Many have asked about how Johnny is doing. We’ve been wrapped up in his recovery and I haven’t written about it. He had surgery a week ago Monday to remove the lymph nodes in his left groin and abdomen. He’s got about a 12 inch incision and about 29 staples and still has 2 drains that we’re emptying several times a day. He also has to have a shot of blood thinner in his belly nightly for a total of 28 days from his surgery date. That’s no fun for either of us but I’ve surprised myself by actually being able to administer the shots. He’s stayed mostly quiet this past week and has a follow up appointment at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance next Tuesday the 31st. Hopefully they’ll take the drains out and he can begin to get on with his life. We’re still waiting on the pathology from the up to 20 lymph nodes they removed.

This is the only “treatment” available for John’s type of Melanoma. We’re still looking into a clinical trial and he will have scans every 3 months for the next two years, every 6 months until the 5th year, and every year after that. He’s got a 50% chance of the cancer spreading or recurring. The lymphodema in his left leg will be a lifetime challenge for him and we’re learning how to deal with that.

I feel blessed beyond measure to be sharing this journey with him and to be witnessing first hand his optimism and acceptance. He refuses to focus on the negative and looks for the good in every single day. In the short few months since he’s been diagnosed, our lives have changed fairly dramatically, but our relationship has deepened, as has my love and appreciation for him. My husband is brave, positive, happy, and patient. These qualities have served him (and will continue to serve him) well throughout this cancer journey.

As always, we appreciate the love, support, prayers, and helpful information shared by so many. We don’t take our support community, whether close friends and family or those whom we don’t even know who support us here in the social media world, for granted, ever. Your presence in our lives has made this journey so much easier and we are daily grateful for you.

On this Christmas Eve, we’re grateful for our family and friends, the abundance in our lives that allows us to focus on John’s healing path, time together along with the heightened awareness of how precious that time is, and the amazing possibility that the impending new year brings us. We wish you and yours a peaceful and happy Christmas. Hug your loved ones and never, ever take a single moment with them for granted. Life is truly too short to focus on anything but your blessings.