/2014 - 10:15am)

Steve-

So happy for you!! Your news gives me great hope-my husband is fighting to become a long-term survivor, too!