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Andy Ashcraft handled asbestos-laden construction products at his customer service job at a home improvement store. Years later, when he was 64, he was diagnosed with advanced pleural mesothelioma. A sonogram revealed a chest full of fluid, a common side effect of pleural mesothelioma. Surgery followed and confirmed the worst. He had stage IV malignant pleural mesothelioma. Believing that he had less than a year to live, Andy agreed to take part in a clinical trial of the monoclonal antibody amatuximab (MORAb 009). For three years, the drug seemed to be holding his mesothelioma at bay. But, in late 2013, things took a turn for the worst.
“My abdomen started filling up with the fluid, so that was the end of the trial for me,” says Andy. Doctors removed gallons of fluid from Ashcraft’s gut and advised his wife Ruth to consider lining up hospice.
In January 2014, Ashcraft added daily doses of cannabis oil to his chemotherapy regimen. When he stopped chemotherapy in July to prepare for surgery on mesothelioma tumors, he made the decision not to resume it. Today, Andy is alive and well and continues to use cannabis oil. Surviving Mesothelioma wrote a special series of articles about Andy and his treatments. To read them click here.