Friday, February 11, 2011

from the beginning

All of this began in March of 2007, when my husband, Curtis, was diagnosed with melanoma after having a suspicious mole removed from his right shoulder. The doctors ended up doing a wide path extraction, cutting away all the tissue affected. He was given a clean bill of health and for a couple of years, everything was good.  In 2009, Curtis was admitted to the hospital for extreme swelling in his feet and legs, and during a routine chest x-ray, a small spot was found on his right lung. There were follow up CT scans and a PET scan, all of which did not show the spot was progressing. Then at the last CT scan in April of 2010, it showed that the spot had increased in size.  We were sent for a consultation with a surgeon, and later the spot was removed along with a small section of his lung. 

As I sat at the hospital, waiting and wondering because the doctor was very concerned that it could be the melanoma that had spread, the surgeon came out and confirmed just that.  Thus began the diagnosis and treatment for malignant metastatic melanoma.  Even just saying it sounds scary and it was very scary. After he recuperated from the surgery, we were referred to the Blumenthal Cancer Center in Charlotte, to Dr. Asim Amin, where Curtis was given the opportunity to participate in some experimental studies that were showing promising progress in treating this type of cancer. He went through 2 rounds of immunotherapy, and when the scans were done in August, we were told that the cancer had spread to his brain, other lung, and liver. He began radiation, and then started another round of another experimental treatment.  Soon after, a bone scan was done, and we were told that the cancer had spread to his hip bone, pubic bone and shoulder bone.  Another round of radiation helped ease the pain that accompanied the cancer in the bone.   

Through all of this, my husband remained a warrior. He stood firm in his faith and believed God for a total healing.  As the cancer spread throughout his body, He began to talk to me about what if he didn't make it through this.  We talked about things that we had never discussed before in the 20 years we had been married.  We talked about death, funerals, and all that goes along with it. But yet, we remained in God's peace.  Facing death face to face, but without fear. The peace was attracting attention.  Our pastor talked to Curtis about a "bucket list"  Curtis shared that our family had never been on a vacation, so the pastor organized a fund raiser and sent us as well as our 4 kids to Disney on January 3-8.  

Curtis fought hard to get there. We flew down and stayed at a condo where we were given a timeshare for the week. He loved watching the kids have fun, and even went out to play putt-putt with us.  He rode the electric wheelchair around the parks, and on Thursday of that week, we had a day of visitors. We had people from our old church in Florida to visit us, neighbors that we had grown extremely close to, as well as ministry friends.  It was a wonderful day, being prayed over and encouraged, life being spoke over him.   The week came to an end all too quickly.  

Once we were back home, Curtis' health began to decline quite rapidly and the last week of the month proved to be the worst he had ever experienced. This led up to his death on January 29. 
I will pick the blog back up and try to start sharing some of the feelings and the pain that we have experienced since then. 

thank you for reading so far. 
God Bless and Keep you


  1. Renae, You are so generous and kind to share with us. I feel connected reading this blog. It is beautiful. Thank you so very much. I love you and pray for you and the kids daily.

  2. Thank you for sharing this, Renae. It is very kind of you to connect us to this precious journey.

  3. This is my blog site, Have been at it for over 5 years, I will be anxious to follow you as you progress. You will find that blogging is a great place to just put your thoughts. Sometimes I regret letting all the family have my site but then decided, I am how I am and these are my thoughts. Hang in there. Love your Auntie DC