Saturday, November 20, 2021

Cancer Update #4

An update on James's melanoma | On The Creek Blog //
An update on James's cancer diagnosis.

Previous Updates:

We left off with James getting ready to begin immunotherapy treatments.

He had his first treatment a few days before Halloween.  A few days later, James started experiencing extreme nerve pain.  This went on for a couple weeks.  His arm also had swelling.  James's under arm started looking a little scary too & he started developing black spots in areas.  When he visited physical therapy, it was suggested James go to an ER to be checked out for a possible infection.  We went to an ER that was close to the physical therapy location.

At the ER, things got intense.  The doctors did so many tests on him to try to figure out what was going on.  Because of his active cancer & treatments, it's more difficult to immediately see what the problems could be because it distorts the blood work.  
An update on James's melanoma | On The Creek Blog //

At the beginning, it looked like James had sepsis & the doctors immediately started treatment for that.  
He was in the ICU for 2 days while they were treating him with antibiotics.  
Part of the tests run at the hospital were updated CT scans.  It was then we learned the original cancer had grown significantly since the last scan just a month before.  There are also several new cancer lesions throughout his body.  An earlier scan showed a possible lesion in his lung that had seemed to disappear with his earlier treatments.  The new scan showed the lung lesion was back & larger than before.  The doctors removed fluid from James's lung & it was found to be malignant melanoma.
As the doctors learned more about his situation, it was recommended James be transferred to the hospital where his cancer team is out of.  In total, James spent 9 days in the hospital.  It was determined that the under arm skin blackness is from where the tumor is growing & breaking through the skin.  It is looking slightly worse every day as the tumor grows.

The swelling in James's arm is from lymphedema.  It is being caused because the tumor is essentially blocking a large part of the lymph nodes so the fluid in his arm has nowhere to go.  James also had many lymph nodes removed during his first surgery so he doesn't have a lot to work with anyway.

His cancer team has decided to end the immunotherapy treatments.  They started James on more chemotherapy pills for now.  The hope is to possibly stabilize or shrink the tumors quickly so the cancer stops spreading.

There is also talk about James joining a clinical trial.  The trial is very intense but could possibly help him a lot if it were to be successful.
The plan is to try to stop or slow the cancer as much as we can.  Melanoma is a very aggressive cancer & right now it is growing in James's body faster than it is dying.  There are still treatments available but trying to find something that will work super quickly is tricky.


  1. I am so very sorry to hear his cancer is so aggressive. Continued prayers for all of you!! I can only imagine what you’re going through. Sending love and hugs

    1. Thank you so much for the continued prayers.


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