Andrew Rose Living the Dream (still)

First post: Jan 3, 2022 Latest post: Nov 10, 2022
Hello all! 

Welcome to Andrew Rose’s CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Below is a summary of how all of this craziness began, and we will be adding journal entries, etc. as we continue on through this journey. Thank you so much for visiting, and for your love and support! 

At the beginning of November, Andrew began experiencing abdominal pain and visited an urgent care, where they ran some tests. When these came back without useful results, he then went on to see his primary care provider in Houston, TX. From there, some additional tests were ordered as well as a CT scan. On November 19th, we received a call that the CT scan showed a mass near Andrew’s appendix. Andrew was then referred to a general surgeon for biopsy and a GI specialist. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we faced a few challenges getting in to be seen. We knew there was a possibility that this was cancer and if so, MD Anderson in Houston would be the best place to be treated. We ended up going into the ER at MD Anderson in an attempt to speed up the process and to gain insight about our next steps. 

December started with an endoscopic procedure along with Andrew’s first ever colonoscopy at the ripe age of 25!! We also had Andrew’s first appointment with Dr. Paul Mansfield at MD Anderson. Walking into MD Anderson, both Andrew and I felt supported and safe, and we could tell we were in the right place. During this appointment, we were informed that Andrew has appendiceal cancer. Dr. Mansfield and his nurse practitioner, Madison, were both outstanding at talking though everything with us, giving us advice, and answering all of our questions. From looking at the initial CT scans, it looked like the cancer had spread a bit, but we didn’t know exactly how far. Receiving the news that this was cancer was undoubtedly hard for us, but we also felt prepared moving forward. We scheduled a chest CT scan to check for spread in Andrew’s lungs and we also scheduled a diagnostic laparoscopy for December 14th which was the first big step to knowing how to treat Andrew’s cancer moving forward. We were also informed that there would likely need to be a big surgery in February to remove the mass along with other parts of Andrew’s abdomen. During this procedure Andrew’s abdomen will be exposed to localized heated chemotherapy, also known as HIPec.

On December 6th, Andrew had the chest CT scan which thankfully showed no cancer in his lungs; this felt like the first bit of good news we’d received since the beginning of everything which helped our spirits immensely. From here, we continued to look forward to the diagnostic laparoscopy and more answers. 

During the diagnostic laparoscopy, Dr. Mansfield found that the cancer was less widespread than he initially thought, which was outstanding news! He informed us that chemo was not going to be necessary before moving forward with the bigger procedure on February 1st. Every case of this type of cancer is very unique, and Dr. Mansfield informed us that this was still very serious, but the fact that it wasn’t as widespread within Andrew’s abdomen allowed us to breathe a bit easier.  

Andrew has recovered well from the diagnostic laparoscopy and we were able to enjoy Christmas with our families in Green Bay. We have been trying to enjoy our days and keep our stress levels as low as possible. We appreciate all the love and support we have received from friends and family, and we are looking forward to Andrew’s big procedure on February 1st. 

Much love,