9/18/2017

Here’s the executive summary from our appointment today with the oncologist. 1.) The news is even worse that we thought, in that I have Stage 3B Cancer. I have cancer in my esophagus, where it leads into the stomach, some cancerous lymph nodes and perhaps some cancerous cells in my liver. 2.) They want to do an MRI and an Endoscopy Ultra Sound EUS) to determine if there is cancer in the liver; if there is, then this complicates the preliminary treatment plan. 3.) The preliminary treatment plan is that I will receive chemo once a week and radiation once a day for about six weeks, beginning ASAP, which means by around the first of October as a practical matter. There will be testing all through this period to ascertain whatever supplemental treatment is indicated, if any, and to gauge my progress. 4.) I’m scheduled with four different doctors ASAP in addition to the oncologist, i.e., a cardiologist, a GI doc to do the EUS, a radiology oncologist, and another one for a stint, which I will need for the chemo. 5.) The oncologist is impressed that I can still swallow and suggest that there might be a time when I might not be able to eat solid food and in fact I might even need a feeding tube, since the radiation will effectively be burning away the cancer inside my esophagus. 6.) The whole process will take 6 weeks or so, assuming it works, and if it does then I have a better than average chance of living five years or so, but make no mistake almost certainly this will shorten my life span. And if it does not work, then I should have six months to a year. 7.) It looks like I will be able to see the kids (grown now, with families of their own) prior to the beginning of chemo, and Betty and I will make a trip down to see my mother by then as well. The initial GI doc warned us that we were in for a rough road over the next few weeks and months, and so it would seem the more we get into the details, the more this is born out. 8.) Diet soda and anything else with bubbles is out, but I can still have coffee, so the news isn’t all bad