04/13/1954 — 09/18/2009
My dad became ill in June of 2009. After going to the doctor weekly and not finding what was wrong, he soon ended-up in the emergency room with what we thought was a Heart Attack. After x-rays, they informed my mom, me, and my sisters that he had cancer.
We took him for a PET scan and later to the Oncologist for the results and all he could say was “I’m Sorry.” We knew from there it was not good. The cancer had spread through his entire body.
They never found the primary spot where the cancer originated. They told us he had Melanoma Mestasis. He had 17 tumors just on his brain alone, not including the rest of his body.
We then ended-up back at the ER becasue he had such severe headaches and was dillusional. He didn’t know what state we lived in, where we were, or even who my mom and I were. They did a CT Scan and found 11 tumors and a huge one on the left side of his brain.
They gave us two options:
1. Operate immediately with no guarantees of the outcome, but would hopefully give him a better living for what time he had remaining.
2. He would not make it a week.
We all agreed for him to have the surgery. He did amazing and knew who we were within hours after his surgery. He soon started radiation treatment to the brain to help shrink the growth of the tumors on his brain so he could have a better quality of life until the rest of the cancer took his life.
That only lasted thru one session before he became worse over the next few days. The pain and vomiting was so severe that my mom and I could not control with pain meds any longer. His Hospice nurse then suggested we admit him to the Haven Hospice Care Facility, so we did.
He was so comfortable there and was so at peace with everything. They took great care of him and they soon became a part of our family.
The nurses at Haven Hospice found out it was my Mom & Dad’s 34th Wedding Anniversary on August 24, 2009. They got with us kids and we gave them a surprise Anniversary party with the whole family. It was the greatest day ever. They were both so excited and surpirsed. Just to see the smiles on their faces made that day so much more memorable.
My dad went to be an Angel on September 19, 2009.
We miss him every day!
So, please remember just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there. Get checked regularly by your dermatologist and also your eye doctor, as it can start on the back of your eyes. Wear plenty of sunscreen and avoid the sun as much as possible.
My prayers are with everyone that has anything to do with Melanoma, wether your the victim of it, a friend or family member of someone who has it, or someone recovering or in remission.
Tina Dunaway, Daughter