On this page are recorded dates of appointment directly and indirectly related to my cancer care. Since my diagnosis, things started to move along very quickly.

  • 2019-08-26 – Routine appointment with Dr. Ruth Pacis where I mention I’m having a small problem swallowing. She thinks it may be a Schatzki Ring which is a mucus buildup and not generally dangerous and easy to treat. She arranges for a follow-up with a specialist. In actuality I didn’t hear anything for some time and when her office called with a reminder for my wife Janet, I mentioned I was still waiting. I think it slipped through the cracks.
  • 2019-11-28 – Barium Swallow – This test is a special type of imaging that uses barium and X-rays to look of your upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Your upper GI tract includes the back of your mouth and throat (pharynx) and your esophagus. (From John Hopkins Medicine)
  • 2019-12-02 – Follow-up with Dr. Ruth Pacis to review the results of the Barium Swallow; there was obvious restriction in my lower esophagus and enlargement of the upper fold in my stomach. The report suggested a carcinoma. Dr. Pacis referred me to a specialist.
  • 2019-12-18 – Endoscopy by Dr. Alison Wallace who is a Thoracic Surgeon. She confirmed there is a tumor at the base of my esophagus and she harvested a number of tissue samples. She indicated that in the new year I should start a treatment plan of chemotherapy and radiation treatments follow by surgery to remove a part of my esophagus.
  • 2020-01-08 – Pulmonary Function Test – this assesses my the capacity, flow and diffusion of my lungs. There were no detected problems. It was a check as my tumor is in close proximity to my lungs.
  • 2020-01-09 – PET Scan – After taking a sugar solution with a tracer, I am scanned from head to toe to determine if there are any other suspicious locations which may indicate my cancer has spread.
  • 2020-01-13 – Follow up with Dr. Alison Wallace; it is confirmed my cancer is Esophageal and three lymph nodes in the wall of the esophagus at the site of the cancer are involved. There is no evidence that my cancer has spread so it is treatable.
  • 2020-01-20 – Appointment with Dr. Raviya Singh, Dr. Helmet Hollenhorst and RN Erin Sutcliff. This is to discuss my radiation treatments, provide consent, and learn what to expect.
  • 2020-01-21 – Was able to use a cancellation to have my teeth cleaned at my dentist, Dr. Jeff Bonang. It is recommended to have this done prior to cancer treatment given the likelihood that my immune system will be compromised. Instead of the usual fluoride treatment, an enamel was applied that is more resilient and can cover the roots.
  • 2020-01-17 – Met with my lawyer, Martin Jones, to update our Wills.
  • 2020-01-20 – Chemotherapy Oncologist Assessment.
  • 2020-01-20 – Unexpected visit to Dartmouth General Emergency for blood transfusion to raise my hemoglobin count.
  • 2020-01-22 – Return visit to Emergency to have follow-up blood work to check hemoglobin level.
  • 2020-01-22 – Meeting with lawyer to sign updated Wills.
  • 2020-01-23 – Chemotherapy Education Session – This was a presentation to a group of patients starting treatment to cover a range of topics beyond those covered in the assessment.
  • 2020-01-24 – Radiation Markers Tattoo Simulation – I now have my tattoos used to position the radiation machine. It was also a chance to tour the radiation facilities.
  • 2020-01-29 – Start of weekly Iron IV transfusions which take place in the chemotherapy clinic.
  • 2020-02-05 – Second of five weekly Iron IV transfusions in the Chemotherapy clinic.
  • 2020-02-10 – Iron transfusion (unexpected) plus start of chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

Coming Up

  • 2020-02-11 – Second radiation treatment.
  • 2020-02-12 -Third radiation treatment.
  • 2020-02-13 – Fourth radiation treatment and meet Dr. Hollenhorst.
  • 2020-02-14 – Fifth radiation treatment.