In July of this year 2022, I noticed what I thought was a wart on the bottom of my right foot. I treated it for a few weeks, but it didn’t go away, in fact it got bigger and turned black.

My Beautiful Wife encouraged me to call the Dermatologist. I did and scheduled an appointment. They took a good look and decided a biopsy was necessary. Within a few days it came back as an invasive Malignant Melanoma, Stage 2A Cancer, and I was referred to OHSU in Portland.

At OHSU they found another small spot and did another biopsy and it came back positive as well for Melanoma. Surgery was scheduled for Friday, November 11th. They were removing a large area of my right instep, but felt they could get all of the cancer and I was also undergoing Plastic Surgery at the same time to rebuild my instep.

During the surgery they were also taking out one of my lymph nodes, which after scans and testing, they determined was in my right groin area. This was just to make sure the cancer had not spread.

The surgery went well, I spent a night at OHSU and they sent me home the next day to begin the slow recovery process. The area removed on my foot and the lymph node was sent off to pathology for testing. We were all feeling optimistic.

Well, Life is full of surprises and on Thursday, November 17th, I received one.

The day started off well. I went to my Post-Op appointment at OHSU and was told the Plastic Surgery they did to repair my foot, after my Melanoma Cancer Surgery was looking good and I was healing as expected.

My Beautiful wife, daughter and I drove home and grabbed some Chic-fil-A on the way. I was tired, but feeling good overall.

Then we got home and I opened my email. I saw a My Chart message with the test results from Pathology, and I was expecting to see good news.

The first part was good. The bottom of my foot where they cut out the cancer looked good. The outer tissue was cancer free… Very Good News.

The next part was not so good. In the lymph node they removed in my groin area they found a tumor. As my Oncologist Surgeon explained it, that meant the cancer went from Stage 2A, to Stage 3C and further treatment was needed. They were also doing additional tests and scans to make sure it had not gone any further.

After the initial shock of the diagnosis, I felt God saying to me, “It is going to be ok. I’ve got this!” I am standing strong and Believing that is true!

My Oncologist was confident it is very treatable and started things in motion. On Nov 22nd, I underwent a Pet Scan and MRI to determine if the cancer had gone any further in my body and become a Stage 4. Praise God the results came back Negative and no further cancer was found, so I stayed at a Stage 3C. With an Amazing Family and Wonderful Friends supporting me, in the midst of all of this I feel truly Blessed!

I have always chosen to live life to the fullest, be Positive and Encourage others, and that will not change. I will Live, and I will Believe the Best is yet to come.

I want to encourage you, no matter what you’re going through, “God works all things for the Good for those who love Him!” Stay Positive and Be Encouraged! There is a God who loves you and people who love you!

I am so appreciative for all the support and encouragement I have received during this process. I am Blessed.

Thank you to everyone who is continuing to Pray, Encourage, and Support me and my family! Life has a way of throwing us curveballs at times, but I am not out and I plan to continue to go on for many years.

God’s not done with me yet!


Russ Hedge