Fortunately, Paul's blood work looked good yesterday so they were able to do his endoscopy today. The doctor discovered a stricture where his esophagus and small intestines were attached. They were able to dilate his esophagus which should help him be able to eat better. He will have to have this procedure done again in a few weeks because they weren't able to dilate it as large as it needs to be (they didn't want to tear anything). They wanted to do this procedure again in 2 weeks, but because of chemo, we will have to wait a little longer. Paul starts chemo again on Feb. 27th.
The doctor was shocked that Paul had been able to get any type of food through his esophagus because the stricture had created an extremely tiny opening... He said that the reason he was "gacking" most things back up was because the esophagus was too small to allow anything to pass. I guess that explains why Paul even started to "gack" on smoothies...things were just dripping through slowly. The doctor also said the reason Paul was having so many problems with golf-size spit balls forming was because the body was producing more saliva to help with this problem (food not getting through). But, it actually was causing more problems because there was nowhere for the spit to go...so it was just sitting there forming big blobs!
Ironically, the doctor told us what everyone has been saying...Paul needs to gain weight. He told us to try and get 4000 calories a day...Yeah, right! We have been lucky to get 1300 to 1500 calories a day the last couple of weeks. I would be happy if we could 2500 calories a day... He now weighs 169 lbs. At 6' 3" that is a tad bit underweight! He is looking very thin. We are hoping that it will be a bit easier now to get food in him. I have also figured out another way to get more calories in his smoothies, so hopefully that will help!
The doctor also told us there were no signs of cancer in his esophagus. They did biopsies just to make sure, but it looked good from what they could tell. The doctor that did his endoscopy today is the same doctor who discovered his cancer. He told Paul, that God had definitely had a hand in them finding Paul's cancer when they did. Often times, Paul's type of cancer is not discovered through endoscopy and rarely is it discovered before it has metastasized. We do feel very blessed that it was discovered before it had progressed further. At this point there are no signs of cancer, but they need to do the chemotherapy because this type of cancer has a very high recurrence rate.
We are feeling optimistic that today's procedure will help Paul! I guess time will tell...