Wednesday, December 14, 2016

In My Skin: Treatment

Okay, here we go... 

Treatment starts on Monday. I will be having my port put in Monday morning and then my first infusion that afternoon. 

For the first month I will have infusions Monday through Friday. The first week we are supposed to be in Tampa for all 5 infusions. After that week we will visit Moffitt on Mondays (this may vary for the holidays) for infusions and lab work and then go to a local oncologist for the infusions Tuesday-Friday. 

Treatment the rest of the year will be me giving myself shots 3 times a week. As well as going to Moffitt for monthly check ups and lab work. 

Thank you for praying with us for insurance. We got some clarification on our existing policy. After praying we've decided to keep that one.


God is always before us. God orchestrated all of this. He will take care of us during this time. 

Treatment is starting! The faster we start, the faster we finish! 

We will have a new insurance starting the first of the year! 


Pray for my body as it endures the medicine. Pray for the side effects from the medicine as well.

For our family. It isn't just me going through this. They are all living this with me.

For wisdom to discern our finances over the course of the next year with the insurance.

That through this we would glorify God in all that we do. And that we continue to make His name famous. 

Thank you in advance for praying with us!

In His Amazing Love, 

The Hennis Family

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

In My Skin: Unremarkable

The Journey continues! Yesterday, we had our second appointment with my oncologist at Moffitt. They did blood work and an EKG. The doctor was happy with those results. We also went over my MRI and CT Scans that were done last week. Both of them came back clean! No evidence of metastasis! PTL! The scans said over and over that this or that organ was unremarkable. It is my new favorite word!

So in the next 3 weeks we will start treatment due to the way melanoma sits in the body and the fact that I am super high risk of it coming back. We have chosen to fight now instead of later. As we start treatment, I will be scheduled to have a port put in as my veins tend to give everyone trouble. As we continue on the path that God has laid, we continue to exalt Him and rejoice for He has not changed His love for us. 


My scans came back clear!


For our family. There are lots of changes coming in the next year. 

Pray for my body as it endures the medicine. 

Pray for the side effects from the medicine too.

Pray that I would keep focused on Jesus.

Most of all that we would glorify God through this.

Thank you for continuing to pray with us!

In His Amazing Love,

Momma was making me laugh to keep our nervousness at bay!

Monday, November 14, 2016

In My Skin: Moffitt

Today, we had our first appointment at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa with my oncologist. I had the best people with me who kept me laughing all day. We started the day off with orientation and familiarizing ourselves with the McKinley Campus.

Over the next two weeks I will have multiple appointments for an MRI, CT scan, blood work, and another appointment with my oncologist. Right now, my chances are 50/50 of the cancer reoccurring. We were given a lot of information in an hour. They would like me to be in a clinical trial. We have a 22 page report to read and two weeks to read and pray about whether or not to be a part of it.


I have insurance! We have a portion that we will have to pay each month, but are so thankful that the Lord provided it for us.


For our family. It isn't just me going through this. They are all living this with me.

For wisdom to discern the information we are being given. As well as clear direction and guidance for participation in the trial.

If I participate in the trial, pray for my body as it endures the medicine. Pray for the side effects from the medicine too.

Most of all that we would glorify God through this.

Thank you in advance!

In His Amazing Love,


Kendall loved her "room".

Moffitt has an area for patients and families. Kendall got to paint which she loved.

Blowing bubbles while we wait!

Waiting to see the doctor.

Doctor Hennis?

Friday, November 4, 2016

In My Skin

It's been quite a whirlwind for our family here lately. In September I (Jenn) was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. Cancer. It's not something I expected at 32. But who does?

Below is a timeline of events from then to now. Mostly for my own recollection, but if you want to follow along this is the place to do it! There are some post appointment/surgery pictures below. If that sort of thing makes you queasy you can probably stop scrolling down now. :) 

The dark spot on my arm is where the melanoma was.

September 2016

9/9/2016- I went to the Brevard Skin and Cancer Center for a freckle that darkened to black and itched. It turned into a mole that was growing on my right forearm. I saw the ARNP-C who thought maybe it was a pyogenic granuloma. The mole was removed as well as other raised spots around it in a shave biopsy and sent to pathology. I barely told anyone about it. I texted my parents about it because I didn't want to make a bigger deal out of it than it needed to be. I didn't even tell my best friend until right before I got the results back.

After they removed the freckle and some satellite spots by it.

9/19/2016- The office called me and informed me that I had nodular malignant melanoma. Clarks level at least 4, at least 1.8 mm in depth (Breslow). Staged at pT2a, pNX, pM N/A. It felt like everything stopped in that instance. She started talking about cancer, surgery, oncologists, and treatment. It was all too much for me to process in one 5 minute conversation. 

9/23/2016- I met with my surgeon, Dr. Mark Talbert (EXCELLENT), from Health First to discuss what surgery would be like and what I could expect afterward. At that time he also did two punch biopsies on places of concern. One came back benign and the other was precancerous. 

Marked for surgery. Wide local excision.

October 2016

10/17/2016 At HRMC I had lymphatic mapping followed by a wide excision of the primary tumor and a sentinel node biopsy. No one warned me how bad the radiation shots would be. Honestly, I am glad I didn't know. All you need to know is that they hurt ALOT.                                                            


I was sent home with a drain. The drain was removed the Thursday following surgery. I am thankful for my people. They took great care of me afterwards. They cleaned my drain, made sure I got my meds, helped me shower and use the restroom. It was all very glamorous. 

(Left waiting for imaging and Right the imaging machine that would be home for the next hour.)

Before my first surgery.

10/18/2016 my surgeon informed me that one of my lymph nodes came back positive for metastatic melanoma. The lymph node was 1.2 cm in greatest dimension and you could see the melanoma without a microscope (macrometastasis). I was Staged as IIIB- T2a, N1b, Mx. 

The wide local excision of my primary tumor.

10/24/2016- Whew! Two surgeries in 1 week! I was back at HRMC for a axillary dissection to remove the lymph nodes under my right arm pit. I went home with another drain. It was also removed the Thursday after surgery. Again, my people took great care of me and it was all very glamorous.

After my second surgery.

10/25/2016- My surgeon informed me that of the 14 lymph nodes removed none of them were positive for melanoma! PTL! 

After my stitches were removed the incision opened up. So they steri stripped it back together. 

I am still very sore. Both surgeries back to back took a lot out of me. I nap often. Joe and I had a date night Wednesday night due to a thoughtful gift. I fell asleep on him twice. Everyday I am getting better than I was the day before. I am grateful to God for that. 

Where does my Hope come from? Psalm 121 
As a family we are saddened by the cancer, but as a believers in Christ our hope, confidence, and future are in His hands. We know and believe God is ruling and reigning on the throne and that this bump in the road will be used for His glory. I know that God has already written my story and I am just playing my part. This is the confidence we can have in this life, because of Christ and the relationship we have with Him.

We are thankful for your prayers. We will update as they come available and will let you know what it is we need. 

We are currently waiting for an appointment with Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. 

In His Amazing Love,