When Steve Hock first noticed it, he ignored a marble-sized bump under his arm. Sadly, though, something that started out so small eventually killed him. And he wants his story to warn others of the danger of melanoma in the hopes they will keep a closer eye on their skin!
While Steve initially ignored a marble-sized bump under his arm, it just kept growing. Six months later, it was the size of a baseball. So, the father of two finally decided to see a doctor.
***WARNING: Some images may be considered graphic***
Grave News For Dad Who Ignored A Marble-Sized Bump
At first, doctors said he had nothing to worry about. Steve had surgery to remove the “fatty tumor,” as doctors called it, and thought it was all behind him. But then things got serious fast.
At his follow-up appointment, Steve’s doctor delivered some grave news. They’d done a biopsy on his tumor and found melanoma — one of the most dangerous skin cancers. He’d need more surgery. Doctors went back in to remove tissue, muscle, and 18 lymph nodes.
While in the hospital recovering from the procedure, things got worse.
Steve felt off and developed a case of hiccups from the morphine. Then one of the hiccups brought with it a big pop in his side. Blood began flooding Steve’s chest, pushing down on his lungs and expanding his chest like a balloon. The swelling alone was threatening to suffocate him.
Doctors rushed Steve back into surgery, racing to save him from the severe internal bleeding.
After emergency surgery and a blood transfusion, Steve recovered in ICU. It was the scare of a lifetime and Steve was so grateful to be alive. Doctors let him go home once he was strong enough. But they still needed to give him injections to try and rid him of his cancer. So, Steve traveled daily to the hospital for treatments.
Signs Of Trouble
After a month of injections, Steve started having cognitive trouble. He was mixing up words, stuttering, and flipping numbers with letters. Then he woke up unable to talk or use the right-side of his body.
An emergency MRI revealed a brain tumor. And despite the grim news, Steve put all his trust in God.
“I knew it was going to be okay, God would take care of me. He is in control, always has been, always will be,” he said.
And God used Steve’s struggles in an amazing way. While being robbed of the ability to communicate was torture, it gave Steve a brand new perspective of just how blessed he was.
“I thought long about a friend of mine Jeremy Balkan who’s deaf and it hit me so hard how lucky I have had it my whole life. What a humbling experience,” Steve said.
Blessed With More Time
Doctors were hoping to get a good look at Steve’s tumor before operating. But when the mass began hemorrhaging, there was no time to wait. They went in blind, and after a miraculous 6-hour surgery, Steve was still alive. And he’d regained use of the right-side of his body!
Again, Steve praised the Lord for his blessings.
“It is truly a miracle that I lived through this,” he wrote. “There were hundreds of people praying for me — I thank every one of you. Every day is the most beautiful gift.”
Next, Steve battled through a nasty staph infection in his arm. He went back into surgery to relieve the swelling and to save his arm. And through it all, he kept his positive and uplifting attitude.
“The bacteria was identified as MRSA. It’s just another hurdle in this fight with cancer,” he wrote in an online update. “There [are] others that have it far worse than I do, that’s what keeps me from complaining throughout all of this.”
Dad Who Ignored A Marble-Sized Bump Warns Others
Steve continued to face struggle after struggle. From reactions to the steroids, infections, swelling and drainage issues, to more surgeries — the obstacles just kept coming. It seemed as though the cancer was determined to win, no matter what Steve or his doctors did.
Steve’s life went from raising two kids with his fiancee Tammi to fighting to keep breathing. He wanted desperately to marry Tammi, but now he wasn’t even sure he’d live long enough to see his daughter turn two.
As Steve realized his life was coming to an end, he focused on spending what time he had left with his family. He cheered (along with friends and family) when he made his goal of living long enough to celebrate his daughter’s second birthday.
He longed to marry his fiance Tammi before heading into his fourth and final brain surgery, but time wouldn’t allow for it. Once the surgery was complete, doctors sent Steve home to live out his final days.
All along, Steve had been taking pictures and sharing updates about his cancer journey. Eventually, he became too weak to keep up with them and asked his sister to take over.
After a long battle, surrounded by loved ones, Steve went home to be with Jesus.
Years later, his story is still getting shared, just as Steve hoped it would. He wanted to use his own pain and suffering to help others. After having ignored a marble-sized bump, Steve hoped his story would inspire others to get checked out and possibly even save lives.
And he’s not alone.
A woman named Cheryl Murray, from Glasgow, also ignored a bump on her foot. In fact, she ignored it for nearly 12 years until it grew to the size of a golf ball. She was blessed to keep her life, but wound up losing her foot. And like Steve, she’s trying to use her story to encourage others.
You can read all about Cheryl’s story HERE.
Please be sure to keep Steve’s story going by sharing it. Early detection can make a huge difference when it comes to cancer, especially melanoma. So, keep a close eye on your body and don’t hesitate to go to the doctor or dermatologist if you notice any changes. Don’t wait!
h/t: Little Things
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