Almost Through the Cancer Diagnostic Phase

 We sense your support along with others as we walk through this latest cancer set-back. Since last writing, we’ve processed a lot and have reached a good spiritual, emotional, and practical place in our lives.

Since the cancer is still encased in a small nodule in my throat, two curative options exist for me – surgery again or radiation. All other treatments (chemo, natural, immunotherapy, etc.) are control oriented with the intent to extend a cancer patient’s life.

So this week I talked with my doctors to gain information and wisdom to determine a solid treatment path forward and perhaps still eliminate this cancer from my body. (Isn’t that what anyone would wish for!)

Here are the results of those consultations:

  • After Dr. Oelschlager, my esophagectomy surgeon, saw the endoscopic and PET scan results, He felt a second operation would be more lengthy, extensive, and 10x more risky for me than my first one. After hearing this, it didn’t take me long to say, ‘Forget it!” (I think it was about 2 seconds!) So a surgery option to remove the encased  cancer nodule is a definite ‘NO.’
  • Today I talked with Dr. Chang, my radiologist in Bend. She was optimistic that radiation could be curative if all the cells could be killed in the treatment – which is the intent. And the positive in my situation is the small size of the tumor.

Now to decide: Which type of radiation to have – either traditional radiation or proton radiation?

Proton treatment is much more targeted toward the tumor and doesn’t have the side effects of traditional radiation.  But there are only a few cancer centers in the country with these proton machines. This is the option I would prefer, if it’s possible.

  • So today I also put in a call to M.D. Anderson Proton Center in Houston, Texas and to the Cancer Alliance in Seattle, two excellent institutions using these machines. My medical paperwork is on the way to them. Once studied, a decision will be made whether this direction is best for me or not.

I’ll let you know what’s decided in the next week or two once we’ve gone through this final process and made that decision.

In the meantime, thanks for praying for us – peace, wisdom, treatment type, minimal cancer growth as we wait, cure, etc. etc.

Wishing you the best in 2019!

Dave and Sheri

3 thoughts on “Almost Through the Cancer Diagnostic Phase

  1. Dave, am praying. Interesting thought today: The Lord went through huge sacrifice to give us today to live to His glory. I guess my little sacrifices are nothing in comparison. So may His will be done in and through me today as I love others by sacrificing for their success. Dave, you and Sheri have sacrificed much for us all and helped us see Christ’s sacrifice through your love. May His love still shine as you go through these decisions and procedures – and no radiation can ever burn that out of you!! You already ‘glow in the dark’ with His Love.

  2. I would like to know more about Dr. Oelschlager’s assessment. Why does removing this new nodule make a second surgery so much more risky than the initial esophagectomy ? It would seem the esophagectomy surgery would have been a much larger and more complicated surgery than removing a nodule from your throat. Does it have anything to do with the esophagectomy being a standardized and practiced procedure, where as this specific throat surgery would be more of a one time type procedure – just wondering.

    In any case – if the proton radiation approach is the most sensible and practical, with the best prediction of success – then, certainly that does seem the way to go.

    Either way, I will thinking about you and will be praying for your recovery.

  3. Dave,
    Roland and I are happy to hear that this proton radiation is a possible option for you. We know you are healthy otherwise, and this sounds like a good plan.
    Keeping you both in our prayers. All the best,
    Linda & Roland

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