On January 27, 2011 Eric Merkley was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. An aggressive cancer that we hope and the doctors to this point seem confident that is contained to one spot on his leg. Prognosis is good. Treatments and recovery will be long and painful.
What a great day to have the confirmation from the doctors that Eric is Cancer Free!!
First we met with Dr Spraker and she gave him a gift! It was a T shirt with the saying "Respect the Mustache". Eric got such a big kick out of that!! He jumped up and gave her a hug!
We went over all the scan results and then I got up the nerve to ask the chances of this beast coming back. She explained that Eric had 3 major things in his court.
1. The cancer did not spread to his lungs.
2. He was a good responder where 95% of the cancer was dead when they removed the tumor.
3. The remaining tumor was completely removed during surgery.
Having said that, the chances of this cancer coming back is LESS than 20%. What a relief!
We then went on to visit with Dr Randall. He looked at his leg where the incision was made and asked to see him walk on his prosthetic leg. He explained that if we tried to salvage his limb, that he would not be walking "normal". He stood up and asked Eric to give him a hug, because he was so proud of him and that he wanted a picture of him dunking the basketball for Dr. Randal's Hall of Fame. It brought tears to my eyes as he hugged Eric and then me, because it really hit me that we have come full circle with this.
If I may recap this journey and the many miracles that happened along the way to allow Eric to be Cancer Free and to have Eric's future very bright.
1. I am truly grateful for Celesta, who had that strong feeling as she was working on Eric's "Strained muscle" that something was very wrong with his leg and insisted that an xray be taken.
2. I am Truly grateful that we were sent to Dr. Weenig, and that as he viewed the new xray of Eric's leg, he recognized it as a tumor and did not waste any time getting on the phone with Huntsman Cancer Center and also set up the appointment immediately with Dr Randal.
3. I am truly grateful that we were able to get into an appointment with Dr Randall and Dr Spraker for a quick diagnose and to get the treatment game plan into place.
4. I am truly grateful for the amazing team of Doctors and Nurses who were patient and willing to teach us what we needed to do and look for. Not to mention they were willing to answer the many questions I had, in person and on the phone. They understood the tears and there were some tears shed with me.
5. I am truly grateful that Dr. Randal had the courage to offer the 2 options for surgery and the loving concern he had for all the emotions that came with those options.
6. I am truly grateful to all the nurses that loved Eric and would come visit even if they had other patients. The time they took to see how he was doing and to hear more "Eric Stories".
7. I am truly grateful that Eric's body had endured the many poisons that were injected into his body to kill all those cancer cells.
8. I am truly grateful that Eric had such an amazing attitude through out this whole thing.
9. I am truly grateful to all the friends I met at the hospital, the moms and other angels fighting cancer.
10. I am truly grateful to all my amazing friends and family who have worried, cried, prayed along with us. I will always be eternally grateful for all your prayers. I know I have said this before, but I have felt those prayers many times. It has helped to give both Eric and myself the strength to endure this.
11. I will always be eternally grateful to my amazing husband who had to endure an absentee wife without complaining, and still be my rock. I don't know if I can even explain the feeling of comfort it was that I knew he was always there to keep me standing. That when I was not sure I could find the strength to keep going, he was there helping me take the next step.
12. I will always be eternally grateful to my Heavenly Father who's presence was always felt. I don't know why Eric had to go through this, but I can say that our family is stronger because of it. There were many prayers that have been answered. Prayers were answered long before I even knew they were needed. I have experience Tender mercies from Heavenly Father that I will never forget, times when I was trying to give Eric comfort, but instead it was I that was comforted.
THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN FOR YOUR LOVE AND YOUR PRAYERS!