It’s time to share some unfortunate news.
Josh was diagnosed with testicular cancer on April 19th, 2017, just 10 months into these high school sweethearts marriage. This came as a huge shock considering he was only 21 years old.. Nine days after his initial diagnosis, Josh went into surgery to remove the cancerous right testicle. Recovery was long over the summer due to a lowered and adjusting testosterone level, as well as trying to process what had happened.
On June 2nd, the day before his 22nd birthday, at his 6 week follow-up, he was deemed “cancer-free.” Hurray! Cancer was beat. The worst of it was over, they thought. He was told to continue monitoring with CT scans and blood work every 4 months. His first follow-up scan was scheduled for September.
In mid-September, they finally had an opportunity to go on a delayed honeymoon after his first scan. They were headed to Oregon and on the road about 1.5 hours before they got a call from his urologist with news that they had found 4 nodules in his right lung and to come in for more testing as soon as possible. They continued onto their honeymoon with questions and fear making it hard to fully enjoy.
When they got home, Josh went in for more testing and scans to determine if these nodules were cancerous. Fortunately, the tests came back negative for cancer! But they still weren’t out of the woods…
His 8 month follow up came in January 2018. His scan came back showing the cancer had spread to his retroperitoneal lymph nodes (lymph nodes in the back of the abdomen, near the aorta). After talking to his oncologist, it was decided to move forward with 4 rounds of EP chemotherapy.
Cancer is something you never plan for and never expect to happen to you. It is heartbreaking and just downright hard. With so many uncertainties and questions running through their minds, their days are long and difficult.
As Josh is still in school, Ashlyn is the main financial provider right now, and is unable to afford his treatment. He is also without health insurance, so that increases the financial burden, as well. Although he is a part of a bill-share program, they are reaching the maximum amount quickly. Bills are already piling up from last year’s tests and surgery, and with chemotherapy starting soon, the expenses are going to drown them in debt, leaving them with years paying it off. Up until this point, just in surveillance testing and surgery, they have been billed $70,554.53, but luckily between his bill-share and discounts, most of that has been covered.
Josh is scheduled to start his treatment in the beginning of March. It will include 4 rounds of EP chemotherapy, which will take 3.5 months. This is estimated to cost them $20,000. Along with the burden of this debt he will experience many side effects from the chemo. Some of them are hair loss, weakened immune system, likelihood of losing fertility, along with nausea, vomiting, and others. Josh and Ashlyn have always wanted a family of their own together, and after chemotherapy, the chances of fathering a child is at risk. They are sperm-banking in hopes to have a family someday.
Although this ordeal was and is unexpected and frightening, their faith in Christ has remained solid. These trials will only deepen their faith in our loving, compassionate, and healing God.
Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers as they begin this journey of beating cancer for the second time. Please also consider donating to help relieve some of the stress they are feeling and burden they carry. Dealing with cancer is stressful enough on its own without having to worry about money.
Thank you so much for your time and love! They will certainly appreciate your generosity. God Bless.