To be exact, I’m going to the Northwest….Seattle to be exact
This is not a pilgrimage to the home of Starbucks in pursuit of how to make the perfect Skinny Vanilla Latte, although I may make a side trip if time permits. Actually the purpose for the trip is to gain clarity and consult with the Seattle cancer Care Alliance at the University of Washington. (no, the lower case “c” is not a typo I just choose not to dignify cancer with a capital letter) I have a rare form of skin cancer called Merkel Cell carcinoma (MCC), and with less than 1500 MCC cases per year there is no specific treatment protocol like you would find in breast or prostate cancer. To make things even more cloudy MCC usually occurs in people over the age of 65 and most of the treatment options are based on a less aggressive approach due to their age. So in my situation of having MCC, first at 45 on my hand and now 7 months later in my lymph nodes, the local hospitals don’t agree on the best way to aggressively treat this.
Very little research is being done and usually it’s a footnote in the researching of advanced melanoma or as an auxiliary component to single cell lung cancer. What research that has been done originated at SCCA, and I was fortunate enough (prayers answered) to get an appointment on short notice with their clinic.
Merkel Cell is on the rise and it is something you need to aware for yourself and your loved ones. I have attached a link to the latest research for you WebMD’ers or for those you like me prefer a cliff note approach, here is a video: King 5 Merkel Cell New Report
So as I sign off, I’m doing what I know to do and
trusting God period*
*I borrow “trust God period” thanks to the team at Catalyst and a podcast they did with Christ follower, cancer survivor, and award winning sportscaster Ernie Johnson who coined the phrase in describing his approach in living with the uncertainty that is cancer. His interview starts at the 21:00 point in the podcast and something everyone should hear regardless!