Friday, September 5, 2008


First I want to thank you for your prayers, positive thoughts and offers to help. I can't put into words how much it means to me to have your support.

I met with my surgeon (Dr. Andrew Goldstein) last week and received some good news. I passed my Pulminary Function (evaluation of how well my lungs work) with flying colors and my CT scan showed only the one tumor on my lung. That was the best news to receive. It was fantastic to hear that the cancer is not effecting the function of my lungs and that it has not spread throughout my lungs.

This past Wednesday, Todd and I went down to Tucson to meet with the Melanoma specialist (Dr. Hersh) at the Arizona Cancer Center. I didn't feel comfortable waiting until after my surgery to meet with him. I really needed to know what he thought about the surgery as well as my treatment afterwards. As we were walking up to the clinic, all I could think was "Here we go again". I was hoping that I wouldn't be seeing them again, especially so quickly. But, I am thankful that there are Melanoma experts so close to home.

While talking with Dr. Hersh, he agreed that I should have the surgery to remove the tumor, but before I do he wants me to get an MRI of my brain to ensure that there is nothing there. The two most common places Melanoma spreads is the Lungs and Brain. It is unlikely that the MRI will show anything as my PET/CT scan was clean, however, we would rather be safe than sorry.

I have the MRI tomorrow and should receive the results on Monday and then my surgery is scheduled for Tuesday, September 9th. Everything is moving fast and I am grateful for that. I will feel a lot better once this is out of my body.

For the surgery, my surgeon is hoping to be able to do the surgery with a scope (small camera). He will intially make a small incision and look to see if he can find the tumor by looking at the outside of my lung. He said there hopefully will be a bump or scar on the outside which will indicate where the tumor is. If he is unable to see anything, he will need to make a larger incision and feel my lung to determine the exact location. Once he is able to locate the tumor, he will remove that section of my lung. My surgeon said that because of my current health, that removing this portion of my lung should not impact my lifestyle. I should be able to do everything I had done prior to my surgery. I was really happy to hear that!

I will be in the hospital for about 4 days and then recuperating at home for about 3 weeks. My parents are coming into town for the surgery and then my mom will be staying through September 20th to help. Todd will update my blog while I am in the hospital.

One month after surgery I will begin my treatment. It is really late and I really need to get to bed, so I will post information tomorrow regarding the treatment.

Thanks again for the support,


Anonymous said...

Hey Tina,

Glad to hear the Pulmonary Function test went well! Good luck with your MRI tomorrow! Let me know if you need help with anything.

Keep us updated on the results and I'll keep sending the positive thoughts and prayers your way. :-)


p.s. - I love the name of your blog!!

CB said...


The blog is a great idea...a great way to keep us all informed and up to date and to get through all of the feelings you must have right now.

We are here to help out through your surgery and recovery --- babysitting, housecleaning, name it, we're on it. We'll stay in touch with your mom and Todd to see what is needed.

Sending positive vibes for a clear brain scan. Please keep us posted.

Thank God you are such a feisty gal...I know you won't take this lying down! Fight...fight...fight!!

We love you Tina Jo!


Anonymous said...

Hi Tina

I know your Mom and Dad through the hotel and I want you to know that I am bathing you, your family and your doctors in prayer.

I'll speak your name to God every time I think of you and will pray specifically for your strength, healing and patience through the procedures.


Anonymous said...

This blog is great Tina. Thank you for sharing this with us and letting us go through this journey with you. Our prayers are with you and Todd and Teya. I hope everything goes well with your scan today. As always, we would love to help in anyway possible, just let us know.
love Jess

Jonathan and Karen said...

Hi Tina and Todd,

I work with Todd and am glad to hear that there is some positive news. My husband and I are keeping you and your family in our prayers. Let us know if you need anything at all; we're just down the road.

Warm wishes,
Karen and Jon

p.s. Welcome to the wonderful world of bloggin!

Anonymous said...

Hi Tina,

Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Please let us know if we do anything to help out. The blog is a great way to keep everyone posted and get out your feelings.

Just remember your are surrounded by people who love you and are behind you through this.