Shawn's Medical Expenses

Shawn's Medical Expenses

From Andii Jewell

Shawn's medical expenses for cancer treatment.

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Update #8

15 days ago

This past week has felt like it lasted 12 years. We came home last Wednesday, but have barely slept, because Shawn was so uncomfortable. The pain has been manageable with just Tylenol and Ibuprofen, thankfully! But a week of not being able to sleep in your own bed and waking up every 4 hours for either meds or to have your drain emptied takes it's toll. All of that on top of trying to get a schedule down with new daily meds for his thyroid and vitamin D and calcium....to put it simply, we're pooped!
We had our follow-up with the surgeon yesterday where he reiterated that there was more cancer in Shawn's neck than we originally thought. Interestingly, the tumor that everything mestatisized from was less than 1 cm in size, and the largest tumor was 2 cm. He also told us that out of the 20 lymph nodes he removed, 12 of them were cancerous. Doc did say that he's confident that he removed all of the cancer, but because he didn't open up the left side of Shawn's neck, just the right, we are moving forward with the radioactive iodine treatment.
The drain was removed yesterday as well, hallelujah!!! So, we actually got some sleep last night, hallelujah again! We were referred to the Endocronologist to start prepping for the radioactive treatment, and we have a follow-up with Shawn's primary physician on Monday afternoon to discuss doing a sleep study. He spent almost 3 hours in recovery after surgery, and apparently gave the anesthesia team quite a scare when the levels of CO2 in his blood were higher than his oxygen while he was sleeping. They believe he may have sleep apnea, so we're going to try to get that study done to get a C-Pap machine before we start the radioactive therapy. Especially since the nurse in the hospital scared poor Shawn half to death that he's going to die in his sleep in the meantime...which is half the battle with his sleeping issue right now.
Please continue to pray and send Shawn good vibes, etc. while we get ready to quarantine again during his radioactive treatment. And thank you again to everyone who has supported us thus far! Especially to those who prayed hard for him on surgery day, and for those who sent me encouraging messages during surgery! I was a wreck so I/we appreciate you more than you know!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

More Info

On June 3rd, we received the call that everyone dreads: Shawn has cancer. He was diagnosed with Stage 2 Papillary Thyroid Cancer. Thankfully, it seems like this will be easily treatable, but runs the risk of reoccurrences down the road. We've been referred to the one of the top surgeons in the area, and he will undergo surgery in the next few weeks to remove his entire thyroid, all of the surrounding lymph nodes, and the cancerous masses and lymph nodes in the side of his neck. Some of the nodules are pressing against his jugular vein, so they are going to try to remove those from the vein. If they can't, they will remove the jugular vein. (Apparently, it's not a necessity...who knew!?) 5-6 weeks post surgery, Shawn will undergo a radioactive iodine treatment/scan where they'll check to see if there is any cancer left roaming around his body. After the scan, he'll receive another, higher dosage radioactive iodine treatment to kill off the remaining cancer cells. They're currently confident that he will not need an external radiation treatment, nor will he need to have chemotherapy - hallelujah! However, throughout the process of the radioactive iodine, he will need to quarantine himself from everyone, including myself and the cats...so that's a bummer. But if that's the worst we have to go through, we'll take it! He'll be off work for awhile so that he can not only heal from surgery, but so the nerves surrounding his voice box can heal. As there is an EXTREMELY small chance that he will experience the permanent loss of his voice, he will be very sore for awhile and possibly hoarse for up to 6 months after surgery. The last and final step will be yearly testing. He'll be on a high dosage thyroid medication for the rest of his life, and will need to be tested yearly to assure that the cancer hasn't returned (high survival rate, but high return rate as well.) This will certainly be an adjustment, but one we're committed to making!

We're hoping to raise enough money to cover his medical expenses. From just the biopsies, CAT scan, MRI, and follow-up visits, we're already $3,000 in debt with medical bills....and we haven't even hit the surgery yet. We're hoping to cover most of it on our own, but with already barely making it paycheck to paycheck, and FMLA paying at a percentage of your pay, we're gonna need some help. So we're switching out our "pride pants" and putting on our "humble" ones to ask our friends and family to help....if you know us, you know that we would rather be the helpers than ask for help.

If you're unable to donate financially, we would appreciate anyone who would be willing to come over and help us clean up our apartment (only 1200sqft, so nothing crazy.) If you would be willing to come over once a week and cook dinner for us, we would appreciate that too! Any gift cards to go towards groceries at either Meijer or Aldi would also be a godsend! (*If you are planning to come and visit, we ask that you please wear a mask and sanitize your hands frequently - we'll do the same - regardless of vaccination status!*) 

Obviously, he's dealing with the physical aspects, but the mental and emotional shock is weighing on us pretty heavily. We are not currently accepting phone calls, but are happy to receive encouraging messages! Please know that we may see your message, but not respond. We love you just the same, but may not have the emotional energy to engage in conversations at that time.

Thank you for reading! Please continue to pray for Shawn as we go through this process!

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Andii Jewell posted a new update:
15 days ago

Update #8

This past week has felt like it lasted 12 years. We came home last Wednesday, but have barely slept, because Shawn was so uncomfortable. The pain has been manageable with just Tylenol and Ibuprofen, thankfully! But a week of not being able to sleep in your own bed and waking up every 4 hours for either meds or to have your drain emptied takes it's toll. All of that on top of trying to get a schedule down with new daily meds for his thyroid and vitamin D and calcium....to put it simply, we're pooped!
We had our follow-up with the surgeon yesterday where he reiterated that there was more cancer in Shawn's neck than we originally thought. Interestingly, the tumor that everything mestatisized from was less than 1 cm in size, and the largest tumor was 2 cm. He also told us that out of the 20 lymph nodes he removed, 12 of them were cancerous. Doc did say that he's confident that he removed all of the cancer, but because he didn't open up the left side of Shawn's neck, just the right, we are moving forward with the radioactive iodine treatment.
The drain was removed yesterday as well, hallelujah!!! So, we actually got some sleep last night, hallelujah again! We were referred to the Endocronologist to start prepping for the radioactive treatment, and we have a follow-up with Shawn's primary physician on Monday afternoon to discuss doing a sleep study. He spent almost 3 hours in recovery after surgery, and apparently gave the anesthesia team quite a scare when the levels of CO2 in his blood were higher than his oxygen while he was sleeping. They believe he may have sleep apnea, so we're going to try to get that study done to get a C-Pap machine before we start the radioactive therapy. Especially since the nurse in the hospital scared poor Shawn half to death that he's going to die in his sleep in the meantime...which is half the battle with his sleeping issue right now.
Please continue to pray and send Shawn good vibes, etc. while we get ready to quarantine again during his radioactive treatment. And thank you again to everyone who has supported us thus far! Especially to those who prayed hard for him on surgery day, and for those who sent me encouraging messages during surgery! I was a wreck so I/we appreciate you more than you know!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

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Andii Jewell posted a new update:
24 days ago

Update #7

Surgery was a success!!!
The surgeon found more cancer than we knew about, but he took everything out. There was cancer tucked down underneath his collar bone, and the right side of his neck had a lot more growths than the CAT scan and MRI picked up on. It was tucked down by where the nerves that connect to his right arm are, so they ran tests to make sure that he still has function in his arm - he does. They also tested the nerves surrounding his voice box, and they're definitely irritated, but look to be in great condition! He currently has a drain, but they're hoping that will be good to come out by the time he comes home tomorrow. It took him a while to come out of anesthesia, and when he did, he was pretty nauseous. Later tonight, when he's feeling a bit stronger and isn't falling in and out of sleep, we're going to try to go for a short walk with the nurse to get him up and moving!

Thank you so much for all of the encouraging messages we've received today! The past 2 weeks feel like they've lasted 2 years, and this is only half the battle. Please continue to pray for his recovery and for this upcoming radioactive iodine treatment! Thank you, thank you, thank you! ❤️

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Andii Jewell posted a new update:
25 days ago

Update #6

And he's off!
They came in, started his "relaxation station" meds, and wheeled him off to surgery. Doc said it'll be about a 3 hour surgery to remove as much as he can, then we'll have a 1.5 hour recovery time before I'll meet up with him again in his hospital room where he'll stay the night.
I'll keep you posted on how surgery goes!

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Andii Jewell posted a new update:
25 days ago

Update #5

Surgery day!
We're checked in and already back in triage!
Thankful for small blessings this morning, like Biggby opening at 5:30a, and this gorgeous view of the cathedral from the surgical waiting room.

Thank you to those who continue to pray for, encourage, and uplift us as we weather this storm! Fingers crossed we'll be mostly cancer free by tonight!

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Andii Jewell posted a new update:
25 days ago

Update #4

Alright, all! We're on!
Just got our confirmation call from the hospital - we'll report first thing tomorrow morning at 6a!
Please continue to pray for Shawn as he undergoes surgery, but please remember to keep the surgeon and hospital staff in those prayers as well! Pray they have the guidance, knowledge, and strength needed to remove as much of the cancer as they can!
Thank you, again, to everyone who's supported us thus far! Words will never be able to accurately express our gratitude and appreciation for you!

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Andii Jewell posted a new update:
about 1 month ago

Update #3

WOW! We are blown away! In a week, we've reached 25% of our goal!!!!
Thank you to those who have donated and helped us thus far! As we spend this next week preparing for surgery, please continue to pray/send good vibes to not just us, but the surgeon who will be removing the cancer and to the nurses that will care for Shawn as he's in the hospital! Meanwhile, we'll continue to pray for you, the people surrounding us with love, because we'll rely on you to be our strength as we sail head first into this storm!
Thank you, again! ❤️

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Andii Jewell posted a new update:
about 1 month ago

Update #2

Surgery is set for the 29th!
We are quarantining the week before his surgery, just to be on the safe side. Shawn will have to get a Covid test prior to surgery. They're planning to keep him overnight at least for one night. Should there be any complications, they'll keep him longer. Let's pray there's no complications!
If anyone has any good smoothie recipes, or recipes for anything soft that he'll be able to eat for that first week post surgery, send them my way, please!
Thank you to everyone who has donated to us so far! We can never express our appreciation for you!

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Andii Jewell posted a new update:
about 1 month ago

Update #1

Hi, all!
In just one day, we've raised enough to cover all of one of his current bills, and part of another! Thank you so much to everyone who has donated!!!
Thank you to everyone who has offered to come and help me cook/clean as well! I'll be responding to people probably next week!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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