Nathan Weber 1981-2009
I was lucky enough to find love with a wonderful man by the name of Nathan Weber. We were both emergency medical technicians and were working on an ambulance together. He was the sweetest thing I had ever known. We met in July of 2005, and started dating. We moved in together in October of 2005 and got engaged December of the same year. We were married On February 14, 2006. That was a great day! He loved me like no other. He loved my kids, his step kids like they were his own. On January 4, 2007, we had a baby boy named Joshua. He was the light of Nathan’s life. He held and played with him constantly. We were a happy family! In July of 2007, he woke up with a huge lump on the left side of his neck. He was very concerned, because in 2002 he had a mole on that same side of his neck, that was stage II melanoma. He had it removed, and the lymph nodes behind it and it was clear, and with no treatment he was fine. So when this recurred we were both very worried. We went to an ENT and he aspirated the mass. After 1 week of waiting, we got the call saying the melanoma was back. I immediately called Stanford Cancer Center in Stanford, California. They were so great. Got him in the next week, and they were comforting and treated us like we were family. We went to the appointment scared of what they would tell us. Many doctors came in and inspected every inch of my husband’s body, asking numerous questions. After scans we found out that it was stage III melanoma. He had a major neck resection at Stanford just 2 weeks later. I remember Dr. Johnson walking out looking very tired. Good news, she got the tumor and many lymph nodes surrounding it. His recovery was not bad, and they immediately started 6 weeks of intensive radiation in our home town of Santa Cruz. When radiation was done he got Interferon by IV for the first month, and 3 times a week by injection at home for the next 11 months. Right before he started the Interferon, I got pregnant, a very unexpected surprise with our second child together. Nathan was so happy in spite of everything he was going through and about to go through. He was always so wonderful, no matter what! The Interferon was hard on all of us. We had to manage his symptoms, which included chills, fever, stomach pain, and mood swings. We finally got a system down and he made it through. In the midst of all that I had Hayden on June 14, 2008. He was truly meant to be, he had a knot in his cord and the doctor was amazed that he was here. By the way, he looks just like Nathan. Life was good and getting better. Nathan went off Interferon in October of 2008, and 4 weeks later he noticed a lump in his stomach area. He went to the doctor and had scans again; just to find out the melanoma was back again…this time Stage IV metastatic. We were so discouraged, but I forged ahead to save my husband! I will never forget the night we found out - we were putting together a bunk bed for Caleb and Joshua, and we cried and cried. We then were referred to St. Mary’s Hospital in San Francisco, California for a clinical trial. It was the Avastin and Abraxane trial; and for awhile it was shrinking his tumors and no new ones were forming. We were both optimistic and excited. He was a trooper and never complained about anything. He was a saint. One of his last scans had showed something on the brain, but doctors were not sure what it was. We feared Melanoma. The day before Easter in 2009 we were coloring eggs with the kids and he noticed a change in his vision. We called the doctor and he said he needed to go the nearest emergency room. They did a scan there and it showed the spot showing up on his brain had bled. Our worst fears were coming true. After Easter it was back up to Stanford for a craniotomy. That was a terrible ordeal, probably the worst. He was never the same person after that. T he healing and recovery seem to take forever. As time went on he seemed to get progressively worse. One day he couldn’t get out of bed, or walk very well at all. He decided that he wanted to take a family trip, so we took all 4 kids and my parents and went to Bass Lake for 4 days. But Nathan never got off the couch and he never went outside. That was a sad trip. When we returned home he fell one day and then I knew something wasn’t right. Back to the emergency room and scans showed melanoma was spreading. We took him up to Stanford ER and we were told that it had spread to his spinal column and that’s why he couldn’t walk and was confused. He was admitted and all of a sudden I was bombarded with doctors, aides and pain management people. I was scared and alone, and at that moment I realized finally that I was losing him. They were talking about how much time was left, DNR’s, his affairs, hospice, medication to keep him comfortable, and all sorts of things that I did not want to talk about. I was so sad and depressed! A week later he was brought home to a hospital bed. Our kids were hurt, and so was I. I wasn’t quite sure how to deal with this. I was always so positive, trying to save him till the end. Those last few weeks were miserable, I didn’t recognize him anymore. The man I married and shared children and my life with was gone! I was heartbroken!! He didn’t have life insurance because he was so young, and once you have had melanoma you can’t get it. I didn’t know what to do when he died. I still struggle everyday, and our kids do too. I wanted to tell his story so other people could learn from it and take what you will from reading it. I wanted to bring awareness to melanoma and what an awful cancer it is; and how it does not discriminate. My husband never had it in his family and just had 1 mole that he let go for a year before getting it checked out. I write this story most of all to honor him! He was a great husband, father, son, brother, nephew, and most of all just a great man!! He was my soul mate, the love of my life and he will always live in my and my children’s hearts forever!!