Riley Johnson

First post: Jun 10, 2019 Latest post: Aug 27, 2019

Riley’s story....

On April 29th, 2019, my family’s life, and more importantly my Father’s life, was forever changed.  A routine endoscopy revealed what never entered our minds...Dad has cancer.  It was so unexpected (but then again, when does anyone expect to hear those words) and for a moment, unbelievable.  Dad’s esophagus had a tumor growing in it that was restricting his ability to swallow.  The doctor left very little doubt as to whether it could be anything other than esophageal cancer.  On the 5th of May, a CT scan was ordered to check for any further metastasizing.  That's when we found out that he also had a tumor on the inside of his bladder...a double blow.  The next biggest question was “is this a separate issue or is this a metastatic cancer?”  Among all of this, we knew a couple of things for sure.  The first thing being that God is in control of all things, He loves us and wants us to come to Him in prayer and with that mindset, we began this journey.  The second thing...we absolutely wanted the BEST for him and to me, that was the University of Washington Medical Clinic and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.  They have specialists in the field of esophageal cancer that people travel all over the WORLD to see.  We quickly went directly to putting those wheels in motion.  We did elect to have the bladder cancer removed at Confluence Health so that we could have the pathology back for the doctors at the UW prior to our first visit there.  This would help them determine if this was all related.  Surgery went well (with a trip to the ER and a marathon night for a hiccup) and the pathology was back the next day.  It was NOT related to his esophageal cancer and as cancer’s go, a of the mill kind of tumor that is easily managed with monitoring every 3 months.  The treatments for that going forward are as simple as an office visit and if they return, which we are told is highly likely, in office treatments are usually all it takes to remove the cancer.  With one surgery behind us and one tumor removed we headed to the UW.  Dad’s “team” consists of Dr. Zeng, Radiation Oncologist...Dr. Shankaran, Medical Oncologist...and Dr. Oeschlager, Surgeon.  There have been many others involved but these are our core.  All indications are that there is NO metastasizing and his lymph nodes look clear.  This is wonderful news!  Our treatment course includes proton radiation (if you’ve never heard of it, look it’s amazing!  Complex but worth educating yourself on..not to sound dramatic but it can be the difference between life and death) and that is 5 days a week with chemotherapy infusions every Thursday for the next 5 1/2 weeks.  There will be a 6-8 week break to allow the chemo and radiation to continue to do their job and allow Dad time to recover and strengthen himself. Then, a major surgery.  They will remove a large portion of his esophagus and pull his stomach up into his chest to reattach it to what is left of his esophagus. It is a MAJOR  surgery and the most complex one that the surgeon does.  I began this blog as a way to update those who know, love, care, and respect Riley up to date and we all know what a big crowd that is!  This will make keeping in touch with and updating you a little bit easier for me.  And yes, I am at every appointment and with him through this entire 5 1/2 week process so unfortunately it’s ALL me updating this be patient with me if it takes a couple of days to relay the information.  Cancer is an emotional journey full of twists and turns but we know that God hears our prayers and answers them in so many ways.  John 14:27 Love to all...Chesiree

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