My son Andrew's journey has been all of these things, and it began when has was only 24 years old. Right before the holidays in 2016 Andrew went to the doctor for an lump on the side of his neck. He was then sent to a specialist who insisted on surgically removing the lump, and doing a biopsy of the lump in January 2017. The results came back, and it was not the news anyone wanted to hear. Andrew was officially diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer. At the time Andrew and Rachel had only been married for 13 months!! This is the time that they should be discovering new things about each other and enjoying newly wedded life. Not making doctor appointments and stressing about the what if's of CANCER!!
If February 2017, Andrew had another surgery to remove his entire Thyroid, some saliva glands in his mouth, and all of the lymph nodes on the right side of his neck. All of the lymph nodes had to be removed on this side of his neck because they were full of cancer as well. (This was why he had the lump that he originally felt-the cancer had spread to his lymph nodes from his thyroid)
After Andrew recovered from surgery, he then had to go through a Radioactive Iodine Treatment. This is the type of chemo used for his type of cancer. This required him to be in complete isolation in his home for a week. This meant that he couldn't be around anyone, even his wife! Rachel was forced to leave the home and stay with her parents during this time. Can you image going through cancer and only wanting to be with your wife and family, and then being forced to be in isolation? Aside from being away from his wife and family, this treatment of course has its own side effects!
The next year was full of doctor visits and tests, and trying to regulate the Synthroid medication that Andrew has to take daily for the rest of his life, to replace what his thyroid did for his body. This was a difficult and lengthy process, to get the medication level correct. This took several months to get just right.
In 2017 Andrew's blood tests suggested that the cancer was still active in his body, so his doctor's recommended that Andrew have another, stronger Radioactive Iodine Treatment to try and kill the cancer cells in his body. This treatment was 7 times the strength of the previous treatment. Andrew was again in complete isolation for a week. During isolation Andrew was so sick that he couldn't keep food down and he was also so thirsty that he felt like he could not get enough water to ever quench his thirst. He lost his sense of taste after this treatment for two months. Can you imagine not being able to taste anything? Not even your favorite foods or snacks? Thankfully his sense of taste did return. Since this treatment Andrew has to be very careful to keep hydrated because he can easily get infections in his mouth if his remaining saliva glands do net get enough hydration.
May of 2019 Andrew discovered 2 new lumps, this time on the left side of his neck. His doctor performed a biopsy with ultrasound in June and the biopsy showed that the cancer had returned.
August 21, 2019 Andrew had yet another surgery to remove the cancer from the lymph nodes on the left side of his neck.
Moving forward Andrew will continue to have to see his doctors, and have blood tests, and ultrasounds on a regular basis. He will also have to continue taking the Synthroid medication for the rest of his life, which his insurance does not pay for. As his mother I pray that this is the end of his fight with Cancer.
Andrew has been very strong and had great faith throughout all of this. He works as soon as the doctor releases him after every surgery and treatment, and pushes himself in between. He works 60 hour weeks trying to pay the huge medical bills that he is now burdened with, because he has a very high deductible health insurance plan, with no other options.
If you can find it in your heart to help with any of his medical bills that he has been burdened with, our family would be forever grateful!! It would be nice for Andrew to not have to worry about how to pay for all of these crazy medical bills, so that he could focus on healing his body and getting rid of the Cancer! If you don't have the money to help with his medical bills please help share this Go Fund Me Page and/or Please say a Pray for Andrew!!
Our Family Thanks You! Sincerely Andrew's Army:)