Announcement June 2023 from Alison & Brian
It’s been a huge shock. This is a journey we didn’t expect. On May 30 2023 Brian was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, and since then we’ve been busy learning all we can about his condition, and doing all we can to get him the best possible treatments.
How we got here
This diagnosis has come out of the blue. Before this, Brian was feeling on top of the world, including health-wise. At 55 year old, he was running 25 miles a week, has lots of healthy habits and almost no vices, loves working out, had no indication of any problem. In mid-April he started having some trouble swallowing, and by mid-May it was becoming worse, so he scheduled an endoscopy on May 23. The doctor found a 15 cm mass in his esophagus, which she said looked malignant. This is when we knew something was very wrong.
A week later the biopsy report confirmed a carcinoma of the esophagus, ‘poorly differentiated’, and ‘high grade’. The doctor says it’s likely only been there for a few months. Unfortunately it's very fast growing and was quite advanced by the time it was discovered. Because of that, he's not a candidate for surgery, at least at this time. We are seeking second & third opinions, and already, the pathology reports disagree somewhat. The first pathologist said it looks like neuroendicrine carcinoma, the second said it looks like adenocarcinoma. We hope that they will find a consensus on a diagnosis.
Our Plans for Treatment
While we are continuing to seek expert second opinions, all of the doctors agree that the best action is to start chemotherapy right away. On Tuesday June 13 Brian started his treatment, which also includes an immunotherapy medication. (He’s taking Atezolizumab, Carboplatin & Etoposide) So far, he’s tolerating it really well and the side effects are mild. There are other medication options for the future, for example clinical trials or the possibility that genetic tests might help identify promising treatments.
We are strong
At our first meeting, the oncologist noted Brian’s “young age and excellent PS”. “Performance Status” is a cancer term that basically refers to how strong and fit the patient is. Brian’s excellent PS gives him a strong foundation from which to fight back against this terrible disease. And our family is strong, we are working as a team to navigate the difficult place we find ourselves in. We love, treasure and support each other every day.
We are feeling tremendous gratitude for the resources we have that are helping us to cope with this situation, which still feels surreal. Most importantly, we are grateful for our friends and family. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us.
在我们的第一次会面中，肿瘤学家注意到达丰“年轻且PS出色”。 “PS" "性能状态” 是一个癌症术语，基本上是指患者的强壮程度和健康程度。 达丰出色的 PS 为他打下了抗击这种可怕疾病的坚实基础。而且我们的家庭很坚强。我们一个团队会努力应对我们所处的困难局面。我们会每天都彼此相爱、珍惜和支持。