|Paul managed a smile even with the NG tube down his throat!|
This picture was taken not long after surgery...
Paul had an endoscopy on Monday, November 21, 2011. The doctor met with us after to discuss his findings. He told us that Paul had an ulcer with inflammation and a little nodule by it. They were doing biopsies to see if the H. Pylori bacteria was present again (he'd been treated for the bacteria about three years ago that had caused two ulcers). He also told us that he had stretched his esophagus. He didn't seem overly concerned or anything. So we didn't think much of it.
We received a phone call on November 28th at 5:00 p.m. The P.A. was calling to talk to Paul. He told Paul that he hated to tell him the bad news over the phone, but his biopsy had revealed he had adenocarcinoma in his stomach (stomach cancer). They had already set up appointments for an endoscopy with ultrasound, an oncologist, and a surgeon. He had already been scheduled for a CT the next day, because his doctor had wanted to make sure his blood pressure meds were not causing pancreatitis.
Paul had his CT on November 29th, and then we went to LDS Hospital on December 1st, for his internal ultrasound (via endoscopy). We received some good news at this appointment. The doctor told us that the CT scan looked good (no spreading of cancer) and that the ultrasound revealed the same thing. He said the cancer was in his muscle layer, but it had not spread to lymph nodes. He staged his cancer as T2N0 which is stage 1b cancer.
We went to the oncologist on December 6th. He told us he wanted to do a PET scan just to make sure tthe cancer had not spread. We were then scheduled for the scan on December 8th at 1:00. We had an appointment already scheduled with the surgeon at 10 a.m. on the 8th. He told us to keep our appointment. He said if the PET scan revealed anything different than what the CT scan showed, he would let us know, and that we might have to do chemo and radiation before surgery. He told us he could operate the following week on Monday or Wednesday. We chose Monday. We wanted this nasty disease gone ASAP!
On Monday, December 12, 2011, exactly two weeks after we found out Paul had stomach cancer, he had a gastrectomy (complete stomach removal). The surgery lasted for five long hours! He did well during the surgery. The best news that came from the surgery was that the cancer margin came back clean. The doctor said they were concerned because the cancer was located close to his esophagus. He said that we were very fortunate because if it had been in the esophagus they would have had to leave it and hope that the chemo and radiation would get it. We also found out just before the surgery the PET scan had revealed the same thing as the CT scan. The cancer had not spread. Only the stomach was involved! We will still have to do chemo and radiation in about 4 - 6 weeks. But now we know that we have a fighting chance!!!
|Paul still smiling even though he has been through so much! Love that man!|