In my last post I mentioned it was wise to have an endoscopy and CAT scan to look at the tumor site and see it’s reality since I finished chemo-radiation January 2015, and started our naturopathic treatments.
The reminder by my Oncologist of statistics (70-80% don’t make it beyond 5 years with my type of cancer) sobered me and discouraged me. Then I had the thought, “If the stats are 70-80%, that means 20-30% do make it!” (see my last blog post)
Is the glass half full or half empty? I decided to look at these stats as a glass half full. Why couldn’t I be one of the 20-30 percenters instead of the 70-80 percenters?
However, no matter which way we look at something, the facts speak for themselves.
So on Monday this week (June 13) I headed for the table to have the endoscopy. I told the Doc before the procedure, “I hope you’re documenting a miracle.” He replied, “I hope so too. Let’s see.”
In the recovery room afterwards he returned with pictures and the news was grim. He basically told us the tumor had shrunk in size from 40% to 25%, but it was cancerous. This meant the cancer had returned, or had never been totally eradicated.
You can imagine our chagrin, disappointment and discouragement. I knew the path forward would be the horrible operation — the removal of my esophagus and resection of my stomach to fill the void. And if the cancer had spread, it would probably mean some heavy chemo as well.
As we left and processed this news, Sheri and I could picture the path ahead: multitudinous doctor visits, cancer center infusions, surgery rooms, waiting rooms, forms to fill out, critical decisions to make, processing of information, pain accompanied by good medical care, etc.
In other words, because of the upcoming surgery and chemo, we were looking at a worse year than we had between Oct 2014 and January 2015 when I had my chemo-radiation for the esophageal tumor the first time.
Our outside chance was that the doctor was wrong. He made the observation through his scope and pictures. But the pathology still had to be done.
So we eagerly awaited the pathology results from the biopsies the doctor took. He called me late Wednesday afternoon with the results.
To my shock and amazement he said, “We did a number of biopsies and pathological tests, and we can’t find cancer! The cells are dysplasia cells, a pre-cancerous condition.” I couldn’t tell if he was in shock as well.
So, in fact, the Doc did document a miracle!
The normal track for cell abnormality is from normal cell structure to hyperplasia to dysplasia to cancer. I’m going in the opposite direction from cancer to dysplasia, and hopefully to hyperplasia to normal!
The National Cancer Institute Dictionary of Cancer Terms says, “Dysplasia = cells that look abnormal under a microscope, but are not cancer. Hyperplasia, or dysplasia may or may not become cancer.”
You can imagine our relief. Life opened up again with hope and excitement. And we are praising Jehovah Raphe — Our God, the Healer!
Next Wednesday (June 22) I have my first CAT Scan since the end of my chemo-radiation. I anticipate this will also document no other cancer in my body. Please pray we’ll see another miracle with this. I’ll write again after those results.
And with us, please praise and exalt Jehovah Raphe, our Healer — our wonderful Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the Triune God!
Thanks so much for your interest in our lives and journeying with us on this path of faith.