One thing that I need to say is that I was told by my radiologist that I needed to have radiation treatment after the surgery. My surgeon was not real keen on the item. The radiologist had never seen my type of cancer before and did not have a specific protocol for this type of cancer, so he wanted to radiate my entire torso and wanted to do treatments for a long period of time. When we researched this, we found that radiation is not effect on all types of cancer (mine being one of those) and we had to consider the side effects of the treatment he suggested. Every one of my major organs, even those those were all healthy, would have had doses of radiation for a long period of time. I opted out of the radiation treatment. I like fried chicken (occasionally) but I didn’t want to be fired chicken. So far, I made the right choice.
I’d like to start out by telling about my story in a brief format. About 21 months ago, I took my annual physical, much like I do every year. My physicals have always been great, never been sick other than kid’s stuff and colds. I was and still am fairly athletic, we’re at the gym every week. I’ve always had great blood pressure, low cholesterol and have maintained a perfect weight, a little light if anything. After my last physical, my doctor told me I was anemic – something I thought I would never hear, but that was just the start. He sent me to a gastroenterologist for an upper GI. The upper GI showed that there was something around my stomach and esophagus. The next step was for an endoscopy. A couple of days later as I was walking to my car in a parking lot when I got a call from my regular doctor telling me that they found something and it was malignant. It was a gastro-esphogel tumor. I was dumb founded. It was a misfortune that I never expected. I’ve always eaten correctly, exercised, I don’t smoke, never have and am a very light drinker.
Obviously, I was facing an operation. The tumor was the size of a fist. By luck and through my wife’s network connected with the best surgeon for the operation in the United States. I also found a good Ontcologist . I started out with a round of chemo to see if it would shrink the tumor, which it did, but only slightly. The surgeon removed most of my stomach and my esophagus and then connected what was left together. Fortunately he didn’t need to use my intestine to rebuild what was left. I’m not sure what it is but I call it an esophomach or a stomagus. Then followed this up with another round of chemo just in case. I did not take radiation treatment. I am happy to say that after four PET Scans and other scheduled for January, that I am cancer free. That’s pretty good since my tumor was approaching stage 4. I can not overemphasize taking annual physicals, it saved my life along with some pretty good doctors.
My other blogs will cover more of the whole thing.
Here I am a year and a half later.