10/11/2017 – postmeeting – surgical oncologist

The meeting with the Surgical Oncologist at MUSC went well. It was sobering and he was blunt, which I appreciated. He concurred with the medical guidelines and recommends I have a prophylactic total gastrectomy. I never heard of those three words together before just a few weeks ago.  He also said, “if you don’t have this surgery I believe there is a 100% chance you will get stomach cancer”. That was a moment my wife and I had not prepared for. This whole thing seems like a bad dream. But – it’s real life and we have to figure out what to do.
He said he would be happy to do the surgery and felt confident, although, he has never done a procedure like I need, and he only treats cancer patients.  It highlights the fact that HDGC is so rare.  It’s good to know we can stay in town if needed, but I’m nervous that he doesn’t have the experience I desire.  I’m going to speak with Karen at nostomachforcancer.org (NSFC).
One of the good things about the meeting was it helped my wife and I get on the same page.  It was hard going to the cancer center and seeing all the cancer patients. It was hard because you can see on their face the difficult road they have been down, and have yet to finish.  However, at the same time, it was a blessing seeing their fight and their caregivers serving so selflessly.  I need to toughen up really quick.

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