On Monday, the 4th, I joined him at a follow up appointment with a respiratory doctor. As he showed us the CT scan, he said we should prepare ourselves. This looks like cancer. They are words that no one can prepare you for, that literally knock the wind out of you. He showed us the dark void in his right lung, which was halfway full of fluid. This explained the difficulty breathing. The Dr. offered to drain the fluid, a liter of it was removed there in the office. He sent it for testing. On Wednesday the 6th, we got the dreaded call. The fluid tested positive for cancer. With our 3 children, we hugged; we cried; our world was crashing in around us. Daddy has cancer.
That night was the start of many difficult phone calls, through tears, in shock, helping your friends and loved ones cope with the news you have barely even begun to process yourself. Cancer. F Cancer.
On Monday the 11th, we met with the oncologist. She explained that the blood work on his lung fluid appeared “disorganized”, meaning she could not yet determine the type of cancer, in order to set a treatment plan. She said the CT scan showed nodules in both lungs, a mass behind his chest plate and something in his abdomen, by which she deemed this stage 4. “It’s considered incurable”, she said. “Our goal is extending life.” Perhaps that is your goal doctor, but Matt is a fighter and our God is able!
She scheduled a Biopsy, for Wednesday the 13th, of the mass for further testing. The surgery went fine, but by Thursday, the right lung was filling up again. His oncologist ordered surgery for a permanent drain to be placed in his lung, to remove the pleural fluid that she expected to continue to accumulate. This would minimize the risk of infection from constant piercing of his lung to drain. But, despite constant phone calls, he could not be scheduled for Friday. We were told to go to the ER to have it drained. This time they took a liter and a half. His blood count dropped. We had to stay for another blood count check in 2 hours, in case of internal bleeding. Off to Safeway for organic produce and oatmeal pouches. Blood count is up, we’re outta here! Praise God!
Since the fluid had been removed, the drain surgery had to be put off until Thursday. On Wednesday the 20th Matt had a PET scan which illuminates the areas of the body where the cancer is found. We would get the results from Oncology the next day, prior to drain surgery. Thursday morning, we learned the biopsy revealed the same “disorganized cell” result. It was not a tumor behind his chest plate, but a thickening of the lining of his lung. Amen! She would send the tissue for further testing, but was able to determine that Matt has a form of Mesothelioma, a cancer linked to asbestos exposure. So that’s how a non-smoker gets lung cancer. PET scan results show the cancer is contained within his lungs. Amen, AMEN!
Off to surgery to place the drain. About thirty minutes later, I’m called into recovery. That was fast?! Matt smiles, as he removes his gown. Where’s the drain? “Not enough fluid in there!”, he said. “Rescheduled to next Wednesday.” Praise God! Prayers, the Gerson method, CBD oil, alkaline water, rest and more prayer. He’s feeling better. His body is healing. God is Good!
Today is 12/27 and Matt just rescheduled today’s drain surgery to Friday. He is breathing well and hopes to cancel Friday’s surgery. Tomorrow, we have a phone appointment with the oncologist, hopefully for a clear result on his diagnosis and treatment plan. Then a 2nd opinion on Friday.
This is the raw, honest window into our December, 2017. We have started our journey as a family to heal Matt’s cancer. Jesus said “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Matt and I have had the privilege to personally hold events raising thousands for those in need and friends battling cancer. Now it is time to focus our efforts on Matt’s care. Now we humbly ask for your support. To those who have asked “how can I help?”, we ask this: pray, donate, share.
Pray for God to remove the cancer from Matt’s body. Pray that the fluid remain at bay. Pray for full healing, for God’s glory.
Donate what you can. The reality is that fighting cancer is costly, and we are battling on all possible fronts, but we need your help. We have spent over $1500 in medical expenses this month so far. In order to give Matt the best results from the Gerson therapy, we will need to purchase a Norwalk juicer, which is $2400. Monthly organic produce is estimated at $1000 and supplements will be several hundred more per month. New employees don’t qualify for short term disability, so there may be living expenses as well, depending on how Matt tolerates his treatment. Your generosity will bless us beyond measure and give Matt the fighting chance he needs to beat cancer.
Share this post, with a few words about how Matt has touched your life. We thank you and we love you. Matt is willing, God is able, and with your support, we will prevail.
Our heartfelt thanks,
Matt, Atasha, Matthew, Demus & Sasha
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