Melanoma, the ugly monster.

My name is Heather and I am telling the story of my husband Brian. In the Winter of 2012 my husband returned from a yealr long deployment with what he though was a hemroid. He had mentioned to a Dr in the army and told the Dr he was taking care of it with over the counter medication, so the Dr did not look at it. So in April after he was off Military orders he went to our family doctor with what hw thought was a hemroid because it was not getting better. When the Dr looked at it she thought is was a thrombosis hemroid so he was sent to a general surgeon to have it removed and that is where the nightmare began. When we saw the surgeon he looked at us and told us that it was not a hemroid and told us that it may possiblly be a tumor, so he did a biopsy, and it was.

On May 5,2012 we got that dreaded call that it was melanoma. The next week we were with a melanoma specialist for an exam and to have it removed. Since was in the rectum area, the surgeon was afraid that he would not be able to get clean margins because it has grown so much since the inital diagnosois. By the time he had surgery it was 2cm and 10mm deep. After the initial surgery he began radiation for 25 treatments and when that was finished be began Interferon and that was in October 2012. He went through infusion for the first 30 days and then was doing self administered shots for the next 11 months, 3 times a week. We were under the inpression that they were working until Brian started having breathing issues. In June 2013 he went in to be rescanned and it showed that the melanoma had metastasized into his lung and groin.

So here we go again in for surgery to remove the one in the groin. When that was done he returned to do more radation and a change to immunotherapy. The Dr put him on Yervoy. Then in October he was admitted into the hospital for pneunomia, and that stay was for 5 days. During that stay they did another scan and it showed that he now had three tumors in the right lung. So as soon as he was dismissed he started radiation again and kept doing the yervoy. Until he was put in the hospital again in November 2013 for another round of pneunomia. When he was dismissed this time, he started bioimmunochemotherapy. He made it through one round of treament which was 5 days in the hospital and 3 weeks at home. His breathing got worse so he was referred to a pulmanologist to have a work up done so they did another CT and found that he had not only the 3 tumors in the right lungs, there were also leisons in the left lung. They started on another round of radiation and stopped the bioimmunochemothearpy. He had one round of radiation, but the night before the treatment he coughed and broke a rib. He went through one more dose of radiation. That weekend he went to the ER due to breathing issues. When we arrived at the hospital by ambulance his saturation levels were 82% and kept dropping so the intubated him and moved him to a hopsital that was better equipped for critical partients like my husband was. When we arrived at that hospital  the doctors tols he had days maybe hours to live. That was Sunday moring December 8, 2013. By 12pm on December 9, 2013 he passed away once all the family had arrived. He fought as hard as he could and 17 months after he started treament he passed away and he was only 35 years old.

Sun, 2013-12-29


StephQueph - (10/12/2015 - 10:39pm)

Heather, thank you so much for sharing Brian's story so that others can learn from his experience and remember him. I am so sorry for your loss.