It has been a rough couple of weeks for my wife, my family, my community and friends. We have been pretty emotional not knowing the full prognosis since melanoma is so deadly once it metastasizes and the long-term statistics for survival are not good. Don't read them, I am doing my best to stay away.
Just a few pictures from friends
THANK YOU FOR ALL THE GENEROUS SUPPORT!
The CrossFit community and outreach support from friends, family and people I have never met has been unbelievable. People are bringing food, raising awareness by hosting WODS, asking to help in anyway, rides, love, support and kindness I have never seen before. It is unreal and left me speechless many times. You have been amazingly generous raising funds for future medications and trials that are coming as I face this WAR. One of the main goals of this was increase education and bring additional awareness of melanoma cancer. With the number of Facebook shares and dedication workouts happening this past week, I believe it has helped.
I learned today I am a very unique case in that I didn't have a primary cancer site I ignored. This happens in about 10-20% of all cases. I had yearly skin checks. Had moles removed over the years and biopsied. I did everything right except my sister and I have the genetic marker they believe to set this cancer off. I was proactive and had 3 doctors over a year tell me not to worry about my lump in my armpit. It took me calling the 4th Dr. to get more answers. I DID ALMOST EVERYTHING RIGHT EXCEPT TAKE IT OUT MYSELF.
I learned today from my oncologist to have more hope. I learned I am considered cancer free! AND...I have a 20-25% chance of it NOT returning somewhere in my body or brain. IF it returns, I will have to adjust and deal with the process of getting it out and follow up treatment. This could mean more surgeries, immotherapy, drug therapy or trials. The Dr's treat this cancer to as a chronic disease to extend your life. There is NO CURE YET. So the clock ticks.
Baby Steps and Patience:
#1 - Gamma knife the old tumor bed in my head to kill any remaining cancer cells. Little clean up work.
#2 - Test the genetics of the mutation. This will determine the first treatment plan option compared to other studies of what has worked globally.
#3 - LIVE EVERYDAY LIKE IT IS YOUR LAST AND LOVE FULLY. Prognosis is similar to an unknown chipper. It is coming. Not sure how long or the details. Be trained the best I can be to handle what task I am given, stay healthy and listen, bite off a little at a time while continuing to look at the entire project, and FINISH STRONG. Enjoy the process. That's it!
Having cancer chasing me like a huge bolder makes me even more determined to be better. Be a better person, friend, brother, son, coach, volunteer & man. I will slow some to enjoy more and take a little more time to show love, patience and compassion. Get use to it. I am a driven person, always have been a little intense at what I love. This is me, but now I have a new perspective. I was surprised when I learned my sister, who is fighting the same cancer explained she is happier now than ever. WHAT? I get it now. Ill explain another time.
Final note: there was talk today of clinical trials that are out of state which would require relocating. There was also talk of immunotherapy or chemo which sounds BRUTAL. My Dr. said it can take the toughest person down being sick the entire year. There was talk about doing no harm...doing nothing and waiting for it to return...if it does. The unknown is huge.
AGAIN, THANK YOU FOR THE SUPPORT AND LOVE.
Jason & Erin Fine