2022 Inspirational Family:
The Schultz Family
Mike Schultz is a hard working husband, father, and grandfather residing in the Cranberry West neighborhood. Before he got sick in 2020, he was the sole provider for his family. Mike was dealing with pain in his mouth and had a tooth extracted, which developed into an infection that would not subside. After 5 rounds of antibiotics and many visits back and forth between the dentist and oral surgeon, he was referred to an ENT. After a biopsy and a CT scan, on May 13th 2020, the doctor called Mike to confirm the diagnosis, Squamous Cell Carcinoma with HPV+ on his left tonsil and the back of his throat. Mike had to have surgery to remove his right tonsil, and In July 2020 he started daily radiation and weekly chemotherapy treatments for 7 weeks. The treatments caused a lot of issues with his throat/neck and he lost his taste and was not able to eat/swallow anything except sips of water. He had to continue to use a feeding tube for his nutrition.
If anybody knows Mike they know he can’t be still for too long. After about a month from the end of treatments, and against doctor recommendation, he returned to work in October 2020, while doctors kept an eye on a lump in his cheek, hoping it was just a clogged salivary gland. In July 2021, after mainly living on soups and milkshakes, the feeding tube was removed. Two months later Mike went for a routine scan and it came back NED (No Evidence of Disease). His family celebrated thinking the cancer was gone, but upon his November 8 visit to the ENT for a scope, the doctor told Mike the cancer was back and he was scheduled for a 13 hour surgery on November 30. They had to insert a feeding tube again and remove the cancer from his mouth, including a large tumor from his cheek. After all of that, they had to perform reconstructive surgery, including an artery transplant from his right leg to his neck. A week after his surgery, he came home a week after his surgery with his tracheostomy capped off and was already trying to talk. Mike was told that they removed most of the cancer, but unfortunately it was so aggressive that there was still a small piece remaining at the back of his tongue. On Feb 11 2022, he started 6 weeks of daily radiation and weekly chemo treatments. After his first chemo treatment, he fainted in his kitchen, dislocating/fracturing his ankle. He was scheduled to have surgery for his fracture, but developed shingles and had to cancel the surgery.
Mike received his last rounds of chemo treatments on March 25 and his last radiation treatment on March 28. He will get a scan in about 8-10 weeks to see if the treatments were successful. Also, he will need to attend speech therapy to work through the speech issues he’s developed since his surgery.
The family wanted to express their appreciation of all of the love, support and prayers that they received by so many. They feel blessed to have the support of friends, family, and the Cranberry CUP.
His wife Becky said, “We believe God is the ultimate healer and we know he is healing Mike in his time. This is the Bible verse he’s been relying on lately: ‘So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”’ ~ Isaiah 01:14 VIN