Hi Friends... Please pardon my absence here at my lil old blog these last few days. I've had a lot on my mind. One year ago today my husband Eric was diagnosed with cancer. Whew I said it. It's hard saying those words still and even writing them. At times I cannot believe what a year it has been and I am in awe of Eric for what he has endured. Cancer is no picnic folks, it sucks as well as sucks the life out of you, literally. So, today I am grateful for my husband, my little boys and each day we have to share together. I am looking forward to the future and trying with all my will to not always look to the past. It's much easier said than done, trust me. As I was looking for a picture to share with you all I stumbled upon pictures of Eric from when we first realized something was really wrong with him, to the day of his surgery. Here is the timeline.. It might seem long but it wasn't.
Tuesday, February 16th - Eric to the ER as he was no longer able to hold down food and was only able to eat liquids and his vomiting had become severe and very painful. The ER doctor was amazing. He called a local gastroenterologist and informed him about Eric and asked that he see him first thing the next day.
Wednesday, February 17th - We meet the wonderful Dr. R who ordered an immediate group of tests, endoscopy/colonoscopy.
Thursday, February 18th - Eric has his procedures started but under conscious sedation. He ended up being a danger to himself and the doctor so they could not complete the exam. Another appointment was scheduled where he could be heavily sedated. We both found this rather funny....
Friday, February 19th - Eric now under complete sedation, Dr. R is able to perform the said procedures at our local hospital.
Monday, February 22nd - Eric's local oncologist (Dr. J) who we have yet to meet has him have a CT scan at our local hospital.
Monday, February 22nd - Eric's gastroenterologist (Dr. R) calls our home number at about 5 pm and tells me over the phone his findings from the endoscopy that he found a cancerous mass in the first part of the small intestine the duodedum. After I speak with Dr. R I go to Eric's office at our home and tell him he has cancer.
Tuesday, February 23rd - We meet with Dr. R and go over the results and he suggests that we go out of the area to find an oncologist who can perform the surgery that he thinks will be necessary. He then works with Dr. J who finds Dr. N.
Tuesday, February 23rd - We get the call from Dr. N that they'd like Eric to come to San Francisco the next day to meet Dr. N a surgical oncologist who specializes in Eric's very rare cancer.
Wednesday, February 24th - We head out to UCSF, Heller Diller Cancer Center to meet the much esteemed Dr. N. We meet Dr. N and after reviewing Eric's slides he is concerned that Eric could go into cardiac arrest since his mass is blocking so much of his intestine. By this day, Eric could no longer keep water down. He wanted Eric to go to surgery right then and check himself in. Eric asked if we could go home and spend a few hours with our boys. He gave us the green light of about 12 hours, so we headed home, talked with the boys who were confused and sad like any 2 and 3 year old would be. The we packed up everything we would need for a few weeks at the hospital.
Thursday, February 25th - Eric and I head into San Francisco for his surgery to remove his cancer.
Thursday, February 25th - late afternoon, after a 6 plus hour surgery Eric is wheeled into his room. Eric's surgery was a success. Dr. N removed his cancerous mass, 12 inches of his small intestine and 9 lymph nodes where the cancer had spread.
Eric's recovery was really hard on him and us actually but in the end we powered on and are stronger for it. Towards the end of March we met with two oncologists Dr. C from UCSF and Dr. F from Stanford to get the course of treatment they believed that Eric should follow now that he was finished with his surgery.
They both agreed that Folfox (leucovorin, fluorouracil, oxaliplatin) would be his chemotherapy drugs and he would receive 12 cycles over 6 months. During his chemotherapy, Eric had to visit the ER several times from side effects of the chemotherapy, the scariest being a pulmonary embolism.
In October Eric finished his chemotherapy and he has been slowly getting back to normal. Although he has some challenges still, his fingers and toes are numb from the neuropathy from his chemotherapy as well as a few other things. For the next four years Eric will continue to be monitored by his doctors every few months through blood work, CT scans and a other various tests. That being said his cancer journey is just that, a journey.
I know, it's a lot of information but I felt compelled to share it today, whoops I am past midnight now.
On a side note, the above picture was taken of Eric and I on our last trip to Donegal, Ireland. It is a beautiful county and country and we were so taken with the beauty as well as the people. This year I am going to post a bit on our travels as Eric had I have really seen the world these last few years and we hope in the coming years to see even more of it.
Thanks for being so great everyone out there reading my lil old blog. I know this is a heavy post and get it if you don't want to know all this stuff but I needed to share this post today. I hope to not have much to say about it in the future as Eric continues to remain cancer free. Although I do plan on posting about people and their families who are growing through cancer and blog about it. It's always good to raise awareness because we can all forget other's realities if we aren't faced with them.
So go and hug your babies, your hubbie or your boyfriend, whoever and remember to be enjoy each new day.
Lots of love.....