For weeks we have thought of what to say and how to share the news that has and will rewrite our story forever. It is overwhelming almost daily for both of us. We have prayed and talked and dwelled on this ("dwelled" as we shouldn't have) but now we are here. Ready to fight for his life and ready to share. It's a surreal event that can't be shared without the most intimate of details being considered.
We received the news on May 1, 2017, that Scotty has cancer. After the ignorant statement and almost guaranteed assurance that "it is nothing” we have been through weeks of CT scans, MRIs, a PET Scan, other testing, invasive biopsies and now have a complete diagnosis: High Grade Mucoepidermoid cancer with distant mestatasis. More understandable: A tumor in his salivary gland that has spread and is now in his chest cavity.
This type of cancer is rare with documented studies in the low hundreds. Not going to lie, we both have had a few chuckles and I have had some eye rolls, because of course this is now confirmation for him the he truly is a "rare" one of a kind guy! But hey, we have all known that...but now it is documented in the medical community and will be on record!
Now that the cancer has spread, there is no option to operate and chemotherapy does not work for this type of cancer. Through immunotherapy testing he has matched positive for a drug that has been proven to shrink cancer. We are still waiting for another test to come back that could offer more treatment. Scotty's cancer is "non-curable". To be told this was devastating. I even thought after more testing that the doctors would come back and change that statement. They did not. After speaking with a dear friend, she was able to snap me out of it by reminding me that non-curable does not mean terminal. People LIVE with non-curable disease daily and for years. Holding on to that we are now able to buckle down, get all hands on deck and start this journey.
Treatments will soon begin. Thankfully he is being treated at Cancer Centers of America and the experience there has been great, we believe it to be the best hope we have. The only downside is that it is in Arizona. There will be 7 weeks of radiation (35 treatments) in hopes to shrink and possibly kill off the original tumor. The thought of this treatment first is to "kill the mother ship" in hopes that it will be controlled locally and not spread the mutations further. After that the therapy to shrink and control the lesions begins. He will have some pretty bad damage and side effects from radiation but since it will be on one side of his face only, other glands will kick in at a later date to renew his senses and compensate for what has been damaged (in theory this should happen). In the end there could be lasting side effects that may alter life permanently, but we are committed to do all and try all to save his life and keep him around for years!
We believe in God and we believe in prayer. Please keep our entire family in your prayers (especially Scotty's mom Barbara, his sisters Yvonne and Leslie, our children Brian, Lauren and Jenna and grandsons Brody and Brison). We are all concerned about what will happen and what could happen but above all want to stay positive and overcome this. We need encouragement, happy thoughts and PRAYERS. While there are no more miracles we do believe in miraculous things happening. Overcoming the odds has to be the goal. Living life fully with NO STRESS has never been more apparent. We have a lot of love and support around us and we are thankful everyday for all that we have. We will update as we can.
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12 xo Francine