It's hard to believe that 3 short months ago life was pretty normal. We had just picked up Molly from her first, fun-filled year at University of Minnesota. Amy and Molly were busy planning their trip to Italy and Tom was getting ready for another golf season at Oak Meadows. But Tom's trip to Dr. Joe for some nagging digestive issues changed everything overnight. After numerous blood tests, a series of CT and PET scans, and a second opinion, Tom was diagnosed with Stage IV Esophageal Cancer with lymph node metastasis. As anyone who has ever received news like this knows, and unfortunately there are more people than less these days, you go through a rollercoaster of emotions -- shock and awe, anger, sadness. Then we decided enough of that, time to fight!!!
After significant research, Tom decided to participate in a clinical trial at University of Chicago called PANGEA, which is being led by Dr. Daniel Catenacci. In addition to the normal standard chemotherapy protocol, the team is utilizing experimental targeted drugs based upon various gene mutations identified in the tumor and lymph nodes. Since Tom tested HER2 positive, he will be receiving Herceptin along with the other chemo treatments. Ultimately the UofC team is hoping to improve upon the average prognosis for patients with this diagnosis. With a change in diet, the addition of meditation, and constant research into other alternatives for improving the prognosis, we launched into our fight.
August 23rd will always be Day 1, however, we look forward to the day that we can say we did it. It will be quite a celebration. Maybe we can even get Tom to play the tambourine.
We would never have made it to this point without the amazing support from family and friends over the past 3 months. We certainly won't be able to fight this without the continued support that everyone has offered.
We can't possibly thank you enough for everything you've done. We love you all, Tom, Amy and Molly