Thank you for all the encouraging responses to my last couple emails, for your prayers and your very positive and helpful thoughts for us.
Yesterday I met with my Oncologist for PET Scan results. Here’s where I’m at:
- The cancer has become more active over the past 22 months after my chemo-radiation treatments. SUV factors (brightness of PET radiation) shows 3.86 before I started treatment in 2014; 6.25 after chemo-radiation treatments; and 13 SUV now.
- One lymph node adjacent to the esophagus shows up at 2.5 SUV.
- The cancer, while active, is still confined to the esophagus.
- While natural treatments didn’t stop the cancer or kill it, they may have helped confine it for the past months.
- Being out 22 months from treatment (Jan 2015) means I’ve already outlived a good % of people who have the same cancer. Stats are not so clear on percentages and my Doc said the 50-50% I quoted before is not accurate. It’s probably more like 30-40% survive after 5 years from treatment.
Here’s the medical decision I have to make soon — again, any thoughts for me?
Since the cancer is still localized, I could do the surgery (and we all know what that looks like :-)) and be a possible candidate for a cure. Cure is defined as totally eliminating this cancer from the body and extending my life for a number of years cancer-free.
If I don’t go for ‘cure,’ the other track is palliative, which means I work to control the active cancer in the esophagus and body as long as I can with natural and medical means, thus extending my life for a number of years.
With active cancer in my body, I can’t wait too long if I want the surgery option. Once the cancer metastasizes beyond the lymph node into the lymph system (natural progression), I will have reached the point of no return for surgery. Then there is only the palliative path to walk.
This is like a fork in the road — I must commit to the right or the left.
Present Decision: Sheri and I are packed to head to San Diego this morning, and to drive into Mexico on Thursday to begin the alternative treatments for this cancer by Dr. Castillo.
So you could say, my present decision is to ‘kick the surgery can’ down the road — like Congress and the President have done with our national deficit can of 21 trillion dollars!
At some point I’ll have to decide which fork in the road I’ll take and it will be the final decision.
For now, thanks for your prayers for us as we head in this alternative direction of Mexico.
Dr. Castillo wants to (1) stop the cancer from growing (2) prevent further spreading , and (3) reduce the size.
If the Lord blesses this direction, I will have some more years on this earth. And, of course, the hope of heaven awaits. What a glorious future that will be! Looks like a win – win to me!