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Living with Cancer

Posted by Mimspicker on Wednesday, April 2, 2008

April 2, 2008

It was a year ago today…

When the Doctor came in and told me I had cancer. I was devastated to say the least. I was then told I had an appointment with an Oncologist the following day…

And then the journey began. Part of my "adventure" can be read in my blogs on my BHO homepage. This is to expand on the blogs and relay what it has been like living with cancer for the past year.

April 2, 2007 is the day I will never forget. For a couple of months prior I had had some trouble with swallowing. My primary Doctor suggested some over-the-counter medication to see if that would take care of the problem. It didn’t and my troubles became worse. It was getting to be a struggle eating almost any meal. Back to the Doctor. He ordered an upper G.I. I remember that Friday because we had tickets to see Rhonda Vincent that evening. I had just spent an evening visiting with Dick Brown earlier in the week on his visit to Central Florida. Little did I know what I was about to find out!

After the upper G.I., I was referred to a G.I Specialist. An appointment was made and I saw him on the following Wednesday. Friday, I was in the hospital for an endoscopy and a biopsy. The Doctor scheduled me for another endoscopy for the following Monday, April 2nd. That’s when he delivered the news. I had Esophageal Cancer. There was a 9cm tumor growing in my esophagus.

The next afternoon I had my first visit with the oncologist, my cancer Doctor. He has been great throughout this whole process. He gave us some hope and reassurances. He was there to help me beat this disease. But first more tests. We needed CT scans, PET Scans, Bone Scans, and an Endoscopic Ultrasound. He also set me up an appointment with the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida for further diagnosis. Moffitt is one of the leading cancer centers in the United States. They ordered a couple more tests including a colonoscopy. They wanted a complete picture of my entire gastrointestinal system to see how far the cancer had spread and to see if I was a candidate for surgery to remove the tumor.

It seemed like forever, tests, tests, tests…doctor visit after doctor visit. The Doctors were finally ready to make their recommended treatment plan. Surgery, by now, was off the table. Tests had indicated that the cancer had metastasized on the bone. By now it was the middle of May and I was ready to get started. Enough testing, I had this thing growing in me and I wanted to start treatment now! The Doctor agreed. I was sent to a Radiation Oncologist to get set up for radiation and back to my regular oncologist for chemotherapy. The next eight weeks was going to be the roughest eight weeks of my life. My treatments started with a full day of chemo, followed by a bag of chemo, that I wore 24/7 for the entire week, every week during the treatment. Radiation started five days a week and was scheduled for eight weeks. Another full day of chemo was scheduled for week four of the treatment.

During this eight weeks, I remained sick, sick, sick. The treatments added together with not being able to swallow, caused me to loose weight rapidly. Towards the end of treatment all my Doctors wanted me to get a feeding tube. My G.I Doctor was performing endoscopies on me one to two times a week just so I could eat. Then just like that treatments ended. I needed some time for healing and in a couple of months they would run a full series of tests again to see how much of the cancer was left.

God knew what I needed before I did.

Surprising?…No. Towards the end of 2006, I had decided to close down my solo practice of law. I had an offer to go to work with a friend from law school. I accepted the offer, but soon realized that it was more of the same from what I was leaving. About day three I was on the phone



10 comments on “Living with Cancer”

Jammer Says:
Wednesday, April 2, 2008 @8:08:41 PM

Bill, there are so many thousands of members on this site that I failed to realize your blogs about your health- I'm sorry for that. But now that I have read up on your crunch, I feel your a very strong man. You keep your faith and are no quitter. This is the same traits I often see in my mother. These are positive traits that I often see in winners. Losers would of gave up....

I think your going to be fine for a long time. I will pray for you as well, but it sounds like you already have a lot of people doing that for you as it is. I often pray for my friends and brothers/sister friends of both online and ones I know in person. Your all friends to me, and just like my family, I believe in praying for those that need it- especially those that ask for it.

God Bless.

Terry

PaulKirby Says:
Thursday, April 3, 2008 @12:48:42 AM

Hey Bill, thanks for that post. You are really an inspiration. Strength and peace to you, my friend.

PruchaLegend Says:
Thursday, April 3, 2008 @1:36:43 AM

Bill, I second what Paul said. I admire your determination to defeat this malady. Sounds to me like you are winning the fight. Keep on fighting because we need all the banjo players we can get.

Debbielee Says:
Thursday, April 3, 2008 @6:13:02 AM

Bill, Thank you so much for sharing your story.  I'm going to keep you and your family in my prayers. It has got to have been a rough year for you, with many ups and downs.  I can tell you are the kind of person that is not going to give in to this thing.  Keep us posted.  The power of your spirit is such a healing force.   

frailin Says:
Thursday, April 3, 2008 @8:35:31 AM

Your faith is amazing, Bill.  I'm sure God is very proud of you!

I'd like to think that being able to face any fear due to faith in God is success.  Based on that criteria, you have far succeeded in life.  You're now a legacy. 

Thanks for writing and sharing your journey.  It's an inspiration.

Craig

GSCarson Says:
Thursday, April 3, 2008 @11:25:42 AM

Bill, Thanks for sharing your journey and your faith. Its encouraging and inspiring.  I agree with everything Craig said as well.

blamethebanjo Says:
Monday, April 14, 2008 @8:21:24 AM

BILL, YOU ARE AN INSPIRATION TO ME MY FRIEND.

Darrell.

wrentree Says:
Friday, April 18, 2008 @8:19:26 PM

I am so glad that you are fighting to beat all this cancer. If prayer can help, you must be a well supported man. I hope when I come back down to Fla. I get a chance to meet you in person. Best to you, Bill. Harold

KevinP Says:
Monday, April 21, 2008 @2:01:34 AM

You're in my thoughts and prayers Bill, hang in there.

Couchie Says:
Monday, April 21, 2008 @6:05:13 PM

Bill,

I remember when you first let us know what you were going through a tough time.  I had you in my prayers then and I have you in my prayers now. 

I admire your courage and your straight forward personality. 

Hang in there buddy, we're here for you.

 

Don.

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