Vicki’s personal story
The summer prior to him starting his sophomore year of college, he got a haircut, a buzz cut, if you will. He kept his hair short for football. His Dad and his barber noticed a mole above his right ear had changed in shape, size, and color. (Remember this fact, ladies and gentleman). His dad took him to a dermatologist to have it examined. It was removed, and 48 hours later, we received a call that he had melanoma.
He graduated from college in December 2014, and after his February scan, began looking for full-time work in his chosen major. He still kept his part-time job and worked extra hours here and there when he could. We decided to go on vacation in late June. While on vacation, he came up to me and told me he was worried about two small teeny tiny black dots. One was on his forehead, the other was on his shoulder.
I specifically remember him asking me if he thought his melanoma had returned. At the time, I hadn't thought much about it since his scans were clear. But he was worried, so when we got back from vacation, he and I went so see his doctor. A punch biopsy was performed and sent for testing. His doctor all but told us that yes, the melanoma had re-occurred. Nick was referred to an oncologist and another PET scan was ordered.
Less than 48 hours later, I received a phone call at work. I didn't have the written report, but when the oncologist calls you, it's never good news. When the assistant calls it's good news. (I found that out later.)
I was told that Nick had several tumors in his liver and lungs, and it was suggested I go home and tell the news to my son, husband, and Nick, all of whom were presently at work. It took me 45 minutes of sobbing in my car to pull myself together enough to call my husband. I composed myself enough to drive home and wait for my son to arrive. A parent should not tell their child this news, but both my husband and I did just that.
I hadn't seen my son cry since my Mom passed away 7 years earlier. He didn't cry long, maybe 5 or 10 minutes, then he composed himself and said let's find out what it's going to take to get rid of this demon. There was truly nothing more they could do for him. Nick came home September 23, 2016. He was expected to survive one possibly two weeks. He passed away November 29, 2016 at 8:25 a.m. He was 24 years, 7 months, and 9 days old.