Let's recap. After our last trip to NYC, we met with our Dr. B to make a plan for our new diagnosis of melanoma. We decided to start immunotherapy but needed a PET scan of the body and a CT of the brain to check to see if there was any spreading. We found cancer in his femur and a spot on his brain. We met with a radiologist with Cancer Specialists of North Florida. She told us what she felt the best plan of action would be but wanted to refer us to the best place for the type of radiation Brian needed on his brain which was UF.
Two days ago we had an MRI of the brain to get a true picture of what was going on. Before we had only had a CT and they aren't the best for imaging the brain. Today we met with a radiologist at the UF facility in Jacksonville. We were prepared for the possibility of other small lesions on the brain but were not expecting a referral to a neurosurgeon.
The mass on the brain is larger than expected (a little less than 4 cm). It is near/on/involving the motor cortex. Because of the size, radiation would not give us optimal results. It wouldn't totally kill it and would allow it to grow again. Surgery is the best way to make sure we kill this spot. The surgery will be within the next two weeks. Radiation will still happen about 4-6 weeks after surgery to make sure it is all dead or to kill any tumor that is left after surgery. Because of the location of the mass, it may not be totally removed after surgery. We will do whatever is the safest. With all brain surgeries there are risks. Risks are scary. Recovery will be a 6 week process and Brian won't be allowed to drive.
Overall, this is not fun. It is tough. It is scary. But we are happy for life and hope. We are happy for experts that we can trust and who want to help our family.
What can you do?
1. Pray. Pray. and Pray.
2. Give us a ride when you can.
3. Donate hours if you work at FSDB and have extra (No pressure. It's anonymous so we will never know if you did or didn't. If you did earlier in the year they gave them back to you and you'll need to do it again.)
We will let you know when we know the exact date! Much love to you all.