Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Hi folks,

Here's a good link about the esophagectomy surgery that might be in Ken's future. It's a very general overview, but you'll get the picture. Or, go to Google, click on the 'Videos' link, (little blue link at the top left side of the Google main page), and then type in 'Esophagectomy' in the search box. You'll find that there are many videos of esophagus surgeries available. Such a surgery is every bit as complex and risky as open heart surgery. Also, from what I've read, the recovery period is much more complicated and risky, as well. The esophagus sits on top of the spine and below the trachea, so getting to it, and avoiding injury to anything adjacent, is pretty tricky.



Esophageal cancer is such a killer because, by the time symptoms are significant enough to be noticed, and to warrant a doctor's visit, the disease has progressed quite far along, Stage III or Stage IV. As one of Ken's doctors explained it to me, if esophageal cancer is found early enough to be staged as either Stage I or Stage II, it was likely found by accident, while treating some other issue or condition.

Curiously, and without explanation, the incidence of esophageal cancer has been increasing. I honestly wonder, ....why? And, if it's such a killer, with symptoms so insignificant and/or unrecognizable, why aren't early screening protocols in place?

You have all been so kind and concerned. Ken is so lucky to have so many wonderful people in his life. It's really true. Bikers know how to love life. And, they value the lives of their friends. Your friendship, your cards and calls, and your prayers are all showing Ken, everyday, that he is loved.

There are 18 more days of radiation treatments ahead, and then a wait of about two weeks, for the full effects of the radiation to be manifested. After that, they'll check on the size of the tumor and the extent of the other metastases, (if any remains), and see if he's ready for surgery. They might do another round of chemo, too, and then do the surgery. Though this cancer will always be in his body, I would feel much better if the source of the cancer was removed, so I'm currently hoping for the surgery.

With love and gratitude,
(Ken's sister)

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