August 19th, 2014
My husband passed away after a short illness with cancer. As it turns out it was actually a 2 - 2.5 year battle that he was unaware of, monitoring of a medical condition may have saved his life, before it turned into cancer, but that is another story. He became symptomatic in October of last year, went to the doctor a couple of weeks later, who ordered a test for him. The test was scheduled for March 19, almost 5 months after his visit to the doctor.
He didn't make it to the test, instead landing in emergency on March 1, and being admitted, 2 days later diagnosed with adeno carcinoma esophageal cancer at that time thought to be stage 3. That was soon changed to stage 4 metastatic cancer. He chose to have radiation and chemotherapy in the hopes of slowing down the progression, he died 3 days after his last treatment of a spontaneous GI bleed. What the doctors tell me is that the tumor was large and most likely had grown into the artery and burst it, or the radiation shrunk the tumor and in doing so it unplugged from the artery therefore opening the dam. Either way, he died.
If he had gotten the test within days or weeks of it being ordered rather than months, the cancer may not have had an opportunity to grow so large and he may still be here with me and our teenagers. One thing has stuck with me is that on a follow up with his GP after he was released from the hospital in march we commented on how much time between ordering the test and the actual appointment time was, the GP replied that the medical system is very slow initially, but once you have a diagnosis then things move quickly. Sadly, it seems that they are trying to do catch up, but for him moving quickly after diagnosis wasn't good enough, did that 5 months give the cancer time to grow into the artery? Did it give the cancer enough time to metastasize into stage 4, therefore giving him a death sentence? I will never know, and he will never see his children finish growing up, or meet his future grandchildren.