Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Diagnosis: Cancer

Back in November my dad was diagnosed with cancer. We heard the dread word for what it was and chose to willfully defy the death sentence we feared it could be. It's all you can do right? The diagnosis was esophageal cancer which is extremely aggressive in nature. The doctors seemed to think that there was a course of action would save dad's life and allow him to live an almost completely normal life.

Dad's Treatment for Esophageal Cancer

 

The recommended treatment was to surgically remove the effected section of the esophagus and rejoin the remaining section with the stomach. It's an extremely invasive procedure but when faced with a life or death situation dad chose to fight the cancer and accept the surgical option. The doctors referred him to previous patients who were willing to discuss their treatments and found a great deal of encouragement there. As a family we all spent considerable time searching the internet for cures and prognosis information (which I really don't recommend) and my brother found research that stated there was an improved chance of success with chemotherapy and surgery rather than the surgery by itself.  So chemo and radiation were added to the mix.

The treatment was extremely intimidating but what choice was there? Dad went though the first few weeks of chemo and radiation without too much trouble but the last two weeks were awful. Nausea and weakness were a constant battle. After radiation and chemo he needed time for his body to recover before the surgery. He felt weak and had trouble eating. Everything tasted different, even his favorite foods. It took him a couple extra weeks to recover but finally the doctor deemed him well enough to undergo the surgery.

In April dad went in for surgery to remove two thirds of his esophagus.


*This post is not a recommendation of any type of treatment. This is simply an accounting of my father's experiences with esophageal cancer and his subsequent treatments.

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