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New Reasons to Celebrate Friday!

Posted by Rick · January 30th, 2004 · 1 Comment

First off, my friends Abi and Martin Sutherland from Sunpig are again proud parents! All the wonderful details of what is sure to be a great new life can be found here.

As if that weren’t reason enough to celebrate, my surgeon told me today that I will live!

For those who don’t regularly read my blog, the majority of my entries are not personal. Typically, I write about politics or law or social issues. On the last day of 2003, however, I was given the news that I had malignant melanoma. I previously wrote about that and the then-anticipated surgery here and here.

Last Monday, I had the surgery. Two surgeons removed two areas of skin and sentinel lymph nodes. One of the areas had previously been the site of the original malignant melanoma; the other was “suspicious.” The sentinel lymph node resection was done to check for the possibility of metastasis. All this tissue was sent to a laboratory.

This morning, I had a follow up visit to learn the results of these biopsies. The waiting over the last four days has been nearly as bad as the surgery. (I originally planned to write a blog entry titled “Malignant Melanoma: Waiting for Godot”, but couldn’t find my copy of the original Waiting for Godot from which to draw some quotes. It’s on order, but the melanoma wait is [thankfully] over.)

Okay, okay! So you want to know the results! I know! That’s just how I’ve felt the last few days!

As the doctor read off the results, I felt like I was in the last few minutes of Law & Order. The jury files in and the judge says,

Doctor: As to the first skin biopsy for malignant melanoma, stage II, how do you find?
Lab: We find the defendant clean.

Doctor: As to the second skin biopsy for malignant melanoma, stage II, how do you find?
Lab: We find the defendant clean.

Doctor: As to the biopsy of the sentinel lymph node, how does the lab find?
Lab: We find the defendant…


That’s right. No more cancer. Now all that’s required is for me to heal from the surgery. The doctor anticipates that I’ll return to work and school in another week. Right now I’m having trouble staying out of bed for more than a few hours without developing some severe pain, even on around-the-clock Vicodin. (Sitting here writing this, frankly, has been pushing the envelope.) He says it will be about six months to a year for complete healing; this involves the body fully integrating the surgical scar material.

But the good news is that — barring anything other than this melanoma coming along — I have no reason to wonder whether I’ll be here in another six months to a year for that to happen.

And I’m looking forward to the possibility of my happy family meeting Martin’s happy (now larger!) family towards the end of the year, when I should be recovered enough to enjoy a round of golf with Martin.

My wife and I thank all of you who have been thinking about and/or praying for us in this scary time. All that good energy has paid off. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Lighting the candles tonight will be a special joy.

Categories: Personal Life


1 response so far ↓

  • 1 martin // Jan 30, 2004 at 1:58 pm

    Ah, but will you still be able to play the piano?


    We’re *so* glad to hear this. Well done to your body.

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