Cancer ….me???

by Steven on July 31, 2017

For me, cancer came as a big surprise. I still can’t believe it. Having said this I am slowly accepting it, but working hard to not let it overcome me. My attitude towards this disease is changing for the better because I want to beat it. About three years ago I was having back pain between my shoulder blades and a slight burning sensation in my chest/stomach. My primary care physician said it sounded like I had gall bladder stones. An ultrasound image was positive, along with an MRI so I was sent to a surgeon who removed my gall bladder. The MRI also revealed Two nodules on my liver. ” Not to worry…we will keep an eye on them, most are benign.” Two more years goes by and I returned to my primary care doctor for a usual check up and asked about the nodules. I was scheduled for another MRI. This time they had grown significantly. I was immediately referred to Dr. Fathi. He examined me and scheduled me for a biopsy. Here’s the situation: I was not sick, I was not Jaundiced, I was not nauseated, fatigued, or losing weight. The biopsy came back positive for adenocarcinoma of the liver. I’ll never forget the next meeting with Dr. Fathi. This diagnosis was like being hit with a sledge hammer. But, he had a plan to deal with it. So I was scheduled for surgery to resection my liver and be placed on chemotherapy. Needles to say I was really despondent over my situation. Then came the day of surgery this past February. After opening me up he could see that it had spread. So he took out the worst part located in my small intestine. and had to stitch me back up. The news of this was devastating for me and my wife. At this point I had accepted that I was just going to live it out, that it was useless to continue on. Dr. Fathi (who would not give up on me) and the other doctors would always come by to check on me. See how my recovery was doing and answer any of my questions. Then on about the third day of recovery and late that evening (beyond the call of duty) about 10 at night, Dr. Fathi and his assistant NP Robin Munoz came to my room and informed me and my wife that another biopsy revealed that the tumor was misdiagnosed on the first biopsy and the good news was that it was reclassified as neuroendocrine carcinoma which meant it was a slow growing tumor that did not originate in the liver but instead came from the small intestine. This explains why I looked and felt healthy even though I had the tumors. Dr. Fathi then put me on a course of chemotherapy to shrink the tumors and I am scheduled to have them removed by burning them out as opposed to another surgery. I have appointments already scheduled for this procedure. This has been one life changing moment, a lot of things have changed. I can not begin to tell you about how much my wife and I have come to appreciate Dr. Fathi and his staff for their ongoing support through all of this. They all are simply “WONDERFUL” Also the Oncology department and hospital team that took care of me through the surgery and recovery were “OUTSTANDING”….this is another feature of the treatment I like, and that is the fact that all the oncology, surgery, imaging, medical research etc., are all right there on the spot and they can share their best opinions and advice to one another to best help the patient. Once again Dr. Fathi Thank You

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  1. Gina B | August 16, 2017
    Stay strong Steve and God Bless You!! It was a pleasure meeting you and your wife at the blog get together. Gina Boyd