I am a 62 y/o white male. I am married to the love of my life, Jamelle, and we have 6 children and 8 grandchildren. I am an ordained minister and at this time I am semi retired. We live in Camden, Arkansas, but have pastored churches in Louisiana, Arkansas, Kentucky, Alabama and Mississippi. I have never been a sickly person and thought of myself to be in fairly good health. I don't smoke or drink, but I was overweight. On December 13, 2014, I woke up with nausea and began to throw up blood. My wife took me to the hospital ER and I was admitted. A surgeon came in and met me and said I probably had a gastric ulcer, but to be sure, he would perform an EGD the next morning. Well, what we would hear the next morning from the doctor would shatter our world........but God!!! Dr. Perkins told my wife I had esophageal cancer right at the junction of the lower part of my esophagus and the upper part of my stomach. He said it was approximately 3 cm and appeared to be isolated to that one spot, but that a PET scan would tell us more. I was discharged a couple of days later and my PET scan was scheduled for December 24th. We live in a small town and most everything has to be done in Little Rock, Ark. Which is 2 hours away. On Jan. 3rd I went for an appointment with my primary care doctor who would give me the results of the PET scan, set me up with a surgeon, and an oncologist. Well, the PET scan showed that the tumor was consolidated to that one area, and it did not show any other bad areas. We then talked about a referral to a surgeon and we decided on Dr. Peter Kim in Little Rock. With the appointment made we left for home with a worried heart.....but God.....When we got to the appointment with surgeon a couple of weeks later, he told us that he was going to do a procedure/surgery called Ivor-Lewis surgery. It was scheduled for January 26th. After about 5 hours in surgery Dr. Kim came out and told my family that he got the tumor, that it did not appear to have been anywhere else. They had sent biopsies of the lymph nodes, which wouldn't be back for 4-5 days. He told my family that he had removed 1/2 of my esophagus and 1/3 of my upper stomach. I had a J-tube(feeding tube), chest tube, all that good stuff, and that I would be in ICU for about a week then be moved to the floor. He also said for precautionary reasons, I would need to take 8 treatments of chemotherapy. About 4 days after the surgery we got the good news...it WAS NOT IN MY LYMPH NODES!
Years since diagnosed:4