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My Story

Joined
Nov 26, 2016
Messages
92
Location
Springtown TX
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Cooper
I will start by saying feel guilty even considering asking others to pray for us. But I have been having a rough time lately so I figured I'd share my story. I am not looking for pity or anything like that. But if you have room on your prayer list I would be forever grateful.

This might be a long read, sorry. But I feel I need to include it all so folks see the full scope.

In November 2016 I was offered an engineer position with an airline. We were living outside of Pittsburgh PA and the job was at DFW airport. We started the process of house hunting and setting up relocation. In January 2017 I came out alone and lived in a hotel for a month waiting to close on our house. The end of January I flew back to PA and drove out in my truck with my wife and our pets (2 dogs, 1 cat, but we now have 2 cats). Our time in Texas started out awesome. We loved our new home, the area we picked, and my job was great. In March 2017 I injured my back changing a tire. It spiraled into a 3rd back surgery in June 2017; an anterior and posterior fusion. That did not go well. I was on unpaid sick leave and my mobility was and is very low. My wife drives me around and does everything here at the house. In May 2018 I went to my PCP for a random bruise that showed up on my left thigh. The doc was less worried about that than he was a mole lower on my thigh. He removed it immediately and sent it for biopsy. It came back melanoma. I thought "no big deal, just skin cancer". Boy was I wrong. Melanoma is serious business. The day I was scheduled to have an excision in the area around the mole they also did a dye test and some lymph nodes lit up higher up near my groin. So they removed those as well (cancer surgery #1). Those came back positive for melanoma. I had a PETScan later in June and thankfully that area on my thigh was the only area that lit up. I started immunotherapy every 2 weeks. I had surgery #2 in August to remove another lymph node with a 4cm tumor (where the original bruise was). In October I had a second PET and again my thigh lit up (geesh!) but more alarmingly a spot in my left shoulder did as well. 12/18/18 I had surgeries #3 & 4 (if you are keeping count that is 5 since moving to Texas). They drilled the bone in my shoulder and cleaned it out for biopsy and removed yet another lymph node from my left groin area. Unfortunately everything was positive for melanoma. That "promoted" me to stage 4 because it traveled to a distance location from the original spot. Historically survival rates for stage 4 melanoma is not great. I am told I have a rare form of melanoma and a correct genetic markers that opens me for multiple treatments that have proven successful. So I am not sure where my cancer journey will take me from here. I have a LOT of pain, my quality of life is not great from mental and physical stress. They gave me an infusion of Zometa last week for bone strength and I have been having serious side effects; severe muscle pain and bone, and severe chills in the middle of the night. I am talking teeth rattling hands shaking chills.

Cliff notes: I had a what we are considering a failed back surgery in 2017, and now cancer in 2018.

Well, that's my long story. I am blessed with an awesome wife. She has been a rock, but even she is getting overwhelmed I fear. Its just us two out here so she has had to take on a lot. If you feel moved to pray for us, I am grateful. Thanks for reading.

Just to share some pics so you all know I am a real dude lol.

My first immunotherapy, Texas Oncology Weatherford TX:
tXXTDai.jpg


My wife and I taking a break on a motorcycle ride in 2016 at Mt Morris PA . Yes she looks young. She was 41 there lol, I was 44.:
MDrYAdE.jpg


All suited up that day. I have not ridden since March 2017 and I feel like I am missing a limb:
Qvnkynz.jpg

tQXIyuv.jpg
 

Jarrett

Forum Supporter
Joined
Apr 12, 2018
Messages
1,656
Location
Waxahachie
****, that is a tough story to read. Prayers sent your way.

I hope the therapy sends the cancer into remission and you're back on the bike thereafter.
 

jwrick

Let's Ride!
Forum Supporter
Joined
Aug 15, 2009
Messages
104
Location
Saginaw, TX
First Name
Jim
Last Name
Wrick
Prayers your way. Stay strong and keep the faith!
 
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
391
Location
Burleson, Texas
If you don’t mind me asking, can we have your name? Couldn’t find it in your post or inmate page. I’ll be praying for you, my friend.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Last edited:

mitchntx

Follower of Rev. Doug
Joined
Jun 11, 2006
Messages
3,368
Location
Granbury
A few of us meet for lunch, from time to time, at Woody's.
Would you be able to meet us there for lunch sometime?
Or maybe we could stop by and say howdy?

I mean, you ride a Husky, for crying out loud.
It's not like you ride a BMW or Africa Twin or ...
:duck:
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2016
Messages
92
Location
Springtown TX
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Cooper
If you don’t mind me asking, can we have your name? Couldn’t find it in your post or inmate page. I’ll be praying for you, my friend.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Mike Cooper. My wife's name is Sami. Thank you all. I am not ashamed to admit that reading the responses made me tear up a little.
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2016
Messages
92
Location
Springtown TX
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Cooper
A few of us meet for lunch, from time to time, at Woody's.
Would you be able to meet us there for lunch sometime?
Or maybe we could stop by and say howdy?

I mean, you ride a Husky, for crying out loud.
It's not like you ride a BMW or Africa Twin or ...
:duck:
I could try. Unfortunately I sold that Husky. The relocation company refused to move any recreational vehicles and I wrongly thought we could just buy new bikes here. Hopefully this year I can get strong enough to ride again and get us both bikes. My wife has her eye on a new XT. She likes the tan color and FI, hers was carbed.
 

Windmill

Forum Supporter
Joined
Mar 5, 2015
Messages
2,394
Location
Thorndale TX
First Name
Clay
Father we thank you for Mike and Sami and know that you love them and there is nothing that can separate Mike and Sami from your love for them. You say in all things give thanks, that is your will for us. We thank you that you are the sure foundation of Mikes life that will withstand this storm. We thank you for your peace for Mikes soul and stand together with him in faith knowing we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Thank you for giving us power through unity in prayer of faith, which you say is pleasing to you. We thank you sir and ask and believe for healing for Mikes body and peace for his soul. We give you all the glory now and forever concerning our petition. Thank you for your amazing Grace. .
In Christ we pray, so be it.
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
46,199
Location
Huntsville
First Name
Scott
Last Name
Friday
For the last 3-4 months, I think I've been on my bike maybe once or twice for quick rides. It seemed like every time I thought I might get to go for a quick sanity check ride, something would come up: work, family, something with the forum, rain, whatever... I can always tell when my stress level is going up because I start getting reflux issues and my back gets tied in knots with muscle spasms. I have been NEEDING a ride for a while now.

Our garage was recently renovated because of storm damage from a tornado back in March. We are just now finally getting everything moved back in, but nothing is in its proper place. This annoys me... a LOT. I could not find the trickle charger that I know was just out there not long ago. Someone moved it and NO ONE remembers doing it :roll: So I was unable to put the bike on the charger last night even though I looked for it EVERYWHERE!! I went to bed a bit miffed.

I woke up today and it was beautiful outside, in the high 60s, and I actually had the day off... My oldest daughter had all of her school work caught up and the day free, so we wanted to go riding while the sun was shining. I went out the garage to see about the bike...

Stone dead.

I eventually found a different charger, plugged the bike in and came inside, sat down the check the site, and found this thread... :huh2:

Perspective.

It's so easy to lose perspective. :zen:

The bike charged quicker than I thought it would and I was able to still go ride, albeit a few hours later than I had planned. It was a gorgeous day and we had a blast exploring dirt roads together, mud pits and all. We stopped at a local watering hole to grab some tea. While visiting with another rider, we noticed a lady backing her Harley out to leave. Her left leg had been amputated from the knee down. It didn't slow her down at all. She had a prosthetic with a nice tennis shoe on it. Off she went.

Perspective.

Given our late start, we were going to be getting back after dark. We were blessed with an incredible sunset while out in the middle of nowhere. :sun: We would have surely missed sharing that experience had we gotten away when I originally planned.

I get frustrated when I am pushing and pushing but things just don't go according to plan. The whole last 3-4 months of dealing with moving the forum to a new server and upgrading the software has had a LOT of that. At times, I wondered why I bother. But, then I'd remember all the incredible people I have met over the years because of the forum. So I stuck with it and now I think I've finally pushed through to the other side, ending up in a place I never planned for or expected. It's better than what I had planned.

It's hard to keep pushing when nothing seems to be going the way we want. It's hard to keep the faith and believe that better things are possible. When it is our heath... well, that hits us to our core. In times like that it is easy to lose perspective. It's easy to stare at our feet and miss the world around us. This where God steps in. He calls us to an eternal perspective. If we can truly lift our eyes and embrace that perspective, it changes everything, even when it seems like everything around us is falling to pieces. It's a privilege to pray for you and others. In some way, it matters, even though we might not be able to understand how. But, it benefits me as well. It brings me closer to that eternal perspective and embracing the things that truly matter. The rest is just details.
 

mitchntx

Follower of Rev. Doug
Joined
Jun 11, 2006
Messages
3,368
Location
Granbury
Mike Cooper. My wife's name is Sami. Thank you all. I am not ashamed to admit that reading the responses made me tear up a little.
Mike,

Nothing wrong with springing a leak. it's good for the soul.
I'd like to meet sometime. I'm retired so I gots the time ...
 

cdc

Registered Lurker
Forum Supporter
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
2,992
Location
Katy, TX
First Name
Camilo
Last Name
Diaz
Mike, I’m joining in praying for a full recovery and strength for both of you during the treatment.
 

SpiritAtBay

Forum Supporter
Joined
Feb 12, 2013
Messages
4,055
Location
Kerrville
Thanks for sharing your story.

Your family may be far, but you've found a new family- your TWT relatives. Look forward to meeting y'all both.

Praying.
 

Tracker

Forum Supporter
Joined
Dec 25, 2005
Messages
11,231
Location
down in a holler, Catawba County, NC
First Name
Gary
Mike and Sami - May God's love comfort you in those dark night's of the soul. May His peace be yours. Jesus, we ask for healing for Mike. Amen.
I'm a Stage 3 Melanoma survivor from 2001. 30 something lymph nodes removed from my right cheek and neck. Wide excision of my right cheek. Mine was atypical (started under the skin). Year of interferon injections.
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2016
Messages
92
Location
Springtown TX
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Cooper
Wow these responses are humbling. Thank you all so much for taking time to pray and to post. It is encouraging. Sometimes we feel like we are alone out here because all of our family and friends are 1250 miles NE in PA. My aunt and cousin are coming this week for 3 days because they are worried about me and I think that is going to help my mood some too, but this thread brightened my morning. Y'all are awesome! :thumb:
 

misterk

Forum Supporter
Joined
Jul 21, 2015
Messages
1,029
Location
Colleyville
Mike, that is tough two years back to back. I will be praying for you as well.


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Tracker

Forum Supporter
Joined
Dec 25, 2005
Messages
11,231
Location
down in a holler, Catawba County, NC
First Name
Gary
Wow these responses are humbling. Thank you all so much for taking time to pray and to post. It is encouraging. Sometimes we feel like we are alone out here because all of our family and friends are 1250 miles NE in PA. My aunt and cousin are coming this week for 3 days because they are worried about me and I think that is going to help my mood some too, but this thread brightened my morning. Y'all are awesome! :thumb:
I love where we live now (foothills of Blue Ridge in NC), but I didn't anticipate how tough it would be to move away from an area filled with livelong friends and family. I've met some good people here and made some friends, but I still fill isolated and along at times. Even with the good friends, we don't have the history with them. It's even tougher for my wife, who's a little more introverted than me.
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2016
Messages
92
Location
Springtown TX
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Cooper
It's even tougher for my wife, who's a little more introverted than me.
Same situation, my wife is very introverted. She works from home for the same company she worked for in PA (she is a software developer). She hasn't even had the chance to meet new coworkers like I did. So she has't made any local friends. I am on a couple TX forums (this one and Texas Bowhunter mostly) so I have at least met a few people, mostly just when selling something haha. She doesn't do forums. Our neighbors are all nice and have offered to help. But we are both independent and try to do as much as we can for ourselves. However that is catching up to her, I see she is getting tired. I am hoping getting out and doing some things with my aunt and cousin will help. I can't really go places, so at least for a couple of days this week she will get away from me and the house a little. Cancer can be consuming for everybody involved. It takes a lot of time for surgeries, treatments, and helping care for the person that is sick. Getting away from that will be good for her I think.
 
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