Letter: Cancer support group offered

My journey with cancer began in 2006 when I was diagnosed with melanoma, a type of skin cancer. I underwent a procedure to have the cancerous tissue removed. I thought “that was pretty easy”; little did I know how tenacious and persistent melanoma is. Last June an oncologist at UVA discovered the cancer had metastasized to my vital organs. The largest and most concerning tumors were found in my liver.

Due to the extent the cancer had spread I had limited treatment options; chemotherapy, surgery and radiation were not possibilities. One experimental drug failed miserably; after several months of treatment I ended up hospitalized with drug-induced hepatitis. At this time I had an MRI and CT scan performed which revealed 26 cancer cells in my brain. To address the brain metastases I underwent Gamma knife radiation and several weeks of radiation thereafter. Upon completion of radiation, imaging showed my brain to be cancer-free.

With one battle overcome, my oncologist tried another experimental drug to continue to treat the remaining cancer metastases. This time around I’m feeling great; I feel healed. I wanted to share my story because, through this experience, my wife and I have learned so much about the effects of cancer and cancer treatment on spouses, family members, doctors, nurses and patients. I would like to start a cancer prayer support group (emphasis on support for those dealing with the shock of cancer).

If you know of anyone dealing with cancer who would be interested in the group, please contact me at 540-937-4520 or email me at letsen1@earthlink.net.


Carl Letsen

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