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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Why The Mug Fundraiser?

Tonight is the fundraiser that my son, Philip, is holding for himself. Yes, himself.

Backstory:  About a year ago, about the time I was going through my own cancer treatment (I am in remission, cancer free, btw) , my son, Philip, showed me a mole that was growing on his back, up near his neck.  I told him at the time that it didn't look good and he ought to go to the doctor. I think he didn't go because of what I was going through. 

Finally his girlfriend (now his fiance) urged him to go. He did and the doctor said it was moderate melanoma.  He also told Philip that the thickness of it meant that it had already spread into his lymph nodes and he would need to undergo surgery, to remove the mole, the surrounding skin, and that he would have to be injected with a certain kind of dye to determine which lymph nodes were affected. Oh, and he'd probably have to have chemotherapy on top of all that, afterward.

I relay all this because I have the hope that if anyone reading this has a suspicious mole that he/she would have it checked out and not wait. The doctor said that if Philip had gotten it looked at a year earlier that it could have just been cut off for about $300, all done, no problem.

Since Philip doesn't have insurance he came to his father and myself and asked if we would pay his medical bill.  So we did. The bill totaled:  12,212.

Right before the surgery was the procedure to inject his back with the dye to see where it would spread, specifically to see which lymph nodes were affected.  Because his mole was between his neck and shoulder, both the lymph nodes in his neck and under his arm pits should have showed cancer growth.  They wanted to pinpoint to see which ones should be removed, and apparently there are quite a few in each place, 20 or 30 or some crazy number like that.

However, when they injected the dye, the dye didn't move toward any particular lymph node. So he was taken into surgery and the doctor removed the skin and inside the operating room they kept trying to see where that dye was headed and you know what? It wasn't headed anywhere.  The cancer had NOT spread. 

The doctor came out and in a long rambling fashion explained that he didn't take any lymph nodes and that this sort of thing is very rare.  The surgery instead of taking hours took only about 45 minutes.

My son, after he recovered wanted to hold a fundraiser to pay his parents (us) back.  Here's the link to the facebook page if you live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and you want to attend:  Fundraiser Tonight

But wait ... there's more to this story!

A few weeks ago, something amazing happened ... we received a check from the hospital for $5700.  There was no reason given as to why there was a refund.  We can only surmise that it was because the surgery did not take as long as expected.  Also, some money has been donated already in the amount of $570.  So Philip only is going to only have to raise a bit less than $6000.  This is a far cry from the original $12,000.

His original plan was simply to play his guitar and play music and hope for donations but I told him I would handcraft some original mugs and he could hold a silent auction.  I took 6 weeks and made these mugs which are showcased on my flickr site .

After I put the mugs on the flickr site, there was a lot of interest from those who don't live in this area who wanted to participate.  I have 17 more mugs that have not actually been fired yet.  However, when they are finished, I plan to hold one more auction on EBAY.  If you follow the FB page link above I will be posting more about this part of the fundraiser once the mugs are ready.

Thanks for stopping by --
Natalie

P.S.  I included my son's picture to show how much skin had to be removed around the mole.  This is what happens when moles are ignored. Do NOT ignore suspicious moles! 



3 comments:

  1. Glad things were good for him! And thanks for spreading more info on something that seems fairly innocent, altho we all should know better than that by now. God bless!

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  2. Glad to hear Natalie that things turned out this way. A lesson to all of us. Big hugs.

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  3. Wow - such an amazing story on so many levels. The picture alone speaks so much. God is good - he is well and the debt was cut in half! Thanks for sharing your story!

    Linda

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