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Jesse had been experiencing stomach discomfort for several months when he decided to make his first visit to his primary care physician at the beginning of August 2010. Jesse was started on omeprazole, a prescription-strength medication that helps control heartburn-like symptoms. After taking this medication for a month, Jesse did not feel his symptoms had improved. Jesse followed up with his primary care physician a couple more times, the last being Friday, November 12.
At this visit, Jesse had lost 40 pounds since his first visit in early August. The primary care physician was extremely concerned and scheduled Jesse for an endoscopy on Monday, November 15. For this test, Jesse had to swallow a camera that a GI specialist used to look inside of Jesse's stomach. Right away, the GI specialist knew Jesse's stomach did not look good. He pulled 12 biopsies and ordered more lab tests.
After the endoscopy, the GI specialist expressed to Jesse and I that he had a strong suspicion for cancer. He had to rule out infection first, but that was quickly ruled out when Jesse's pathology came back: adenocarcinoma of the stomach that had spread to lymph nodes surrounding the stomach. The lymph nodes were apparent in the CT scan the GI specialist had scheduled for Jesse the day following his endoscopy.
With this result, Jesse and I were referred to Oncology. We had our first visit with Oncology on Tuesday, November 23. The oncologist ordered a PET scan for Jesse to get a complete look at his entire body to see the stage of Jesse's cancer as well as if the cancer has spread anywhere else in his body. The oncologist also informed us that chemotherapy is the first treatment step when treating stomach cancer. After some testing to evaluate Jesse's current nutrition level and whether his heart is strong enough to undergo chemo, we are scheduled to start intravenous chemotherapy on Tuesday, November 30.
We should receive the results of the PET scan in the next day or two. We still have a lot of questions and are hoping to get a prognosis from the PET scan results. We intend to post all updates to this website as we receive them.