Pandemic, cancer diagnosis reminds patient to enjoy the little things

Pandemic Postcards

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Do you remember what you were doing when Ohio shut down back in March?

Kelly Clark certainly can – he was running the rat race on turbo.

Then he discovered a problem with his foot, and COVID-19 slowed the pace a bit, almost to a dead stop.

“The thing that concerns me and concerns everybody else is the unknown,” Kelly Clark said as he and his wife walked their dog. “You don’t know who has it. You don’t know how you get it. You can take all the precautions in the world and there’s still a pretty good chance at some point you’re going get this.”

Don’t misunderstand, Kelly Clark is a very positive guy. That’s why he let the mole on his right foot go as long as he did.

“So I booked an appointment with the dermatologist in February and they did a biopsy and it proved to be melanoma,” Kelly Clark said.

Surgery was needed as soon as possible. That was March 11.

“I think Wednesday night, the 11th, is when the NBA shutdown because the issues with the Utah Jazz, then Hayden said, ‘Dad, they’re not playing golf anymore,’ and then the conference tournaments started bailing, and we were like, ‘Holy cow!’” Kelly Clark said.

One thing that is known is that being a cancer patient greatly increases a patient’s chances of catching and struggling with the coronavirus.

“It was interesting how the surgery and the stoppage of the world kind of synced up,” Kelly Clark smiled. “It, it kind of freaked me out!”

During the initial surgery, a lymph node in his groin was removed just in case the cancer had spread.

Kelly’s wife Sarah remembers the phone call.

“Our surgeon told us this was the most aggressive form of melanoma and even 10 years ago, there wouldn’t be anything they could do for him,” Sarah Clark said. “And those words were very jarring. I was recording it on my computer sitting out in the car.”

“I really never considered I was going to die, never faced it, you know? Just figured I would live forever,” Kelly Clark remembers.

Two more surgeries, another lymph node removed, a brain scan, a CAT scan, and a port inserted into his chest for the chemo drip every three weeks. Ten treatments in, eight more to go, and no guarantees but a positive, hopeful prognosis.

“It’s been challenging, but nothing has brought us together more than this, that’s for sure,” Sarah Clark said.

“My priorities have changed from being borderline workaholic to looking out the window every day and enjoy the fact that it’s beautiful and sunny or rainy or whatever, but enjoying the fact I’m six feet over and not six feet under,” Kelly Clark admitted.

In the middle of a pandemic, a mole with a message to last well beyond the madness.

“Enjoy the moment,” Sarah said. “Exactly.”

Coronavirus in Ohio resources:

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