Shannon Gallman is a thankful man. The grandfather of seven grandchildren knows that things could have taken a different course for him.
In 2009, an unusual spot was discovered on the top of his head, which was monitored by doctors. Then in March of 2011, Gallman was diagnosed with melanoma as it spread to his neck. He had surgery to remove it and received an early form of immunotherapy, which is a treatment that activates the immune system against cancer.
The melanoma returned in October of 2011 and this time surgery and radiation were implemented. “I had to take a break from my routine like walking and my Silver Sneakers exercise class,” remembers Gallman. “My family, friends and church were supportive. My wife took time off from work and my son-in-law would drive me to Marietta for my scans because my wife couldn’t make that drive.”
Shannon thought that this was it until he discovered a place under his arm in January of 2013.
“It was biopsied and confirmed to be stage 4 melanoma,” says Gallman.
After surgery to remove the cancer under his arm, Dr. Navin Wadehra with Northwest Georgia Oncology set up an aggressive course of treatment for Shannon which included a newly approved immunotherapy treatment.
Since 2013 the retired grandfather has remained in complete remission. With an abundance of gratitude, this humble man of few words has plenty to say.
“I cannot thank God enough for this blessing,” says Gallman, “I am very thankful for Dr. Wadehra. I feel like I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the care I received.”