Dan Brooks Dan Brooks da Fish

First post: Feb 11, 2018 Latest post: Jun 26, 2020
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.

Given you are reading this you likely already know that I came to this story quite literally by accident, a fall just before Thanksgiving which was just painful enough to get me to Dr. Haeg.  It is his persistence in seeking an answer, for which I am most grateful, that leads me to be able to close the discovery chapter of this story.  On Tuesday, January 30 a diagnosis of esophageal adenocarcinoma was provided to me.  The past 9 days has seen a whirlwind of tests and multiple forms of support from:  a great care team from CentraCare, numerous complementary medical providers (herbalists, acupuncturist, homeopathic/MD), friends, and ever so importantly family.

Today we have embarked on the next chapter of healing and wellness.  "Hope is the only thing stronger than fear."  I have heard from at least four doctors that the fall I had in November was "the luckiest fall of your life."  In meeting today with Dr. Ufearo-Oncology, Erin - my "care coordinator", Teri and my brother-in-law Reid (doctor) I learned that while this is still a very serious cancer, that my path has plenty of hope!  

All indications are that this diagnosis was arrived at early enough to offer the hope of a high degree of not just successful treatment but even a cure!  Words that Reid and Dr. Ufearo shared about a cure would not have been used even a few years ago.  

My healing chapter will be filled with strenuous work and effort involving: radiation; chemotherapy; and surgery.  The plan is for the first two aspects to take place with CentraCare and the surgery with the University of Minnesota.

I have multiple appointments scheduled this next week to continue the planning and staging for actual treatment.  Many ask "why are they waiting...." We learned that the radiation planning  in particular is very complex, and working to get it right is more important than speed.  The chemotherapy will consist of a combination of two medicines over the course of 6 weeks.  Following this one-two punch there will be a healing period for my body before surgery.  The surgery is complex, but Dr. Ufearo assured me I am a very good candidate for this procedure.

My care team has provided me with a copy of the current National Comprehensive Cancer Network Guidelines for Esophageal Cancer.  A key takeaway from my initial review is that the Internet is a wonderful tool but it is completely unfiltered and not a place to get introduced to a cancer diagnosis.  

My Care Team has assured me that each person can have a most individual story.  Again, in believing that "Hope is stronger than fear," please feel free to send us happy thoughts, well wishes, positive vibes, prayers, lots of love, and in the case of Marla - juju!

I know I can beat this because of the support team I have!  

Please allow me to offer my loving thank you to: Teri; Maressa; Reid and for the dozens if not hundreds of uplifting thoughts from family and friends.

Maressa, Teri, or I will update this from time to time as it works within treatment schedules and ensuring first and foremost we work to take care of each other.


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