Larry is my husband of 6 years, we have been together for 13. We share 6 grown children and 14 grandchildren, ranging from 22 mos to 14 yrs old. We refer them as "our little people". They are our life.
Ever since I have known Larry he has complained of heartburn. I have suggested to him repeatedly to have this checked out. He said he was diagnosed with a duodenal ulcer years before and that he just had to watch what he ate. He is the type of man that avoids Doctor's and doesn't follow their directions anyways. I always mentioned my concern regarding his ulcer during visits and because he minimized it, the Dr always did as well.
Two weeks ago he told me he was having trouble swallowing. I have noticed as well as family members that he has been extremely tired this past year or so, and have seen a rapid decline in his general health and hoarse voice. I made an appointment with a new primary care the next day. this was Sept.7th.Thank God for her! She was immediately concerned, told him right up front that she thought that in the least he had Barret's, and started tests that day. Blood work, EKG, chest xray, and scheduled EGD and colonoscopy for Sept 27th with Gastro. xray showed density in lung. She ordered us to cat scan on the 13th. ct showed it was the esophagus shadowing lung, so she moved scopes up to the 17th. During his scope they took 40 biopsies from esophagus, 3 from stomach, and 1 from colon. 36 from esophagus came back as invasive adenocarcinoma. Stomach and colon were benign. Haital Hernia with 2" protrusion of stomach into esophagus. Gastro said she saw no evidence of ever having ulcer, it was the hernia. Mass is in the wall of esophagus.
Fortunately for us we live in MI about 50 miles from U of M, which does have an Esophageal Cancer Treatment Center. They have suggested we start at our local hospital while Larry continues to have testing to meet their criteria. Our insurance will only cover 50% of testing at U of M so our Drs here are ordering tests at our hospital and are in constant contact with U of M. They have all been wonderful. His biopsy says grade 3. His ct shows 3 lymph nodes that show progression, but not enlarged. Tomorrow we see the local Oncologist, who is general is highly regarded. U of M has said to allow him to get started. Thursday he will have the endoscopic ultrasound for the staging. This week they will schedule a barium swallow and a full body pet scan, then all the testing required for U of M will be done. U of M will schedule appointment with Medical and Radiological Oncology as soon as they have scope results, but he has to meet criteria to see Dr Orringer, who is world renowned Thoracic Surgeon there.
Thank you for such a wonderful welcome.