Susan Booth

First post: Jun 6, 2021 Latest post: Mar 17, 2024
Hello, friends.  This is a place where you can learn more about Susan Booth’s fight against neuroendocrine carcinoma, get the latest updates, share encouragements, communicate, and help support her and her family.  This website is created and maintained by her family, and it is the official and best source of information about her and her fight against cancer. We welcome you here and we would love to hear from you.

I'm Susan's brother, Jim.  I've known Susan her entire life. She is my little sister and my only sibling.    We were close growing up together and, even after becoming adults and living apart from each other, we still have remained close to our family and kept in touch often.
Susan has been supporting our aging parents for many years now working as an executive assistant to the CEO of a local food distribution company.  With Daddy's poor health, she has been especially essential in helping Momma around the house and keeping up the yard and garden, and in running errands in town.  She has been such a blessing to them.

I will never forget the day when I was leaving their house one evening in December 2020. Momma followed me out the door and said to me in a hushed voice,  "Please pray for Susan...  it's serious."  My heart sank.  It is not like Momma to talk that way.  I knew that Susan had been having some problems with pain and not feeling well, but I didn't know much about it.  I prayed in my heart right then, "Dear Jesus, please. Please don't let it be cancer!"

She got worse over the next few weeks and had to quit working.  The tumor growing in her abdomen was now large enough that she couldn't fit into her regular clothes.  She went to a local doctor to get a diagnosis.  He diagnosed her with a large uterine fibroid and recommended a hysterectomy.  She wanted to try other methods of treating a uterine fibroid first, before taking such a huge and life-changing step.   I was just glad that it wasn't cancer.

But, in the following weeks, the tumor grew very rapidly.  It was becoming clear that this was something other than a uterine fibroid.  Susan was having trouble even being able to eat and she was losing weight and couldn't sleep at night because she was in so much pain.  She contacted a specialist doctor in Portland for uterine fibroids who ordered an MRI.  When the MRI results came in, the doctor called Susan and said, "I'm sorry, I cannot help you.  It is not a uterine fibroid.  You'll need to get a biopsy to be sure, but it appears to be a cancerous tumor."

Momma called me at work and told me the bad news.  It hit me like a hammer:  What do we do now?  What's the outlook for her recovery?  When she is getting treatment, who is going to be there for Momma and Daddy?  Who is going to help them financially? I won't be able to do much for them - I'm barely making it myself, and I live about 25 minutes away.  I had heard that there are many costs that medical insurance doesn't cover - especially for therapies that aren't in their protocols, how much is this going to cost us?  We live in a rural area here, could she even get the kind of treatment that she needs locally?

We prayed about it and researched her condition and options for treatment.  Her cancer was very aggressive and the conventional oncology information we had didn't sound very positive.  Susan was determined to beat the cancer and determined to live a long life for God.  We needed to find the best treatment program we could for her.  We needed to find a cancer treatment center that practiced integrative medicine using the best of both natural remedies and conventional medicine.  One with a reputation for successfully treating cancers that conventional medicine alone had failed.  The Lord opened up an opportunity for her to go to Envita, a cancer treatment center in Scottsdale, Arizona, that is on the cutting edge of cancer treatment using personalized integrative medicine that combines both conventional cancer treatment and natural healing methods with a personalized program specific to each patient.  Her boss’s father-in-law had gone through treatment there for advanced stage prostate cancer that had settled into his bones and he had recovered from it.  God also moved on the heart of one of Susan's friends to go with her to Arizona and take care of her.  It  certainly seemed that the Lord was opening doors for her and making a plain path for her recovery.  On February 22, 2021, Susan got on a plane to fly to Arizona for life saving treatment.

When she got to the doctors and team at Envita, they did a biopsy of the tumor and ran many tests.  The diagnosis:  a rare and aggressive form of  neuroendocrine carcinoma.
She was so frail and weak from going for so long without eating, and so dehydrated that their first priority was to get her strength built up.  They put a port in her chest to feed her intravenously, a nutritional method called Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN).  It took several weeks to get her strength and her blood hemoglobin levels up to a point where it would be safe to attempt to surgically remove the tumor.  By this time the tumor had grown even more.  It was said that it was so big she looked like she was 7 months pregnant.  They got her one of the top surgeons in Arizona to do the surgery and we were all optimistic that things would soon be getting better for her.

It was Friday evening, March 12.  Several hours after her surgery began, I got a heart breaking message on my phone that they were not able to remove the tumor.  It was attached to an intestine and got its blood supply from the intestine with many large blood vessels running through it.  It was inoperable and the doctor was sewing her back up.  Stunned, I searched the Internet for information on what the prognosis is for a patient with an inoperable tumor attached to an intestine.  I found a medical study on the NIH website suggesting that the prognosis was about 30 days to live.  I was devastated.  I wept and prayed about it.  

I remembered the words of Isaiah 57:1  To comfort myself, I got my Bible and looked it up, "The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come."  Maybe God was going to take Susan away from us because he was actually sparing her?  I went ahead and read the rest of Isaiah chapter 57.  I was surprised to notice that God's healing is mentioned in that same chapter - twice! (verses 18 and 19).  I wondered if maybe God was telling me that he would heal my sister, Susan?

The team at Envita made a decision the next week to go to a "plan B" series of treatments rather than giving up and sending her to a hospice.  Thus began a longer term program of radiation therapy, chemo therapy, and many new advanced therapies and procedures.  I didn't want to leave Momma with Daddy being in such poor condition, and her having to take care of him 24/7.  But I wanted so much to go and be with my sister.  On April 15, I flew down to spend several days with her.  It was wonderful to be with her and be there for her - if only for a few days.

With the treatment outlook changing from surgical tumor removal to "a long hard fight to kill the tumor without killing the patient", the treatment financial outlook changed from "expensive" to "incredibly expensive".  Cutting edge integrative cancer treatments, such as those at Envita, are not covered by any insurance.  It has to be paid out of pocket.

The road to recovery for my sister is long and difficult with many ups and downs, triumphs and setbacks. We always appreciate your comments, encouragements, and support for Susan and our family. Please pray for her, and if it is in your heart to help or you just want to stay in touch, on the Ways To Help page there is a "Keep In Touch with Susan" link where you can contact us directly by email.