My dad was diagnosed last Feb with melanoma. After 3 combos of Ipi/Nivo and severe toxicity that resulted in a few very close calls he opted to discontinue treatment, sit on his patio, drink Diet Coke, chew on his cigars, and eat what he wanted especially an Olive Garden Salad. (Salad was banned due to his chronic diarrhea.)
His oncologist told him as the tumor was back to its original size he had two options. Nivo or surgically remove what they could. The first attempt was aborted in Feb because to was an auxiliary mass intertwined with nerves and ligaments. Due to the toxicity he refused to put more treatment in his body.
My dad looked for a surgeon willing to operate and was repeatedly told no. The bottom line was too risky and “would piss off the cancer cells.”
We convinced him to go back to Huntsman and see Dr. Hu and Dr. Hyngstrom.
Both doctors agreed with our Vegas Onco surgery was an option.
On Tuesday Dr. Hyngstrom successfully removed all of the tumor, trimmed some muscle and took a bit from the chest wall to ensure he, “got it all.” No damage to nerves.
Path reports are not in yet, but Dr. Hyngstrom said he had no evidence of live cancer. He felt the growth was the dead cells are what caused the tumor “grow.”
We do not know what the future holds and understand this is a beast, but to go from really no good option - to potentially no evidence of disease - is freaking amazing on this journey.
And really it came down to experience and willingness. If we have not sought additional opinions he would be sitting on his patio and thinking this was his best life