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Michael’s Cancer Journey

In the fall of 2021, Michael felt like he had a blood clot in the calf of his right leg. A trip to the ER showed no clot, and it was diagnosed as cellulitis. This was the beginning of persistent but varying right leg swelling, which was an indication of something going on in the abdomen – again. (A tumor the size of a pineapple had been removed from his abdomen in 2016.) He got a CT in April, which showed another large mass.

Michael was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and went to a major cancer treatment center in Baltimore, MD, where he learned that there were no real medical options this time. Chemo would, at best, slow the cancer slightly while causing irreversible heart and liver damage; radiation would only temporarily shrink the tumor a bit; and the surgeons said that they couldn’t remove this tumor because of how it had wrapped around and involved other things in his body.

Because conventional oncology had no options for beating this rare cancer, Michael researched natural and alternative options for treatment and chose to take a naturopathic treatment route at a clinic in AZ. Unfortunately, anything other than the treatments used by conventional oncology are not covered by insurance.

The treatment, combined with the prayers of many, had killed most of the cancer cells, and the tumor was reducing in size. Michael was hopeful of returning home soon. However, due to a gallbladder/liver issue, it was recently discovered that Michael now has a tumor on his pancreas as well. A biopsy showed that tumor to be of the same type as the one in his abdomen.

Testing by his naturopathic doctor showed that there is only one chemo drug that is highly effective against this type of tumor. Based on the discovery of the new tumor, that chemo is what is now being recommended as the best course of conventional treatment. However, tumors on the pancreas are difficult to treat with conventional chemo because of a mucus coating that forms on them. There is a clinic in AZ that has developed a way to inject chemo directly into these tumors, with good effect. However, this treatment is considered experimental by insurance and only some of the treatment will be covered. This means much higher treatment costs than Michael has had to date.

In addition to the costs of treatment, Michael also has the expense of furnished short-term lodging in AZ while he is receiving treatment there. (His wife, Chris, has remained in Pennsylvania because she is a full-time nursing student and has full-time work responsibilities at their local hospital.) The housing cost ranges from $2500 to $2800, depending on the time of year – and that’s at the low end of the short-term housing price range; other properties range from $2800 to $3500, and some go even higher.

Some donations were received via their church and through a different campaign set up by a friend to help pay for the treatment received so far. However, Michael and Chris have had to drain their savings, and Michael has withdrawn all that he legally can from his retirement account to pay for his housing and treatment to date. To pay for these new expenses, Michael and Chris need help. Without it, Michael will have to return to Pennsylvania without receiving the recommended treatment. He and Chris are humbly grateful for all monies donated, including those donated previously. Any amount is a huge blessing!

Please help Michael to defeat these tumors and return home cancer-free.


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