On April 23, 2009, Shannon and I met with Dr. G, who specializes in cancer surgeries. Shannon had done her reading and research on this doctor and he was written up in, What’s Up Annapolis, as one of our areas best surgeons. Upon meeting Dr. G. we both had a feeling of confidence that Shannon was in good hands.
Dr. G. explained to Shannon and me that what she had was called- Metastasized Melanoma with an Unknown Primary. It was yet to be determined that the initial mole removed was the first spot of Melanoma. Dr. G. told us that Shannon would need to have a PET scan done and he would operate to remove the melanoma and also do a sentinel lymph node biopsy during the surgery.
On May 6, 2009, Shannon had her first of many surgeries. We were all in the back of the hospital waiting for her to be wheeled in for surgery when Dr. G came in. We had yet to hear the very important results from the PET scan. I asked Dr. G. what Shannon’s results were from the scan. He apologized, went out to find her records, came back and told us it was clear except for the one spot. I began to sob, happy sobs, but sobs none the less.
Shannon was allowed to go home that evening after the surgery. On Friday, May 8th, Dr. G. called to tell Shannon that no cancer was found in her lymph nodes and that he had cut a good margin.
Dr. G. took Shannon’s unusual case to the Tumor Board, where they were split on a decision to do an additional surgery called an ancillary lymph node dissection (removal of her lymph nodes). Taking Dr. Gs. advice Shannon went along with the suggested surgery, of course hoping for a better out come for a longer life.
This surgery ended up being much harder for her as she was fitted with a drainage system that sprang a leak on her the second day after surgery. I was staying with her when we had to whisk her quickly into the surgeon’s office where he fixed the leak and unfortunately he bandaged her back up. For the next two days Shannon was in excruciating pain. Finally her dad had the presence of mind to once again call the best nurse around, Peggy Holston, who came to our rescue. Peggy came by and simply re wrapped the drainage line and the pain went away. Peggy told us to never let a surgeon do the wrapping. Always allow a nurse to do that part.
During this time Shannon and Ben were doing a lot of praying. They prayed until they had peace and faith that their outcome would be a good one. They asked the family to not talk negatively around them. They wanted to walk in faith, believing for Shannon’s healing. It is what we all wanted.
Next entry- Shannon meets her Medical Oncologist, who tells her there, is no cure drug for her stage Melanoma and refers her to a clinical trial. Then we will hear from Shannon. As we hear her own words, we can feel the faith and hope she walked in. Shannon will amaze you.