During the initial phase of testing in 2010, the doctor who performed the endoscope tried to prepare us for what he suspected. "I don't like the looks of this", he said; "You probably had this for years and never knew it". Later testing confirmed Stage IVb esophageal adenocarcinoma.
Really? Not know having Barrett's and a cancerous tumor? We tried to think back to signs we missed. The usual culprit, acid reflux, was only a sporadic visitor.
Having to find some paperwork last night, I stumbled upon a C/T scan from 2005 and re-read the report. "Small hiatal hernia present." Bingo.
If only we knew then what we know now. That C/T scan was for another issue altogether, but there in front of me showed the beginnings of what surely was his cancerous tumor.
I know there's really nothing to be done at this stage of the game, but I can't help thinking: "What if?"