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Results of Endoscopic ultrasound are in...

Posts: 120
Joined: Jun 2012

And unfortunately it was not what we wanted to hear. Dave has stage III either esophageal or gastric cancer; we won't know for sure until the biopsy is back. It does involve 2 lymph nodes. It's at the juncture of the esophagus and stomach. While this is certainly grim, it could be worse, at least it is treatable. Had a great gastro guy this morning who told us that while we were going to have a rough road, he felt that it was definitely operable after a course of radiation and chemo. The tumor is roughly 2 to 2.5 cm. He has recommended a great surgeon right here in the Baltimore area, a Dr. Richard Heitmiller, who used to be a Hopkins guy and was lured to Union Memorial. I noticed on a quick look that he was in the top 1% of docs for his specialty by US News & World Report. He comes highly recommended. We will avail ourselves to a second opinion, though.

We have an interesting side note in that the gastro guy who did Dave's first endoscopy on April 27th, then had him come back for a repeat on June 1st, seems to have fumbled the ball. We aren't quite sure how he could have missed a 2 cm tumor! And why he had him wait 5 weeks if something was suspicious, and THEN still say on June 1st the findings were still consistent with gastritis. We are not litigious people, but if there was negligence on the part of this initial guy we are going to follow up on it. The specialist this morning was totally misled, thought he was going to be looking at an early stage lesion. So obviously the "fragment" that I spoke of initially was grossly identified!

So now we begin our journey. Dave and I are comforted by the fact that there are so many people doing well here on this forum. I know that I will visit often to update and just get some moral support. As I mentioned previously I am a cancer survivor, so know all about chemo, PET scans, radiation, and the emotional toll this will take on him, so hopefully can help him through that.

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Posts: 120
Joined: Jun 2012

Thank you so much, for your insights. We have a lot to digest (no pun intended!). I will look forward to reading and viewing the information you send. Just have to take this one day at a time. Have an onocology appointment set up for Tuesday morning.

captdave's picture
Posts: 168
Joined: Feb 2012

I'm sorry to hear that it wasn't really "fragments" but a tumor. What a difference between the two. You and Dave must have been shocked to hear the news. I cant imagine the disappointment.

William is absolutely right about a second opinion and it's good to hear that you were already looking for one. There is so much information that you can gather from seeing different Doc's and different approaches to treatment and surgical methods that it is very valuable. I know before my surgery I saw four different Doc's with three different treatment/surgical approaches. contrary to what you would think it made deciding on the course of action easier rather then harder. So, if you don't like the second opinion get a third or even a fourth. Knowledge is power. Make sure you and Dave fully understand what he's signing up for and then attack it full tilt. I chose the THE for many reasons and if your interested I'd be happy to explain sometime. I know William is a huge proponent of the MIE which he had. That being said each type of surgery has its place and depending on where the tumor is size etc.. one surgical method may be chosen over the other. Another consideration is duration of surgical procedure the MIE is a much longer procedure and in my opinion places the body under much stress being under anesthesia that long. All things to ask Dave's doc's about. One thing that Dave can do starting today to prepare for surgery is start exercising! If he already exercises pick it up a notch or two. Nothing will help him recover quicker and heal faster then going into surgery in the best physical condition possible. Cardio is of the most importance. Develop the lung capacity and get that engine running at max capacity. I know I was never as motivated to work out as I was in the weeks leading up to my surgery.

Dave will have these Doc's fighting over him. He is young, healthy and a good surgical candidate. He can pick and choose of the very best surgeons out there so pick the very best you can find and know that you will be in my thoughts and prayers.


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