of vague symptoms. The first type was easily treated with chemo, but the second
type (Squamous Cell Carcinoma) was classified at stage 4 with significant spread
to liver and a couple of spots In his lungs. Doctors said he would never be "cured"
because it was in his liver, but with treatment, he could possibly live 2-5 years. I
consider his diagnosis our first answer to prayer in his cancer journey.
2nd answer to prayer: Andy began a harsh chemo treatment that he struggled
to tolerate and He began to talk as if he might not continue treatment. But the
FDA just happened to be in the process of fast-tracking a new immunotherapy
drug that was showing great promise in trials and it was approved for use in
very specific types of cancer in the fall of 2015. Although Andy's cancer was
NOT one of the types that it was approved for, he ended up being able to switch t
o the new immunotherapy drug anyway because his chemo was not working v
ery well. We had no idea how Andy's cancer would respond since there was no
evidence to go on.
3rd answer to prayer: After about 3 months, Opdivo began to cause Andy's
immune system to attack the cancer as hoped. We begin to see a steady
decrease in cancer cells and smaller tumors began to disappear and larger
tumors began to shrink. After nearly a year on Opdivo, doctors were only c
oncerned about one stubborn tumor on the liver that had decreased steadily
over time and then stalled out (it had been the largest one at diagnosis).
This tumor was not growing or decreasing on the recent scans.
4th answer to prayer: Prayer at Mei's house. Several members laid hands on
him, with one laying her hands directly on the tumor site. The prayers stirred
the Holy Spirit in Andy, and he began shaking and could barely stand. She
raised her voice level and intensity in prayer and Andy reported feeling "fire"
through his body, especially at the tumor site. He continued to tremble and w
as tempted to tell her to stop, but for whatever reason didn't. He knew he felt
something take place in his body, but struggled to have faith that the cancer
had actually left. We were both very eager for the next scan.
His PET scan came right before Christmas and we had to wait through the
holidays for results. Results showed "no active cancer" in his body! The doctors
won't call him cured because he still has "atypical cells" in various areas,
but the tumor that refused to let go of its cancerous properties is NO LONGER
Andy will continue Opdivo for 6 months on a reduced schedule, and then be
reevaluated and could be possibly be released from treatment at that time!