On Thursday, Heidi and I spent the entire day at the Cleveland Clinic. We had a 9:00 am appt with Dr Cristina Rodriquez my new Oncologist. She explained that this cancer is very rare. It is the 9th likely cancer for a male like me to get. They do not know how to screen for it and that it usually is not detected until it has spread. She wishes me to see their surgeon whom specializes just in Esophageal Cancer surgery, Dr. Thomas Rice. I have appt. with him on March 7. She also ordered an EGD (Scope) with ultrasound to revisit my esophagus and gather more information. The plan is to start radiation treatments on March 7 and be admitted to the Cleveland Clinic at that time for 96 hours to administer Chemotherapy. Using one drug that I have been getting and changing the second drug. I would be admitted on weeks 1 and 4 of the radiation treatment process which will take 6 weeks (28-33 treatments), Monday -Friday daily.
Then we had appt with radiation department which first formed a special bed mattress (vacuum splint) for me to lay in each time I go. This puts my body in exact same position each time. Then they fitted me for this respirator type device that I breath with. The machine will hold my breath as I am treated to keep the organs from moving and try to minimize damage to lungs and heart. They also performed (3) CT scans of the area for their "modeling" of my treatment.
I also had blood work completed in the lab.
Then we had appt for a PET Scan. This is the scan that takes up to 2 hours that detects where the cancer is in your body. They will be able to compare to my original PET scan done in December. I took these scans to them on the first day. We were at the Clinic from 9 am - 4:30 pm. The PET scan was last item of day which i had to fast for, so I was starving!
Friday morning in the snowstorm, I had a 8:00 am appt with a Pension Board Doctor in Akron. I let my house at 6:45 am for what normally was a 15 minute commute and I arrived there at 7:55 am. I-76 was closed due to accidents. The doctor was 1.5 hours late for my appt and arrived at office at 9:30 am. I had to wait because with my schedule I have no idea when I could go again. I spent about 45 minutes with him and explained my illness. He was certainly no expert in the area. He stated he would certify me as disabled but would have to determine a percentage based upon national criteria and send a report to Pension Board within 2 weeks. The Pension Board will then have to determine if job related or not and decide on percentage. I have another Pension Board assessment on March 4 in Beechwood. This is some type of vocational director that will determine what kind of work I can or can't do.
Today, still have that draining headache and extreme fatigue. Can't seem to whip that. Also still have diarrhea which i discussed with Oncologist and she stated will have to live with that. The new chemo drug that I will get will make that worse. I still have to take daily naps of 2-3 hours just to make it through the day. I also can't seem to get warm.
I am so inspired by the number of cards, emails, txt messages, gifts, etc. that I receive each week! It really helps to lift your spirits when someone just tells you that they are thinking of you! Thanks for that. Also, Brock Murphy set up a bank account for me at Home Savings Bank located at 142 N. Water Street Kent Ohio 44240 for anyone who wishes to donate to help us with medical and related expenses. The account is called "Don Beckett, Be Well Account". Brock notice my stress about the out of pocket expenses and thought that this would help me. Some families have already donated as I get a receipt mailed to me for each donation. Thank you for this. These type of medical bills can just financially ruin a family.
Most importantly, please pray for Heidi and myself! Please pray for the physicians wisdom and that the Lord would guide them to the correct treatment regiments. Thank you for this!