Hello Everyone

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Tucson, Arizona, United States
My husband and I share our lives with six dogs and five cats outside of Tucson. I love taking pictures. I hope you enjoy them.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Stomach Cancer?? I asked the question "Why Us" but then "Why Not??"

This past Christmas season after enjoying a good meal  my husband Daniel had hiccups after followed by a feeling that the food he had eaten got stuck before it reached the stomach.  Several weeks later it happened again, this time followed by  nausea.Those episodes did not seem to fit into our ideas of warning signs for cancer but we did feel it should be checked and went to a specialist .  After the first visit the doctor scheduled a second appointment for an endoscopy.
Several weeks later during the procedure the doctor felt there was a thickening in the lining of the stomach where it meets the esophagus. Although the tests taken came back negative and we were elated, he scheduled another exam which included a sonogram at the hospital.
Well we went there not expecting the news we received...the results were stage 3 stomach cancer.  Daniel was still recovering from the amnesia, when I heard the news.  On our way home we saw  two motor vehicle accidents from a distance, within 15 mins apart.  What a strange day!!
That weekend was an emotional roller coaster.
The following week we met with an oncologist at a Cancer Center here in Tucson.  He was very patient and answered all of our questions, then we met with the surgeon who is an expert in this field.  He recommended more tests followed by chemo.   We did go to another doctor for a second opinion and returned to the center to start the treatments. I asked for the prognosis if Daniel wasn't treated. We were told 3-6 months. One of the medical staff felt that Daniel would not be a candidate for surgery based on the size of his tumor, however if he responded to the chemo and  if the tumor shrank and had not spread, then maybe we would see the surgeon again.
The  Chemo treatments started, which I personally dreaded based on what I have read about side effects.  (I do have to tell you that all during this time, from the very beginning when we heard the news, I have asked family and friends for their prayers for healing or for strength in this battle. I am not writing this to preach about my beliefs, just to share our experience with fighting Cancer, but my belief in God and prayer is major for us to persevere.   It was before this battle and that will never change.)
After the first chemo treatment we waited for the side effects, the medical staff told us what to expect, hair loss, fatigue, loss of appetite. Daniel had his fist chemo on April 17th and  three months has passed.  He finished his fourth round yesterday.  To-date his hair has thinned though not much at all. His appetite has increased and he is fatigued only the day after the treatment.
Two weeks ago he had a PET/CT SCAN and we met with the surgeon (time of elation!!) the chemo is working.  The tumor has shrunk and the cancer has not spread throughout his body.  We thought great maybe they will only have to remove part of his stomach.  The surgeon told us however, that the whole stomach will be removed and then introduced us to a Pancreatic surgeon who will assist in the operation removing the stomach, the spleen and possibly  part of the pancreas because the tumor was resting against these organs. The esophagus will be attached to the lower intestine and eventually after some recovery time has passed, he will eat very small meals, no more feasting or second helpings for Daniel. This will be a change in our life style for sure, but we are grateful for every day we are given. That alone is a miracle.
This is where we are now.  Surgery is scheduled for August 21st.  Daniel is more than ready for it and  wants to get on with life.
Thank you to our family and friends all your prayers and sending good thoughts our way.  How blessed we are having you in our life.
I was going to keep this as a private blog, but Daniel felt we should share our experience with those who have subscribed to this blog when it began a few years ago.  Some of the information you read on the net about the battle with cancer is so disheartening and you may feel alone in this fight.  Well you are not.  We are here "in the desert on a horse with no name"fighting the same battle." Our prayers include you so "Cowboy Up!" and appreciate each day we are given.
Now that I have updated you I promise future postings will be much shorter.

1 comment:

Alica Atkins said...

My husband Rick is a cancer survivor. His prostate cancer is inoperable and the treatments caused heart damage so he had open heart surgery. He was a survival rate of 7 years if the cancer wasn't controlled but we are very hopeful now since he is doing so well. We will be there at Christmas time and I would love to get together for coffee or a drink so you can meet Rick.