Shayne's father and my husband, Dale Hawkins, received the initial phone call that day. Shayne found himself confused, unable to speak clearly, and could not recognize his surroundings. Worried, Dale picked him up and brought him to our home in South Austin for a quick stop before taking him to the emergency room. There at our home, Shayne vomited and then collapsed to the floor. We had no idea what was wrong. We were panicked.
He was transported by ambulance to South Austin Medical Center where we later received the devastating news. A grapefruit-sized tumor had been found. The prognosis wasn't good.
He was transported to St. David's Hospital where we made the informed decision with the help of his skilled neurosurgeon - operate. Remove the tumor and hope for the best and none of the risks the neurosurgeon told us might occur "“ paralysis, loss of memory, or loss of functionality. It was a risky procedure, but it was his only hope.
On March 9th, surgery began. We waited and waited for any news, again hoping for the best, but preparing ourselves for the worst. After several hours of surgery and all of us waiting on the edge of our seats, the news finally came "“ good news! The neurosurgeon was able to remove all of the tumor. Now it's just a matter of keeping it away.
But, the treatment was only beginning. The tumor was diagnosed as a malignant Grade 3 Anaplastic Astrocytoma. Due to the aggressive nature of the tumor, we were told that Shayne would need to undergo six weeks of radiation and a year of chemotherapy. He would need continued MRIs, CT scans, prescriptions to prevent brain swelling, seizures, and to offset the effects of radiation and chemotherapy, and ongoing monitoring.
Shayne's prognosis is good. His health and age play a big part in that, and we're grateful for any good news at this point. But this is an aggressive type of cancer and the survival rate at 5 years is 25%. There is another downside: His medical bills continue to mount. Shayne cannot drive because of seizure concerns and because he cannot drive, he cannot work at this time. His treatments continue, but they're costly and will continue to build up over time.
We believe Shayne can beat this cancer and with your help. We would like to see the day when Shayne will be cancer free and able to marry his love, Rachel. In Shayne's own words, "This fight will be a challenge, but I'm ready to fight! I've realized that there is no thrill more exciting and powerful than the will to survive. I've never felt such energy before. It's empowering and terrifying at the same time."
We agree! In response to our family and friends' requests for how to help financially, we have created this page in order to give people a means to help out and keep up on Shayne's progress in this journey back to wellness. We thank you for taking the time to read and please feel free to leave a comment or well wishes for Shayne. Your positive posts do wonders to keep his spirits up and his fight alive.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this and take care!!
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