Please Help My Love Shine Again
Hi, my name is William Marshall. Heather Gallagher is the Love of my life and has been for the last eleven years. We have a wonderful 10-year-old son named Liam. Suddenly on April 4, 2022, Heather woke up with severe tooth and mouth pain. We found a local dentist, and he got her right in the next day. She had to have a tooth removed immediatly and had a small infection in what he said was an abscess. The dentist completed the emergency tooth removal and anitibiotics were ordered. We were greatful and went on our way.
Two weeks later Heather woke up in the worse pain she was ever in. She now had a ping pong ball sized lump in her neck and her tongue was swollen to about double it's normal size. We went to the local AdventHealth Emergency room to see what the problem was. After a few hours there, the Doctor checked her up and down and wasn't seeing anything that could explain the lump and pain. He ordered a CT scan to see if there was anything they were missing. About hour later when he came back in to tell us the bad news. After having the CT read, the doctor was pretty sure that it was somehow related to Cancer and that we needed to see a specialist....an Ear Nose Throat (ENT) doctor.
The next day I called around and found a local one, and we were lucky that they had an opening on June 7th. We were nervous and anxious but we were able to make it to the appointment. We actually go there a little early. By now Heather's tongue was tripled in size, and the the lump in her neck was almost the size of a baseball. She couldn't really talk, and hadn't eaten anything in the last two days. The Doctor, as you can imagine, was very concerned about the growth and the pain. He also believed that these lumps and pains were associated with Cancer and he wanted to immediately admit Heather to the hospital for an emergency biopsy and the placement of a feeding tube.
Fast forward to Friday June 9, 2022. Heather is in the hospital, another CT scan, a deep biopsy of her tongue is done, and the feeding tube is put in place. By the days end, life as we know it is changed forever. The Doctor (who happens to be an Oncologist and a plastic Surgeon) and his medical team arrived to confirm the results of their findings.
It was confirmed that there were critical STAGE 4 tumors on Heather's toungue and in her throat. We were advised that there was hope and that they would do all that they could. We were given appointments with a leading Oncologist and his team. It would be an hour or so drive, but fortunate for us AdventHealth is a premier Cancel specialist.
Here it is July 7, 2022. The tumors have tripled in size and Heather can no longer eat or drink anything by mouth. She is placed on Fentanyl, Oxycodone, and liquid Morphine to help try and relieve the ever growing pain. Immunotherapy, Chemotherapy, and Surgery are now the course of treatment. The medical team has already stated that Heather's tongue will have to be removed. An emerency brain scan was ordered along with several other CT scans of the face, neck, head, and pelvis to see if any other surgeries will be neccessary to save Heather's life.
Our next doctor's appointent is Monday July 11, 2022. That is when we will learn if there will be treatment before the surgeries or will it just be the surgery and chemotherapy.
Please pray for us, keeping us in your thoughts as we go through this difficult time. I don't know how I will pay for this, but it is important that I save Heather's life and get her tumor, cancer, and pain free.
Heather is my rock. And although she may not have had a job outside of the house, her job insided the house was never ending. She took care of the house. She took care of the cleaning. She took care of the cooking. She took care of laundry. She took care of all our Son's needs from school work to scouting. She even became Liam's Cub Scout pack Den leaader. She is an amazing woman and I vow that she will shine again.
It's not easy for us to ask for help. However, we need your help. Anything that you can do will help with the growing medical bills, hospital bills, the many medical supplies, child care expenses, and of course allowing me to stay by her side day in and day out while we get Heather well.
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