Joseph “Pete” Lata

08/21/1959 — 10/25/2009
In 1987, my husband Pete had a melanoma in the small of his back. He did not receive any treatment other than surgery to remove the growth.

In 1997, he found an enlarged lymph node in his left groin, all of the nodes were removed with 1 positve. The doctor didn’t feel he needed treatment then either.

In 2008, he was having back problems and they did an MRI of the spine and nothing showed up. The back problem continued to get worse over the next year and they did another MRI and found a tumor in his spinal colum at the L3. It was pressing all the nerves together.

In February 2009, he had surgery to remove the tumor and it came back positive for Stage IV metastic melanoma. He got 4 high doses of radiation and began a pill form of kemo (don’t remember the name). He had been on it for 5 weeks, had a lot of vomiting over the 5 weeks, and on May 16 he became very ill and we rushed him to the hospital to find he had a nicrotic bowel. He was septic. His blood sugar was 1079. He was in acidosis. They took a section out of his intestines and gave him an ileostomy. They were not sure he was going to make it. He was on dialysis for 4 days and made it through. He could not do kemo with the ileotostomy and 4 months later he was reconnected…his happiest day!

The ileostomy was very difficult for him to deal with. He got an infection in the surgery sight and landed back in the hosital in October. He was having major mental changes and they did a CAT of his brain. They dicovered a leision behind his eyes and seeding in the brain.

We came home from the hospital with Hospice. His Mom, brother, and sister were here and we had 3 wonderful days with him! He started falling and had to be taken to the hospice. He died 2 days later.

He is my Guardian Angel now. We were lucky he was here to raise our children whom are now 23 & 25. I was so blessed!


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