There are no words that can describe the initial hurt, fear, anger, frustration, confusion and defeat that you experience when you hear the Dr. say, I think his stomach cancer has come back.
Debated NOT Writing This Post
I have written and rewritten this post several times and although it’s tough to write, rewriting it has been therapeutic. However, I debated not publishing it because we don’t want to go public until we know what we’re dealing with. However, I need some prayer warriors on our side right here, right now so I’m sharing a modified version.
Stomach Cancer Diagnosis
In the Fall of 2008, my husband developed stomach discomfort that I was uneasy about. I made him schedule an appointment with the doctor to just check it out. Several tests later, the Dr. did a biopsy and stated, “looks like he has an ulcer that is healing up but there is nothing to worry about.” A few days later, we get a phone call that we need to come in the office. I’ve been to enough Dr.’s to know that’s never a good sign but it didn’t register with me at first. I thought the Dr. wanted to go over protocol for treating an ulcer. Unfortunately, he called us in to tell us it was cancer.
Stomach Cancer NEVER Happens in Young People
I hated that Dr.’s kept telling us stomach cancer never happens in young people because that didn’t help our cause any. No one wants to feel like an anomaly, especially when it comes to medical related issues. My husband was in his early 30s at the time and never drank or smoke yet he ended up with cancer like so many people do. Statistics only show stomach cancer being common amongst old people. Go figure. Luckily, the stomach cancer was found in the very early stages so surgery was the only treatment that was required since it was localized to just one area.
Trying to Live a Normal Life
Over the next 8 years, we did our best to live a normal life. However, there are some aspects that will never be normal no matter what. Having had a portion of his stomach removed, he is unable to eat certain foods without getting an upset stomach. In the beginning, a lot of things made him sick. However, that list has shortened a lot over the years.
False Positives are Scary
We’ve had a few false positives over the past 8 years where the exam comes back showing an increased uptake (fancy phrase for cancer activity) in his body. The uptakes have never been in the stomach. They’ve always been near his sinus cavity. He has really bad sinus problems and deals with drainage often.
PET/CTs are great for tracking down cancerous activity but it also mistakes inflammation for cancer. Therefore, if you have a cold, sinus infection, sore throat or some other type of inflammation happening at the time of the exam, it will look as though you have cancer in those areas.
The Dr. has to review the uptake and figure out if it’s a real threat or a false positive. The few scares we’ve had were ruled a false positive. Meaning, the exam falsely showed he was positive for cancer.
New Problems and New Fears
Last year, the PET/CT showed uptake but this time it was in his stomach. This was the most alarming exam to date.
The Dr. reviewed all previous PET/CTs to the current PET/CT and ruled it a false positive. Hearing it is a false positive is always sweet relief but fear lingers in your spirit well after no matter how much you try to pray it away.
My husband started having some weird issues about a month ago that we thought would get better. I never once thought it was stomach cancer related but I am very cautious and recommended he go to the Dr.
Several tests were conducted and biopsies taken. The Dr. fears his stomach cancer has come back. Currently, we are waiting for the pathology results and as we do, I’m asking you to stand with me in prayer that cancer has not returned to his body.
Dear Family and Friends,
If you’re reading this post, unfortunately, you’re reading it right. However, we ask that you pray for us privately right now until we have a clear picture of what we’re dealing with. We will publicly share it with family and friends when we know more. Please and Thank You for honoring the privacy request.
For more information about stomach cancer, please can visit the American Cancer Society.