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Mary’s Story

Mary Santos

Thyroid Cancer

I just retired July 2013. Two weeks later, after a routine physical exam, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. My doctor had telephoned me to go to her office for this terrifying news. The initial biopsy was “ugly and unidentifiableā€. She told me to get my affairs in order.  My husband and I were in total shock. I felt doomed and had the fear of imminent death.

The doctor ordered a second biopsy which then identified a rare type of thyroid cancer, “castle,” which has never been treated in the United States. The cancer was also lower in my chest. I had a thyroidectomy and my thymus removed on August 1st and subsequently had 6 weeks of radiation and 2 cycles of chemotherapy. Unfortunately my follow up CT scans showed thyroid cancer nodules in my lungs. My oncologist prescribed a med that was not effective which gave me unbearable side effects.

Things seem bleak because there were no known meds to treat my cancer.  He said that I needed to get on a clinical trial and found a clinical trial that matched my mutation. I live in San Francisco. The clinical trial was in San Antonio, Texas. I started the clinical trial in June 2014.

The cancer center in San Antonio gave me an orientation/welcome packet which included financial assistance. This is how I connected with Lazarex Cancer Foundation. They gave me hope, the strength and the means to get to my destination for treatment. They covered the costs for my “companion”/husband. He navigated through the streets, highways and byways of San Antonio. I couldn’t do this alone. I am thankful for my husband and Lazarex’s support. Lazarex lessened the deep anxiety of our financial worries.

I thank God for living each day. Today, I’m back in California on a “roll over” clinical trial. Lazarex continues to support me in my life’s unpredictable journey.

Thank you Lazarex Cancer Foundation.