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