Thanks William

Dear William, (I've tried to send this a couple of times never seeing this attached to your letter. Wanted to make sure you got this now).

I'm writing to you to say thank you so much for the time and extensive information you sent me. I did reply back to you but I didn't see it posted, so I'm writing again, sorry if you are getting this again. Thank you for being honest with me about my dad's cancer, I guess deep down inside I was hoping he would be the exception to the rule. Some of the info. you sent was hard to take, but I guess I needed a reality check. I did see that someone on the message board at stage IV was a surgery candidate, I realize that is a one in a million shot, (but who knows).
My parents are having a difficult time dealing with my dad's diagnosis, they truly believe he will "beat it." My dad is the type of guy if he knew there was NO cure he would be like why bother, he would lose all hope and drive. This is putting me in a difficult situation, I don't want to take his will away but I want to be honest as well.

How did we get here? This was a surprise to all of us, I guess we were lucky in a sense to catch this (maybe somewhat early). On June 20th my dad was scheduled for a heart procedure (A-Fib). Before the surgery the dr. noticed that his blood count was low (28), but decided to perform the surgery anyway. During the surgery they had a very difficult time getting my dad's heart into rhythm, his heart kept beating too fast and the dr. was forced to stop. Realizing something is wrong, he must be bleeding internally, they kept him over night for test. A CAT scan showed a tumor on his esophagus, later the endiscope proved the tumor with a small spot on his liver, a blood test confirmed the cancer reached his liver. After a week in the hospital he was released, we then decided to take he to Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven. His Dr. is Jill Lacy.

About a month or two before we found out my dad had cancer, he had some symptoms of the cancer (we didn't make the connection then). My parents rented an apartment for over 40 years, they finally decided to build their 1st home, in March the plan for the home was in place. With the stress of building a new home and work related pressures, he went to his GI dr. who gave him med's for "reflux." With everything going on we thought the dr. was about right. My dad also had some other symptoms, he had the hiccup (which you mentioned you had as well), difficulty eating/swallowing, loss of appetite, lack of energy, etc. ... June 13th my parents closed on their home, we thought things would get better, but as you read above June 20th came and changed our plans.

My dad's chemo treatments have had highs and lows. My dad finished his third treatment Tues., usually Fri.-Sun are his worse days after the chemo. On those days it is the taste and smell of metal that makes it difficult for him to eat, the chemo has also drained him of energy on those days, especially with the first two treatments. My dad has complained about a cramp in his right leg after his second and third treatment, the dr. thinks it is the treatment and him needing extra fluids. My dad goes back for IV fluids about three times after the treatment, this has seemed to help a little bit.

My dad's weight, he usually would weigh about 160-165 tops before his cancer. He was down to about 148 right before his first treatment, then to 140 right before treatment #2. At that point the dr. said anything under 140 he would be given a feeding tube, this scared him a lot. Whether the thought of the feeding tube or the chemo working, or a combo of both before his third treatment he weighed 148. We were pleased to see his appetite increase and the weight gain. From reading your letter I know you believe in the J-Tube and I did tell my mom we should still be considering this as a option, however I'm not sure if we could get dad on board.

The other day my dad was give his blood report, there is a big difference in his tumor marker blood count (I think I'm saying that right). Before his first treatment his number has well over 900 plus, at his third treatment the number went to 197. The dr. was pleased, but did say, it might not mean shrinkage of the tumor. My dad goes for his forth treatment Aug. 23, followed up by a PET Scan Aug. 30, and finally an appt. with Dr. Lacy Sept. 1. He is scheduled for another cycle of chemo starting in early Sept. There is still a lot to be done.

I have read and re-read your letter trying to get as much info. as I can, (Thank You).
William thanks for reaching out to me, I know I'll be leaning on you from time to time. I want and need you to speak freely to me about this cancer, my dad, etc. ...
Even though there maybe times I might not want to hear some of things you or others may have to say, I realize that this is very important for my dad and our family. I would also like to thank you for all the support you have given others on this message board, you have touched the lives of others in a very meaningful way. Your commitment and passion to helping others is greatly appreciated, Thanks!! God Bless you and your family.

Jim Mastriano


  • json_2011
    json_2011 Member Posts: 100
    hey Jim
    Iam sorry if im the one who now i know that stage iv is surley no surgrey option. Listen to William , he has guided me through the first blow of everything with stage iv. He has as you say given alot of time and energy to help others. God bless him and you and your farther. Spend as much time as you can. Now it is time to do all the things you can the small things that will add up . Im going through it with you . Stay in touch .