David Boettcher

First post: Dec 28, 2020 Latest post: May 26, 2021
In August, we noticed a lymph node in Dave's neck growing. We didn't think too much of it at first. Over time, the lymph node continued to grow. He went into urgent care and they did a CT scan. The results came back that the lymph node was massive and dying. We were referred to Waconia to an ear, nose, and throat specialist. The Dr. did a scope throughout David's sinuses trying to determine what the cause was. During this visit, he took 6 biopsies out of the lymph node. Now, we wait.... The results finally came in: David was diagnosed with a Squamous Cell cancer, typically associated with skin cancer. This is not the case for David. They knew he didn't have any cancer in his skin and was internal, but didn't provide much for answers. The Dr assured us and said a PET scan would provide us with answers. So off to the PET scan we went and more waiting... Results came in again and again minimal answers. The Dr told us David had an unknown primary location to his cancer. They know this cancer does not start within the lymph nodes but originated from somewhere else within his system, but no clue as to where. They know it is isolated within his neck. That was the silver lining for us. Take the small wins when you can- no cancer in his brain, lungs, or anywhere like that.  Next up, the doctor decided more biopsies are needed and tonsils need to go. The most common location internally is the tonsils and back of the tongue. They took 36 biopsies in total in attempts to locate where it is starting from. It was a rough go recovering through this surgery. Luckily, we have so many amazing friend and family that did everything they could to make it a little easier, and there will never be enough to show each of them how much they impacted us. Now we are yet again back to the waiting game, hoping for answers. Results are in: still no primary location found, everything came back normal.  The Dr. decided it was time to bring in the radiation oncologist to continue to work towards the next steps of treatment. I think it was this appointment it really started to hit home for Dave that there is no easy button to get through this. The Dr told us that this is going to be the most difficult battle David has ever faced and he wouldn't sugar coat what was coming. He said he had a plan of attack that is very effective but it was going to be a hard journey. Seven weeks of chemo and radiation, 5 days a week. He will need to go in every day starting January 4th to start his journey to being cancer free. He is going to need to go in and have a feeding tube put in and his chemo port inserted as well. The doctor said because of radiation, David will be tired, sick to his stomach, the inside and outside of his neck will feel like he has an incredibly bad sunburn, and his saliva glands will no longer work. David will not want to eat, hence the feeding tube. Everything he will experience will only be amplified by the chemo. His neck muscles will be stiff and sore for the rest of his life. He will lose his hair, lose his teeth and his voice will no longer sound the same.  The silver lining and the win of it all: the doctors are confident after it all, David can beat the cancer. He has a 98% chance of walking away cancer free. Like we said, take the wins where you can and this is a big win for us. David is about to walk an incredibly difficult journey and we have MANY hurdles ahead of us.  We will keep everyone posted along the way here and please keep the thoughts and prayers coming- he needs them more now then ever before.