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When Davis Moore found out he had metastatic melanoma, he says the fear he felt was debilitating. "I would wake up every morning and remember I had cancer. It felt like a physical punch in my stomach."
He eventually found a way to help him get past the fear: hope.
"The most powerful way we can overcome that fear, and to overcome what actually makes us suffer, is to hope," he says.
Davis’s story starts in 2000, when he had a mole removed from his forehead. His dermatologist identified it as melanoma. Davis underwent five years of follow-up exams, and his dermatologist cleared him after finding no more indications of the disease.
Then in 2010 Davis visited his primary care doctor about a twitch in his forefinger and thumb on his right hand. Because of his medical history, the doctor recommended an MRI and a CT scan. The scans revealed a tumor on his brain and two additional tumors in his lungs.
Davis had brain surgery to remove the tumor. Then more tumors appeared and metastasized. He endured multiple rounds of chemotherapy and radiation treatments, a series of clinical trials, and a number of surgeries, along with the emotional weight of hundreds of exams and appointments.
"The first four years after my diagnosis, I was getting scans every six to eight weeks and was getting many bad results," he recalls. "It felt like I was thinking about my scans all of the time and there were points where I would just get down. So I decided to start thinking about what I hoped would happen instead of thinking about the negative."
Davis says after his visits with Huntsman Cancer Institute doctors, he found many things to be hopeful for. "For example, the longer the doctors were hopeful and kept me stable and alive, the more time I would have to wait for the next experimental trial, meaning my chances for survival would also increase," he says.
Davis held on to that hope and he has now been cancer free for two years. On average, people in his situation live just three to eight months after their initial diagnosis. Today he is able to ski, hike, and climb again. But most importantly he is able to spend time with his wife, Angie, and his 15-month-old son, Thomas.
Many things have changed for Davis since his initial diagnosis. But one thing that has remained consistent is his love and gratitude for Huntsman Cancer Institute.
"The people at Huntsman Cancer Institute taught me the meaning of hope, and that was probably one of the most powerful things throughout my experience."