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fundiefollower

Andrea Mills of YouTube infamy Had Cancer and Died

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fundiefollower
Posted (edited)

(typing as I watch the video)

Tom and Andrea Mills just posted a YouTube video announcing she has cancer that has metastasized (spread) to her liver and gall bladder (which was removed earlier this week).  They are not sure of the origin.

She is currently 13 weeks pregnant with baby #10.  She had been feeling ill for most of the summer and in her usual fashion was self treating with herbs and other natural methods.  She went to a chiro a few times and finally to a doctor where she was admitted to a hospital in Wyoming for gall bladder removal. While in there they saw her liver looked suspicious so she was airlifted to a hospital in Denver Colorado.

Further imaging will be done in effort to find out where the cancer originated at.  Tom was understandably crying and emotional on the video and asked for prayers. Andrea was lying in the bed alert at some points and with eyes closed resting at other times but not speaking on video.  She is on pain meds he said.  hey have told the kids, who are all at home in WY.  

Very sad.

As a disclaimer: I guess if I'm a "leghumper" of anyone, it would be this family. 

 

 

Edit to add: Her mom died of lung cancer about 10 years ago. Andrea has spoken about that in previous videos and while I can't quote what she said I believe her message was that she is opposed to medical care and would not do chemo like her mom did, she believes it made it worse.  Again, that is just what I recall.

 

 

Edited by Coconut Flan
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JermajestyDuggar

If she doesn’t believe in chemo and she’s pregnant, I imagine her prognosis is grim.

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fundiefollower
6 minutes ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

If she doesn’t believe in chemo and she’s pregnant, I imagine her prognosis is grim.

When actually faced with the situation like she is now, she might make a different choice.  Tom mentioned getting to the bottom of the diagnosis and getting a treatment plan, so who knows?  In any case, this family will be facing some major changes.

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JermajestyDuggar
3 minutes ago, fundiefollower said:

When actually faced with the situation like she is now, she might make a different choice.  Tom mentioned getting to the bottom of the diagnosis and getting a treatment plan, so who knows?  In any case, this family will be facing some major changes.

Since she’s pregnant, she likely won’t do chemo soon. But maybe something else. Like surgery. I wouldn’t be surprised if she did some sort of bullshit woo treatment like Rusty Thomas forced on Jeremiah.

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fundiefollower

According to Google, metastases to the gallbladder are rare with Malignant Melanoma being the most common to spread to the gallbladder.  Melanoma is a skin cancer but it is the worst kind of skin cancer.  Lung cancer also spreads to the gallbladder.

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browngrl

Poor thing. Metatastic cancer has a dismal prognosis no matter what the primary and even with aggressive treatment. I wish her and her family the best.

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formergothardite

Is she the one who had the Bible playing non-stop in every room of the house?

I am sorry she has cancer and I hope she gets all the treatment she needs. Do they have insurance? 

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Don'tlikekoolaid

Cancer is terrible and I feel sorry for her and her family.  I don’t think this is going to turn out well, but with cancer you sometimes never know.

The worst part is some people in the Fundy church will blame it on her, then they pray for healing and if there is no healing they will blame that on her too.  I’ve seen it happen.

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Tired
Palimpsest

A horrible diagnosis and I suspect a very bad prognosis.  I would not wish that on anyone. 

I hope the children will be OK.  Dad was sort of distant, IIRC.

Andrea Mills is indeed the 24 hour piping of the Bible into every room of her house lady.  Very crunchy, Fundie but not QF, packs her many children into tiny spaces in a tiny house, and is an indifferent homeschooler.  Because crafts and herbal remedies (and the space for them) are very important.

Old Mills thread here:

 

 

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moreorlessnu

So very sad to hear this. I do follow her Youtube channel, although I don't agree with all her beliefs. There are some things I very much like about Andrea. I'm a huge believer in "agree to disagree".

I noticed she had gone quiet. When did she post she is pregnant? Tom did mention "the baby" in the video, but how did you know she is 13 weeks pregnant?

Someone above asked if they have insurance. I believe they have that "fundy" insurance whose name escapes me right now, where everyone contributes to each other's expenses. I believe in their budget video they pay $500/month for it?

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Briefly

That sounds really bad.  Is it too much to hope for that the children will be sent to public school, since Mom is probably not going to be able to do much in the way of homeschooling?  I know she doesn't do a lot of real instruction anyway.

52 minutes ago, Don'tlikekoolaid said:

Cancer is terrible and I feel sorry for her and her family.  I don’t think this is going to turn out well, but with cancer you sometimes never know.

The worst part is some people in the Fundy church will blame it on her, then they pray for healing and if there is no healing they will blame that on her too.  I’ve seen it happen.

I have heard of that from a couple of people.  It's really horrible.  But I could see it possibly happening in her case.

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Tired
Escadora

This is really sad news. For a period of about two and a half years I would watch every video Andrea uploaded and I genuinely would enjoy them. I never commented or subscribed, but I found her menu planning videos and shopping hauls very entertaining and somewhat soothing. I don't know how many, or if any, of their beliefs about the medical field have changed in the time since I stopped watching, but I very much hope that they have.

I don't hold out a whole lot of hope for Andrea otherwise.

I hope that she makes it through with a renewed appreciation for and trust in the medical field and certified medical doctors, and, on top of that, I hope that it will be something she will be willing to share with her audience if only to somewhat make up for the misinformation and unsafe medical advice she has promoted in years past. I know why she doesn't trust the medical field, and I have compassion for her because of that, but her herbal remedies and chiropractor aren't going to be able to fight that cancer. 

Likely, the family will not suffer too badly financially. They do have 'insurance' in that they're with Samaritan, but I've heard very bad things about that on here, and I won't pretend that I know what that looks like. Maybe someone more well-versed in American healthcare insurance would know. 

The good news, if such a thing could possibly exist in this situation, is that this family has a lot of people who love them. From what I remember, their circle of friends was plentiful and close-knit, and I don't believe that the children will lack for love and support from their extended relatives and church friends regardless of what will become of Andrea as this progresses. Tom will fare less well, I believe; he's somewhat dependent on Andrea's adoring and enabling nature towards him, and I don't think he will be able to fill the roles his choices have made his responsibility now. I believe their Youtube fans will flock and send gifts and money to them to help, and that their families will try and ease the financial and child-rearing responsibilities where they can. None of that will make up for Andrea's illness and whatever may come of that, but the family does have a large support network, so there is that.

I don't know really what to say. I despise the lies and misinformation that Andrea and her husband have spread about the healthcare industry, and their promotion of harmful political and religious views. I think they are irresponsible role-models for their audience, and neglectful of their children's education and medical needs, but I don't doubt that Andrea loves her family very much, and that they love her just as much in return. 

I've always considered Andrea to be less malicious than desperate to excel/stand out/ be something or somebody more than a wife, homemaker, and mother (hence the constant self-education, creative outlets, and hyperfocus on marketing her family) whilst still complying with her religious beliefs. It's heartbreaking that this woman, one who would pray every night for a husband and family in her youth and then spend so many of her adult years loving them in the best ways she knew how, could potentially leave them early by something that could have been caught and acted upon much sooner. 

Prayers to a God that I don't believe in won't do them much good, but I certainly hope that this has been caught early enough that something can be done, and that she might have the wherewithal to - if necessary - preserve her life above that of her pregnancy so that she may be around to finish raising the nine already here children that she purposefully bought into this world.

 - also, somewhat unrelated but not entirely, my heart goes out to those here who are losing loved ones to cancer and other terminal illnesses (or perhaps who are going through this themselves). i'm no longer comfortable with sharing extensively about my personal life, so i will spare the clearer details, but my family's losing a beloved member right now due to advanced pancreatic cancer, and i'm getting a crash course in the realities of what it means to grieve for someone who's still alive. i have no pretty words or brilliant wisdom that will make it better, only my sincere and heartfelt sympathy for those in need or want of them

 

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Dandruff
1 hour ago, Escadora said:

It's heartbreaking that this woman, one who would pray every night for a husband and family in her youth and then spend so many of her adult years loving them in the best ways she knew how, could potentially leave them early by something that could have been caught and acted upon much sooner.

I knew a woman who was well-educated and not against medical care.  Doctors in the family.  She started feeling intermittently unwell but not enough to set off alarm bells.  Within a short time her symptoms, which she thought might be a persistent stomach bug or other manageable problem, became severe enough to get a full workup.  She had lung cancer which had metastasized to her brain, liver, and other parts of her body.  Andrea, despite her views on traditional medicine, may not have had "bad" enough symptoms to suspect real trouble.  Her pregnancy may have confounded the situation.  I don't know her at all, and am actually pretty ambivalent about her based on what I've seen in a handful of videos, but I hope she isn't blaming herself for this.

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NurseNell
11 hours ago, fundiefollower said:

According to Google, metastases to the gallbladder are rare with Malignant Melanoma being the most common to spread to the gallbladder.  Melanoma is a skin cancer but it is the worst kind of skin cancer.  Lung cancer also spreads to the gallbladder.

Melanoma can also occur inside the eye, it is called uveal melanoma. It is not considered skin cancer, it is biologically different and doesn't respond to the same treatments. 50 % of uveal melanoma metastasizes and 90% of the time it is to the liver. We have members in our uveal melanoma group with mets to the gall bladder.

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Escadora
6 hours ago, Dandruff said:

I knew a woman who was well-educated and not against medical care.  Doctors in the family.  She started feeling intermittently unwell but not enough to set off alarm bells.  Within a short time her symptoms, which she thought might be a persistent stomach bug or other manageable problem, became severe enough to get a full workup.  She had lung cancer which had metastasized to her brain, liver, and other parts of her body.  Andrea, despite her views on traditional medicine, may not have had "bad" enough symptoms to suspect real trouble.  Her pregnancy may have confounded the situation.  I don't know her at all, and am actually pretty ambivalent about her based on what I've seen in a handful of videos, but I hope she isn't blaming herself for this.

I don't know how to say what I'm going to say without sounding at least somewhat heartless and like I'm placing blame on Andrea for her illness, despite very much not wanting to do that at all. I've reworded this a few times to try to sound kinder but less wordy, and I still don't know how it'll be received. I'm sorry, in advance, if I don't manage to say this as softly and with as much tact as the situation would warrant. 

Just because I believe that Andrea could have been much more active with pursuing healthcare/ screening/ preventative treatments from licensed, educated medical professionals (especially given her family's history with cancer and her presenting risk factors) doesn't mean that I think she deserves or is to blame for her cancer and I hope that my first post didn't give anyone the impression that I did think these things. I don't know the science behind it, as I myself am not a medical professional. Perhaps there was no way to screen for this and perhaps this is just an unfortunate coincidence that has nothing to do with her family history of cancer. 

I believe I understand the point you're making, in that with cancer sometimes it doesn't matter how well educated and preventative you are. If it's going to come for you, then it will come. I agree with you and am sorry to hear about the woman you knew, that, again, is a really sad situation. 

It doesn't matter, now (and it never did), what I personally believe Andrea could have or should have done differently in her life up until this point. That's not going to change anything. And just because I think that I already know what she'll do and what choices she'll make doesn't make me right and doesn't make those things necessarily the wrong thing to do. Even if they are not the choices I would choose to make, this is her battle and she'll fight it as she sees fit. 

I checked Andrea's facebook this morning, and it appears that they are indeed fine for healthcare costs, and there is a gofundme up and running, which I am sure will attract the attention of their fans and other people who hear about the story. Tom says that it is to cover the costs of their bills and living whilst he is with Andrea in the hospital, but that no one should feel obligated to donate. I assume that I'm right in thinking that their extended family is providing childcare and support. 

Honestly, I hope she pulls a Zsu on this one and that she can make it through to be with her children, as I said before, with a healthy respect for and trust for conventional medicine. Herbal remedies and the like can certainly have a positive impact on health to a limited extent, and may help to alleviate her symptoms, but I hope she'll trust the doctors to do what will treat her body of the cancer, and that her children are taken well care of also whilst this happens.

 

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JeanieCat
Posted (edited)

I have been following Andrea for a long time. I don't agree with most of what she does but the family interests  me nonetheless! She hasn't seemed well for the past year or so. Videos have been more sporadic and she just couldn't get organized. She never mentioned anything medical, but she could have been treating herself which she is wont to do! I don't know if it's for financial reasons or just contrariness but they don't go to doctors or dentists( or school, or church, or organized sports,etc.)

Recently they have been budgeting more vigorously. I assumed with the older boys needing help to start businesses of their own they needed more money. 

I worried about Andrea's weight which is way out of control. Personally I think they would all have benefitted from being in school.  Only my opinion, but some time away from each other would have  been good for them! 

I am very  conflicted about continuing to follow them after this current diagnosis. I sort of feel she brought it on herself not seeking medical care sooner, not really taking care of herself. And now they have 9 children at home, at least 6 of whom are being homeschooled, a sick pregnant mother, and a father who needs to work full time to keep them afloat! I feel guilty for walking away but why should I? I can't help financially and it will be up to family and friends to step in. 

Thanks for letting me rant. I feel this is a safe place to express my real feelings about home- schooling fundies!

Edited by JeanieCat
left out an "I"!
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moreorlessnu
47 minutes ago, JeanieCat said:

 She hasn't seemed well for the past year or so. Videos have been more sporadic and she just couldn't get organized.

Interesting you should mention this. It struck me during the last family live video that the whole time she didn't touch the plate of food in front of her. They were at a picnic table, eating KFC (or so it appeared). She had a plate with 2 pieces of chicken on it that she didn't touch. 

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Caroline
45 minutes ago, JeanieCat said:

I have been following Andrea for a long time. I don't agree with most of what she does but the family interests  me nonetheless! She hasn't seemed well for the past year or so. Videos have been more sporadic and she just couldn't get organized. She never mentioned anything medical, but she could have been treating herself which she is wont to do! I don't know if it's for financial reasons or just contrariness but they don't go to doctors or dentists( or school, or church, or organized sports,etc.)

Recently they have been budgeting more vigorously. I assumed with the older boys needing help to start businesses of their own they needed more money. 

I worried about Andrea's weight which is way out of control. Personally I think they would all have benefitted from being in school.  Only my opinion, but some time away from each other would have  been good for them! 

I am very  conflicted about continuing to follow them after this current diagnosis. I sort of feel she brought it on herself not seeking medical care sooner, not really taking care of herself. And now they have 9 children at home, at least 6 of whom are being homeschooled, a sick pregnant mother, and a father who needs to work full time to keep them afloat! I feel guilty for walking away but why should I? I can't help financially and it will be up to family and friends to step in. 

Thanks for letting me rant. I feel this is a safe place to express my real feelings about home- schooling fundies!

I understand what you are saying.  There's something about her that I like and admire, but at the same time I don't get this hide-your-children-from-the-world mentality.  The fear of public school especially offends me because I'm not only a product of public schools and universities, but a veteran public school teacher.  I just don't get the extreme fear these kinds of people project, and I think it sets up some future psychological problems for their kids.  I feel horrible about their situation, and wouldn't want this for anyone.  The attitude that God will always provide seems simplistic and, in this case, possibly tragic if those children have to  grow up without their mother.   I don't think the dad is detached as some think (MO), but I also wonder how anyone could get it together enough through their grief to nurture those children  and provide the best education, etc.  It's horrible and if I believed in the power of prayer I would pray like crazy.

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Tired
Escadora
1 hour ago, JeanieCat said:

I feel guilty for walking away but why should I? I can't help financially and it will be up to family and friends to step in. 

I can say without a shadow of a doubt that making the decision to stop watching and investing myself emotionally in the lives of the Mills family was a healthy and worthwhile one, and it's one I don't plan on reversing. 

Still, it was hard at first, because it turned out that watching the several hours of content that Andrea used to put out a week was something that was fulfilling some emotional needs that I had that I then needed to find other ways to satisfy. I can't speak for why you watch, but I can promise that - if you seek them out - less taxing uses for your time and emotional energy will present themselves. 

Walking away doesn't make you a bad, uncaring person, please believe me, and your guilt will ease as your emotional bonds lessen and interest levels wane.

Also, their youtube channels are not monetised, so let me assure you that they will not suffer for your absence, if that was at all something that keeps you engaged with them. 

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Koala
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, JeanieCat said:

I sort of feel she brought it on herself not seeking medical care sooner, not really taking care of herself.

Right?  It's so annoying when a mom to 9 brings cancer on herself!  Super selfish.

*raging sarcasm*

Quite frankly, I don't care what kind of loopy woo ideas she has about medicine.  She has cancer.  She may very well have to leave her babies.  Now is not the time to insinuate that she did this to herself.  Good god.
 

Edited by Koala
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formergothardite
15 hours ago, Escadora said:

ey do have 'insurance' in that they're with Samaritan, but I've heard very bad things about that on here, and I won't pretend that I know what that looks like. Maybe someone more well-versed in American healthcare insurance would know.

This is what their guidelines say:

Quote

The maximum amount shared for each need is $236,500 for Samaritan Basic and $250,000 for Samaritan Classic.

The guidelines also say that if any government program is willing to pay a medical bill then the bill will automatically not be covered by Scamaritan unless you can prove to this already extreme religious group why it is against the Bible. This sounds like they if you qualify for government help you better take it or they won't pay up. So if a hospital sees they qualify for government help then they will have to accept it or Scamaritan won't pay. Also, if a gofundme is used or there are any fundraisers Scamartain will refuse to cover any bills that the money could be used to cover.  

Let's say Andrea has a lot of bills one month and several other people do too and there isn't enough money sent in by members to cover everything, well everyone is shit out of luck. They will cover a certain percentage of all the bills and then you have to pay the rest. They will pray for you, though. :pb_rollseyes: She is pregnant on top of all this and their maternity coverage isn't the best if you have a high risk pregnancy like this.

What the Mills have is a pile of crap for insurance. People with good insurance and a strong community still get stuck with massive medical debt dealing with things like this. I won't be surprised if they end up heavily in debt over this. 

This is a tragic situation and I hope for the best.

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FluffySnowball
35 minutes ago, Koala said:

Right?  It's so annoying when a mom to 9 brings cancer on herself!  Super selfish.

*raging sarcasm*

Quite frankly, I don't care what kind of loopy woo ideas she has about medicine.  She has cancer.  She may very well have to leave her babies.  Now is not the time to insinuate that she did this to herself.  Good god.
 

What I assume @JeanieCat meant was that as a mother, it would have been Andrea’s responsibility to get regular health checkups and to take her wellbeing seriously. Instead, her cancer was found late. I don’t believe JeanieCat actually implied the illness itself should be blamed on AM. That would be both nonsensical and cruel. 

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browngrl
13 hours ago, Dandruff said:

Andrea, despite her views on traditional medicine, may not have had "bad" enough symptoms to suspect real trouble

This is very true. I don't know how many well educated, not adverse to treatment or screening people I have seen receive a horrible cancer diagnosis. Additionally even significant symptoms might be masked (eg a melanoma growing under scalp hair or in some other not routinely looked at space)  or which are more likely to represent a benign issue  (eg gallstones are far far more likely than a biliary cancer) or reasonably ignored for the time being  (sometimes people delay treatment because they have too much on their plate like the single mother who did not come in until she found childcare). The thing is if the cancer is so aggressive , early diagnosis might not make that much difference and also you have to think about the likelihood of a thing before doing tests. Tests done without thought result in far too many false positives - which comes with its own risks.

I blame fundies for a lot of things but I'd give them a pass on situations like this.

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Escadora
Posted (edited)

I know I had said that I no longer kept up with the Mills family, and that's true, but I got a notification for an update on the situation, so I thought that I would watch it and share.

A short live video brings the sad news that Andrea has miscarried the baby, and that her health situation is more precarious than I had thought before.  Some of the placenta hasn't come out, and the doctors fear that taking Andrea into surgery will be potentially life-threatening. Tom is clearly frightened and devastated, as any spouse would be (the grossness of Papa Gary aside, I'm glad Tom has someone to comfort him, and that Andrea has a parent nearby), and I'm sending out healing and well wishes to the family.  

I can't imagine the heartbreak. I hope that this tragic and devastating loss can lead to Andrea feeling empowered to pursue any aggressive treatment of the cancer available, so that some good may come of it and that Andrea can return to her other children a healed woman (or at least one with an improved prognosis and many years left to come). Ideological principles aside, this is a very sad situation and I hope that she and the family are able to make it through. 

(I would link the video, but I'm not sure whether or not links are allowed or not, as I've not been an active member in a while)

Edited by Escadora
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