I have had so many friends and loved ones fight different battles with cancer that I am just so sick of losing people to this nasty disease! I think the majority of us has all lost someone to cancer and how I wish that wasn't the case. A very close friend of my family's is fighting a terrible battle with Metastatic Melanoma. I used to work for a cancer center and it was a common thought among those highly educated with the different diseases that Metastatic Melanoma would be one of the worst cancer's to have.
Terry has worked with my mother for probably somewhere around 20 years and is such a superb man. I actually in recent years have secretly (well and not so secretly LOL) hoped he and my mom would date! He is just such a neat guy and pretty much one of the most amazing guys ever! So about a year ago he was diagnosed with Melanoma and he had removed it but for some reason his Dr didn't see it necessary to undergo any further treatment. I wasn't very happy with that answer but he trusted his Dr...Then about 4 months ago he called his Dr's office because he had a mass growing out of his shoulder, their response to him was "it would be best for everyone involved if he would just wait to see the Dr at your re-check appt that is coming up"...I was floored!! I mean seriously I cannot believe they would say something like that to a patient! So he obliged and when he was seen they sent him in for some further testing and was then diagnosed with the Metastatic disease. Terry was very optimistic and very adamant that he was beating this thing, it would not kill him. Then his knees started to hurt within a week of finding out and he was then sent in again and was found to have the metastasies in both knees. The Dr gave Terry the treatment options of going to a specialist hospital in TX or staying local and doing a chemo/radiation combo, when Terry asked him if he would benefit from going to the clinic the Dr told him no he would treat him the same here! WHAT?! NO YOU WON'T!!! I was SO upset, I talked with my mom at length about it and why he should go and she truly tried to convince him to do it but he "trusted his Dr". So he stayed and started the treatments and continued to have intense pain in both knees, at the wedding I shot back in May he was just a couple of weeks into diagnosis and he could barely walk!
This continued over the next few months, I cannot even tell you the number of times I have felt like his level of care was well below standard as far as the Dr's reactions and performance. The combination of chemo drugs that he was on was a standard treatment but there were a couple of other immunotherapy drugs that he should have been on to ward off any new cell growth and he was not put on it. He also needed blood transfusion due to low white counts and the Dr failed to order that as well. Terry continued to work even when he could barely walk, he was in so much pain that the meds weren't even touching it! Finally last week he was told that he needed to go on disability because they were needing to put him on a Morphine and Oxycontin mix to try and control the pain. Still he found no relief, so they ordered a CT scan to "investigate" the pain. Wednesday afternoon he was told they could no longer treat him and he needed to contact Hospice care...The cancer had spread from his knees up into his hips and had literally eaten through his hip bone to the point that it was nearly fractured. Let me just add here that Terry is 6'5 and built pretty solid so that was a huge blow! They also basically said the cancer has spread to multiple areas but didn't name anything specific. I was devastated when I received the call, this man that I want so badly to beat this disease is losing this battle at a rapid speed! I had held out hope and faith from the beginning that he would be spared and he would have a heck of a testimony to share. I wanted so badly for him to be okay, I don't know why but this saddens me to the point that it physically hurts! You all know my dad is no longer with me and somehow I guess I hoped he would fill that hole. Terry is SO great with my kiddo's, he loves to watch DD ride and thinks J is a super young man, so much of how my dad was.
I guess I started losing hope really about a month ago after I got a phone call from my mama saying she had a HUGE secret that I could not share with anyone!!! Big time, like I think she threatened my life LOL! But Terry told her she could share the news with me and ME only! He had been praying that if he was going to die from this battle with cancer that he win some money so he could pay off his debts and not leave his 19 yr old daughter with any financial trouble *insert tears*, well he did it...He played Keno and won $100,000...My momma was so happy for him but she said "I was heartbroken inside when he told me because that means he's going to die"...So after he paid taxes he walked away with $70,000 and paid his debts clean.
Terry had one wish to fulfill this weekend before this disease completely took over and that was to go to a local fair and watch an annual rodeo that DD runs in every year. He has grown up around this town and has never missed one yet. It would be his last time to see her run and he and my momma and their friends had it planned out that they were getting a wheelchair from another friend and they would wheel him up there. Well when Hospice came out on Friday they decided that they would just get him a wheelchair so they left and returned with it and Terry was in the chair with his roommate and roommates wife along with the Hospice RN and he went to adjust his position in the chair and Mike (the roommate) heard a terrible pop then Terry was in TERRIBLE pain so the RN immediately called 911...He broke that hip, the one the cancer killed. WHY?! I don't get why he couldn't have had just one last thing to make him smile....So Terry lies right now in a hospital bed waiting for Monday morning for his Oncologist to decide if he should have surgery and have a pin put in or not. Apparently the Dr told him at his appt last week that if they operated the cancer *could* spread. Which is true but the other choice would be to be bed ridden until he dies, so what is the lesser of two evils?!
My sweet J came up with an idea for DD to paint TT in a heart on her horse for the rodeo Saturday night as a tribute to Terry and we would of course record it and take it to show him. DD was thrilled with this idea but was having a case of nerves Saturday morning and started saying maybe she didn't want to run because Krissy had been off so long and they'd only been practicing for 4 days. I said to her that it was her choice but if she didn't she wouldn't be able to pay that tribute to Terry so she said YES she wanted to do it!
*And yes my artistry skills leave alot to be desired!!
So Saturday night we headed out for the rodeo with awesome friends and family to support her (my momma stayed with Terry) and my Hubby said she was a ball of nerves before her run. See last year at this rodeo was the one where she did the 360 spins off Pete and crashed into barrel 2 with her back and head. BUT she has been back there to a fun show on Krissy and did really well...So anyhow the Hubby says she was grunting and making all sorts of noises trying to get her nerves out LOL! But she came in shining like a star and ran that pattern! It wasn't a perfect run but it was clean and my family and friends were hollering for her, it literally brought tears to my eyes...I was SO very proud of her and she was proud too...I took a picture of her and Krissy before the run and sent it to my momma who showed it to Terry and he just loved it!
So now we wait, wait and see what the Dr will say. And we pray, pray alot...
DD's Tribute run