Scooter's Journey to Defeat Cancer

A note from Scooter's Wife Tammy about their love, their life, and the illness invading it:
"When was the last time you met the man of your dreams at a demolition derby? It happened to me on September 17, 2011...and this is our story.

Dripping Springs high school 1976, he was a sophomore and I was an 8th grade. Scooter always had a girlfriend, that's happens when you are captain of the football team. As a sophomore, I would always see Scooter walking down the hall and I would think, "he is so cute"...never in all my life did I ever think, I would someday be his wife. He graduated and we went our seperate ways to live our own lives.

Thirty two years later, God would bring us back into each others lives. With the help of technology, we were reunited on September 17, 2011. We friended each other on Facebook, then Scooter invited me to a demolition derby. I didn't even know what a demolition derby was!! It was fun!! We had a great time...we started dating and on January 8, 2012 Scooter asked me to marry him, at the open house in the beer garten of Vista West Ranch. I was so surprised! We were married February 24, 2012, I had the dream wedding very girl fantasizes about.

On March 23, Scooter suffered a back injury. I fought with the VA for a year and a half before they would do back surgery. He suffered so was horrible and very stressful on both of us. During that time, on December 12, 2012, Scooter lost his 20 year old daughter Shelby Grace to an accidentally death. We were both heartbroken, he had lost his daughter and I was reliving the loss of mine. With Gods strength we made it through. Meanwhile, in the background we are continuing to try and live normal lives. Scooter is still suffering from his back injury and working. We are also continuing with his ministry of Celebrate Recovery. Scooter and I love our CR group they are a wonderful group of people, like us trusting in God to heal is of our hurts, habits and hang ups.

Finally on June 17th of 2013, Scooter had back surgery, Dr Loftus was amazing!! God was amazing...within four weeks there was vast improvement in his recovery. He was feeling good and was back at work (not full throttle) but back at work non the less. Dr Loftus was astonished to see actual bone growth at four weeks. It was totally a God thing...with all the prayer, it could be the only answer. In August Scooter sent me on a trip to Alaska...would have been more fun if he had been with me.

On the 15th I spoke to him on the phone...he said he had been awaken by something in his throat. I suggested he have the doctor look at it when he went to the doctor that following afternoon. He said he would ask, but it was the back doctor so they probably couldn't. Come September we went to see Dr Copper with the VA. He was quite concerned with the symptoms so he sent us to the ER. After a CT scan, strep throat culture, steroid and antibiotic injection along with a scripts for each, we where on our way home without any answers. The steroids and antibiotics were useless...the symptoms were only worsening. In November Scooter went back to the VA to Dr Tuggle, who stated, he did not know what it was. He sent Scooter to an outsource doctor back in Brownwood.

Dr Fowler schedule Scooter for surgery on December 12, 2013...thirty minutes into surgery the doctor returns with news that made world feel very surreal...I truly felt like I was outside of my body watching someone else's life.
The doctor said,

"It's cancer, I can't not remove his tonsils".

I was all alone in that cold hospital room praying to God for understanding. I had never felt so weak and alone. After that it was back and forth to Temple, Austin and the Brownwood VA sometimes three times a week for bloodwork, PET scans, extractions of teeth, surgery for his port and feeding.

On Tuesday January 21, 2014 we started radiation and chemotherapy, everyday for seven weeks. On Friday of last week, the doctor showed me the mass in Scooters throat....there is visible change!! It no longer looks like a piece of cauliflower, it looks more like a deflated golf ball (if that is even possible) you can see where it is sunk in! Scooter is still eating normal food...eggs, bacon, hamburger meat etc. I also am making shakes with over 3200 calories and he has gained, yep gained 3 lbs!! Dr Brown doesn't want his weight any lower than 212 lbs, he is at 223 right now. This week may be a little rough...with the ice storm last week, we missed our Friday appointment, so this week he will have three chemo treatments. The doctor felt he is strong enough and weighs enough he could do here we go! The first one was on Monday with radiation...our normal schedule is Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday radiation, that is a 30 minute appointment with a 3 1/2 hour round trip drive. Thursday is chemo and radiation a 3 hour appointment and Friday is a 5 hour appointment with chemo and radiation. Wheeeeewww...we are pooped, it is only the start of the second week."

My name is Amber and I have known Tammy for years. She's a strong woman who has suffered a LOT of loss in her life. I can't bare to see her go through the thought of loosing a man who has brought her such joy. I don't want to see either of them go through this. But life makes choices for us sometimes. The choice I am making in return is vowing to help Tammy and Scooter any way I can.

This disease TAKES. It takes and takes and takes- physically, emotionally, and financially. We can't replace for Scooter what is being taken from him physically, but we can help Scooter, Tammy, and their beautiful family with what is being taken from them emotionally and financially. Anything helps and I know these are two people who truly value and appreciate generosity as well as emotional support.

Thank you for doing anything you can.
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Tammy Allen Sanders 
Georgetown, TX
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