Sometimes doing research is a bad idea…

September 20, 2006

Well, I realized I haven’t posted much lately. Mainly because there’s not much to post about. I’m feeling better, eat with my same ol’ appetite, gaining weight back (which isn’t that great), that sort of thing. I’ve done experiments and can get food to “stick”, but I’m really going out of my way to do so.

Some foods still turn my stomach (fried ones, mainly) and I’ve lost some of my sweet tooth (desert is okay, but no longer amazing). I can resist peanut butter now, and avacado seems green and mushy with an odd taste. Then again, many people feel that way about avacado.

I guess I’ve been reluctant to post because I did some research on the possible surgery I might have. First, the surgery is nasty, and has all sorts of risks (maybe that’s what google hits return, a bunch of papers outlining all the risks). The other bad news is that it’s hard not to read about the general mortality rates of adenocarcinoma in the esophagus. It’s fairly depressing, with most of the older conventional wisdom saying it’s about a 20% survival rate within 5 years. That’s not great. I wanted to link to something about the surgery for the blog, but don’t want to link to these research articles — I need to stay positive, that I’m in that 20% because of age and relative overall health (and the fact that Cal isn’t likely to go to the Rose Bowl this year).

With Governor Ann Richards passing recently due to esophageal cancer (she was 73), there’s some more up to date articles that are a bit more optimistic. I found a bunch of stuff which should provide some interesting reading; this article shows the survial rates with my exact treatment to be quite a bit higher (35% over 5 years cancer free). Heck, a .350 hitter is a superstar, while a .200 hitter goes to the minors.

I also found this cancer blog pretty interesting, and even about.com has a “if you have these symptoms” checklist for adenocarcinoma (it’s generally the readers digest version, the diet coke of information, but if you have the symptoms listed here, see your doctor).

So, here on the eve of me getting scanned, I’ve found some better news. I meet with my hero, Dr Cecchi, on Monday, September 25 to discuss the results. Stay tuned…

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One Response to “Sometimes doing research is a bad idea…”

  1. Brian said

    Hey Dave,
    Ignore those statistics and get focused on kicking the shit out of this cancer. For you it’s 100%, 100%, 100%! That’s the mantra. For one thing, the statistics, by definition, are historical and the science and treatments are moving extremely rapidly in this field. A friend of mine was recently at a conference where Lance Armstrong hosted a panel of leading cancer researchers. One of the doctors made a pretty bold statment. He pointed out that just 10 years ago the average 5 year survival rate across all cancers was just 30%, today it is 60%! He went on to say that he personally believed that with the research, treatments, and drugs currently in the pipeline within 10 years the survival rate will be 100%. Cancer will simply become a maneageable disease. Another thing to keep in mind is that the statistics are across all age groups and the majority of people who get cancer are older (like Anne Richards). As we age our immune system’s ability to help fight the cancer deteriorates. You’re young and generally have been as healthy as a horse all of the time I have known you, so your immune system’s ability to complement the treatment you are receiving will be top notch. So no slacking off, get pissed at these rogue cells and kick them out of your body!
    -Brian

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