I was first diagnosed with high-grade mucoepidermoid carcinoma (parotid salivary gland cancer) in July 2011, two months after I graduated high school. I put college on hold for a semester and underwent surgery and 16 rounds of fast neutron radiation therapy at the University of Washington Medical Center. Following that, I had clear scans for nine years with no evidence of disease until the summer of 2020, when I started noticing some new facial asymmetry (I can no longer control movements in my left lower lip). By September 2020, my reoccurrence was officially diagnosed with the same tumor returning on my salivary gland along with metastases to my lymph nodes. I was given a terminal prognosis with the best-case scenario being 4-5 years and the worst cast scenario being 1-2 years.
In November of 2020, I joined an immunotherapy clinical trial at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance that unfortunately did not work. By January 2021 I left the trial to begin 12 weeks of chemotherapy. My treatments are done with the intention of improving/maintaining my quality of life, so after I finished chemo, my tumors had shrunk enough to give me seven months off of treatment. I spent April-October of 2021 on what I called summer break. After the Covid vaccines became available, I did my best to see as many friends and family members as I could and went on a few trips too. By October/November, my tumors were growing again and I started my current chemo regimen in December 2021. I will continue this regimen as long as it’s working and as long as my body can handle it. If this chemo doesn’t work, I still have a few more options left to keep me alive.
- 2 Diamond Club tickets to a Mariners game
- Stay at Salish Lodge