Before her diagnosis, Andria worked as a Medical Assistant for Kell Medical in Jacksonville, NC. On November 10, 2015, Andria was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer of unknown primary or CUP. Andria had about a 40 mm lesion on her liver and lesions on her lungs. After more testing, they found that her lymph nodes in the area of her gallbladder were also affected. For those that do not know what Stage IV cancer of unknown primary or CUP is, it is a cancer that doctors do not know where it has originated. Since her cancer is so advanced, it makes it difficult for the doctors to determine where the source of the cancer started. For example, the lesions on her liver do not make it liver cancer. If ovarian cancer was the source, it could have spread to the liver which means it has been invaded by cancerous ovarian cells not cancerous liver cells. With that being said, this makes it harder to treat. Chemotherapy is not a one size fits all drug. Knowing the source helps to know which drug to use and what treatments to use. At this point, surgery is not an option since it is so advanced. Aggressive Chemotherapy was her only option. After four rounds of chemotherapy, Andria had a CT scan on January 15, 2016 to see how the treatment was working and to see if the cancer was responding.
On January 20, 2016, Andria and her husband Jimmy got the results of that scan. The doctor called to tell them that the chemo just is not working like they wanted it to work. While it did show that the lymph nodes were responding to the chemo, the large mass in her liver looked like it was the same and there were more lesions in her lungs. Along with that, there is some fluid accumulating around the outside of one of her lungs which explains why Andria has been feeling short of breath in the past week. At this time, the chemo that she was receiving will stop. The doctor has suggested doing a three-day course of new medication, but again they have to wait for insurance and more time. Their doctor has also given them the choice of going to Texas or to Tennessee to seek the help of doctors who specialize in this type of cancer. Since Texas typically has a longer wait, they have chosen to seek help in Nashville, Tennessee from Dr. F. Anthony Greco. He is amongst the nation’s top doctors who specialize in cancers of unknown primaries (CUP). He has written many publications and has been practicing for over 30 years. With all that being said, there have been a few small fundraisers to get the family by, but now they will be traveling and possibly staying for extended lengths of time far away from home. This means that not only is Andria not working, now Jimmy will be missing a lot of work as well. We will know more once they have met with Dr. Greco. Andria was approved for disability on the same day she received the news of all this, so this was a blessing but disability does not start until six months from the date of approval. All of this is going to be a huge burden on them physically, mentally, and financially. If you can help in any way, it would greatly be appreciated. No amount is too small.
All money will go directly to them to help with any financial needs they will encounter. I came across this quote the other day that made me think of my best friend. "Every day may not be good...but there's something good in every day." This quote just seems to fit Andria so much. She is that person, who know matter what, finds something good in every day. She is a person who loves life and embraces it. Again, you see she has faced her diagnosis head on and has still taken time to enjoy life. Even when she is not feeling well, she takes time to do things with her friends and family. Has she had moments of “Why me?” Absolutely. Who wouldn’t? The difference is that she has learned to accept it and focus on getting better instead of this disease defeating her. No matter what happens in the coming days, I know she is healed. I know God will not fail her. Keep your prayers coming and please know that they are appreciated.