Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday February 18

This past Monday I had round 3 of Chemotherapy.  It really "kicked my butt" (please excuse the expression)!  In addition to the Chemo, I had a severe diarrhea problem going on.  Finally, got that all resolved on Wednesday.  The Chemo this time made me very nauseated with vomiting and I had to go into to Doctor office everyday this week to get I.V. nausea meds, fluids, magnesium and whatever else they could think of.  The nurses there hounded me by phone until I came in each day and got treated.  They were concerned I would end up in the hospital.  Got one point of good news this week, a blood test which determines the "tumor tracer" was originally "273" in December.  My blood test of this criteria last week showed it had dropped to "107" which is more than double with chemotherapy.  The nurse said this is good news and and encouraging.

Today, feeling fairly decent and able to eat.  I have about 50% energy level.  No major nausea or vomiting.

Heidi and I went to Cleveland Clinic today and spent most of the day.  Akron General Medical Center said they were unable to to do my radiation treatments safely and they recommended me to the Cleveland Clinic and set up appointment for me.  The Radiation Onconlogist said that my radiation treatment is a little more difficult because of the size of the field but said they can definetly do my treatment.  They stated they would exceed some limits that others would not go to treat the cancer.  They said, we really don't have much choice if we are going to cure you.  The Clinic doctors made it very clear that Chemotherapy alone would never cure my cancer.  They also said that surgery alone could not cure my cancer.  They said that it would require Chemotherapy, Radiation and possibly surgery to cure my cancer.  They said this process would take up to a year.  They also said it might require return trips afterwards to to do radiation treatments from inside my esophagus.  The staff at the Cleveland Clinic were all extremely friendly, knowledgeable and through.  Heidi and I have made a decision to switch our treatment regiment to the Cleveland Clinic with a "team concept" there.  This means, I would have a new Oncologist, new Radiation Oncologist and possibly a new surgeon.  At this time, they are scheduling me for a new round of PET Scans, CT Scans, etc that they will develop my radiation model from.  This should get done next week.  Also, the same day I will meet with new Oncologist there.  They typically do the chemotherapy as a "in patient" treatment for approx. 3 days.  Also, the radiation would be done Monday - Friday everyday for 6 weeks or longer.  This means driving to the Clinic everyday.  We are shooting to start radiation on approx. March 7.  I should know more after next week.   



  1. Don,

    Thanks for sharing your update. From the sound of it, I am glad for God's words that he can "turn a king's heart wherever he wishes." (Prov. 21:1) The radiologist's hesitancy took you to what sounds like a better regimen of treatment. This is an answer to prayer!

    Hope to see you tomorrow if you are feeling up to it.

    God's grace extends further than anything we might face... (I know, easy for me to say)... so our prayer is that God's grace & peace would abound in ways that would remind you of His absolute love for you.

  2. Oh, Don. What a tough time for you and Heidi.

    I'm so glad that the Clev Clinic team will be able to give you radiation. AND I'm thanking God that the Clinic is within driving distance for you.

    I've told Heidi, but also I want you to know that I'd love to be able to help out. Just shoot me an e-mail (or message me on FB) when you think of a way I can help.

    Much Love,