Last time I was here I was awaiting three major events in this newly declared war on cancer, a PET scan, an Endoscopic Ultrasound and a visit with my oncologist, those things have happened. There was some good news and some not so good.
The PET (positron emission tomography) scan provided the good news. The only indication of cancer was in the lower esophagus, in the area of the previously discovered tumor.
Procedurally, the Endoscopic Ultrasound or EUS was very similar to the EGD i.e. a highly sophisticated borescope inspection to include some very detailed pictures. You can thank me for not sharing those.
The tumor is, or was a week ago, 2.1 cm in depth, for you non metric types that is .826 in. it seems to be increasing in size kind of quickly. The esophagus wall and some lymph nodes in the area are also affected. We originally thought the cancer was Squamous Cell, however a second biopsy identified it as Adeno carcinoma which is much more common to that area of the esophagus. Because the lymph nodes and the esophagus wall are involved the cancer is classified as stage 3.
The oncologist laid out a game plan to go attack this thing, and yes, the road is going to be long and rocky. In a nutshell the plan is radiation, chemo and surgery.
The radiation and chemo will be administered simultaneously in Norman. The radiation five times a week for six weeks, the chemo once weekly for that same six weeks. Prior to starting those I will get a feeding tube because it is already difficult to eat and it will be impossible to get enough calories down, if I can swallow food at all, during the early stages of the treatment. I didn’t ask but I don’t think a chicken fried steak will go through that feeding tube.
The surgery will follow the radiation and chemo by a few weeks. It will be done at the OU Medical Center in OKC. I don’t have much detail on it at this time I will meet with the surgeon in the near future to further discuss the details. The oncologist did say, it is a pretty significant procedure.
Sometimes my thoughts need to remain on this side of the keyboard, tonight is one of those times. I’m not sure when I will be back, it may be a while. Until then keep my family in your prayers.
Good Night and God Bless