In March 2016, at the age of 35, I was diagnosed with Stage IV stomach cancer. Only 3% of patients live 5 years or longer after receiving this diagnosis. Most die within the first year. I have a beautiful wife and two young children. This blog chronicles my experiences with cancer and the lessons I learn along the way.

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Surgery on March 14th

The last round of chemotherapy was successful without too many complications in the week right after the infusion. I am dealing with some long-term side effects of the treatment as my fingernails have continued to cause problems. The best I can describe the situation is that each of my nails have bruising underneath as if I have hit them or slammed them in a door. This has caused each of my nails to lift off the nailbed and there is some form of fluid forming under each one. Two weeks ago, both my index fingers got infected from this complication and I was placed on antibiotics. The infection is gone but each of those nails has completely disconnected to the skin around it except for a small area on the bottom. I am regularly soaking my fingers to discourage any more infection. It has been a painful and annoying process but it seems the worst is behind me and now I just wait for new nails to begin growing underneath.

I have had one round of only Herceptin with minimal short-lived side effects. I will continue with this treatment every three weeks for 11 more times.

My surgery is scheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday, March 14th at 10:15am. I will be having a single mastectomy (removal of breast tissue) and a sentinel node biopsy (checking for cancer in the main lymph node(s) and removing those found with cancer). If all goes well, I will spend only one night in the hospital (maybe less). I may have some movement and lifting restrictions for a few weeks but the surgeon seemed positive on a speedy recovery and the possibility of starting the radiation treatment within 10-14 days. I have yet to meet with the radiation oncologist to gather specifics of my treatment but the normal radiation therapy duration is everyday Monday through Friday for six to seven weeks.

Please pray for:

the procedure, minimal lymph node removal, and no complications with recovery,
peace and understanding for my children and family, and
those who are caring for my children while I am in surgery and recovering.

Reader Comments (9)

Loving and continuing to pray you and the family through these hard times. May healing be swift and thorough and may you find joy moments along the way.
Love and prayers,

March 13, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterCaren

Thank you for this update. You are often on my mind and in my prayers. Giving you the biggest cyber bear hug!! Prayers for your surgery and recovery. I wish so much I could be there in body to love on you and your beautiful children.

March 14, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRuthie Shepherd

Praying for you today and as you continue recovery and treatment. Keeping your requests. We love you!🙂

March 14, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterLoreli Bryantu

Melissa, our prayers are certainly with you today! We admire you and love your family. Strength, peace, and love to all of you.

March 14, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew Moore

Melissa. You are truly an amazing woman. You have shown such courage on your journey.
Prayers are continuing for great results from your surgery and very minimal lymph node involvement.
For peace and comfort for you and the kids and much thanks and continued
Support for those who are taking care of you and the kids. Much love to all of you.

March 14, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAunt Kathie

Melissa, prayers go out for you for successful surgery and recovery! Love, prayers, and hugs from The Harvey's, Arnie & JoAnn

March 14, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJoAnn Harvey

Melissa, you remain in my daily prayers. Thank you for keeping us all updated.

March 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterNerissa Muniz

Melissa, praying that all went well with the surgery...and that you are feeling better with each passing day. Sending lots of love you way, Oslay.

March 28, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterOslay

Could there be something in your immediate environment that is causing cancer? Maybe your car, bed, in the ground, etc? We dont know what causes cancer but there is a cause. Residing in a cancer causing environment defeats the best treatment. Until we know what causes cancer we have to speculate. If I were you I will move with my kids, taking nothing with me, and start over with new and different things. Just a thought. Good luck.

April 1, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBens

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