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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 unidentifiable”. 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.