The Hinson house is praising God for a lot of things lately.
Evan Grace’s cast comes off Monday and I’m so glad because she has worn some of the bottom down to the padding. She sure has learned to overcome what could have been a major set-back in her little 16-month-old life. She has taught me a lot over the past four weeks about persistence! I can’t help but think that if I had a cast on my leg it would slow me down—Lord, help me push through my burdens with persistence and eyes fixed on you!
Asher has not had a fever the whole month of November!! He has had one monthly since May, so this is a big deal. We have been referred to a Pediatric Nephrologist and are awaiting that appointment. His left kidney showed some “mild hydronephrosis” on his abdominal ultrasound, so the doctors just want to have that checked out in case it is the root of all our problems.
I had a great appointment with the tremendous Dr. Terry Sarantou. I want to share with you how my Jesus orchestrated this appointment. My original appointment was set for December 3 with Dr. North at CMC-Northeast. Dr. Coale (my dermatologist) had called all the oncology surgeons and this was the earliest appointment she could get. My best friend from high school, Karen, has a sister, Katie who is a Physician Assistant with Dr. Sarantou.
Karen “just so happened” to be in town (she lives in Raleigh) the week I was diagnosed with melanoma…
Katie “just so happened” to recently move here from Wilmington and get a job in the Charlotte area…
Dr. Sarantou worked hard to get me into his schedule and “just so happened” to have a cancellation for me to come in on Tuesday, November 27…
When I walked into the office, I was not prepared to see in a large plaque on the wall, “Levine Cancer Institute”. I knew I was going to a surgeon and I knew I was diagnosed with cancer, but this really put it all together. I had to hold it together as I checked in with the very nice lady at the front desk.
During the appointment with the doctor, we found out some encouraging information. As he went line by line over the pathology report, I learned that my melanoma is stage 1b. I also learned there is only a 10-30% chance it has spread, and my percentage is even on the lower end of that because of the depth of my melanoma. That was good to hear because our fear has been that it has spread and the percentage shows it is a small chance that it has.
Chemotherapy and radiation are not in the picture, unless it has done some major spreading, and that is unlikely. Surgery is probably the most that will be done. Praise the Lord!!
Surgery to remove lymph nodes, biopsy those, and removed the (large) portion on my arm will be as soon as they can work me in.
A fact that I learned and I really wanted to share with people is this…
When the melanoma is biopsied, they measure the depth compared to the rate of growth. Mine was a very slow-growing kind, so Dr. Sarantou estimates it has been there for approximately…wait for it…
He said the tanning bed mixed with my red hair and fair skin made for a bad combination.
And I didn’t even use the tanning bed that regularly.
I beg you, friends, please get out of the tanning bed. Also, please wear sunscreen daily. I have learned my lesson the hard way.
All the posts, messages, texts, phone calls, hugs, and prayers are more encouraging than you know. I have laid in bed at night crying myself to sleep in my husband’s arms. I have learned a lot through this already and plan to keep my ears open to hear God speak to me through every step of this.
I leave you with scripture that continues to play through my head and give me encouragement that I am growing towards a more mature and complete faith in Jesus Christ!
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4