Stomach cancer survivor Ron Dunnahoo first knew something was wrong when he began having severe indigestion. This was something new. He was long used to eating whatever he wanted with no problem. In summerhe went to the doctor, who ran some imaging tests and diagnosed mild acid reflux.
But Dunnahoo felt sure there was more to it. He returned to the doctor and insisted on seeing a specialist. In Januaryhe underwent a test called upper endoscopyin which the doctor uses a scope to see inside the stomach. The doctor saw a large tumor. In addition, it had spread to his esophagus and lymph nodes.
Dunnahoo was diagnosed with stage 4 stomach cancer, which does not have a high survival rate. Dunnahoo started chemotherapy to try to shrink the tumor before his surgerywhich was scheduled for April About a month later, he started 3 months of radiation and 10 months of chemotherapy. Dunnahoo had so much trouble eating before his surgery, he lost more than pounds in just a few months.
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But he did not become sick from chemotherapy, and soon gained enough strength to begin riding his Harley motorcycle to treatments 5 days a week. That December, he got his first PET scan results. They showed his treatment had been successful. He had no evidence of cancer. Dunnahoo continues to have PET scans every 6 months. He had a scare in spring of when his eating problems returned. But tests showed the culprit was scar tissue.Read the personal stories of others facing issues and challenges with stomach cancer that may be similar to your own.
We encourage you to not only read the journeys of others but also document your own so that others may draw strength from your experiences. Write in a journal, create your own website or share your story with NSFC. Sharing stories with others is what our community is all about. Submit your story. I'm a mother, a friend, a sister, a daughter, and a devoted physician who has become the patient.
Like other hereditary gastric cancers, this mutation gave me a near-certain risk of developing gastric cancer.
Due to the nature of the mutation, to find out if I had cancer or not, and to prevent it from happening in the future, I had a total gastrectomy on August This blog chronicles my journey. Please join me for the wild ride and my now stomachless life. My name is Jon Grossman, and I want to thank you for all that you have done for me, my family, and my fellow CDH1 mutation carriers.
Inwe found out that a CDH1 mutation runs in our family. Now, 4 of us have had total gastrectomies and are doing great. I published a website to tell my family's story www.
I am also working on a website for making and sharing recipes. Users can make recipes and the application calculates a food label. Plus, one of the features is to search for recipes posted by people without a stomach.
Pink being the color of the breast cancer ribbon seemed fitting. The "genes" portion comes into play because, after my diagnosis, I had genetic testing and found out I am a mutant! No, not the cool kind! I am positive for a pathogenic variant in CDH1, which is associated with an increased risk for lobular breast cancer and hereditary diffuse gastric cancer a rare and very deadly form of stomach cancer.
I had been blogging since my breast cancer diagnosis on February 27, Since writing and journaling have always been a positive stress reliever in my life, I have found joy and purpose through writing. I initially wanted to keep friends and family updated, and writing is easier than trying to keep up with phone calls and such.
But, I also had this burning desire to share my story so that others seeking information or inspiration can follow along in real-time. And so far, it has served both of these purposes well. At the age of 30, she was referred from her hometown clinic to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN where she met with a genetic counselor and decided to proceed with genetic testing.
She is tentatively scheduled for total gastrectomy in August October He is 53 years old and the father of three. He is the middle of seven children and the second to be diagnosed with this mutation. The original mutation in his family was found as a result of testing done on his younger sister who was battling breast cancer.
On August 4, he will be the second in his family to have the surgery to remove his stomach. May InAdriana Walsh lost her father Steve to stomach cancer when she was just 13 years old. Her most recent endoscopy in August showed evidence of stomach cancer, so she took immediate action and had her entire stomach removed.
Read about how Adriana, now 21, faced her diagnosis and follow her hope-filled, positive recovery from surgery in Young and Stomachless September December 5, — My husband, my mom, my dad, and I sit around a round table at the hospital waiting for the genetic counsellor to join us.
My husband is playing with a peg game in the room while my mom, dad and I discuss where to eat lunch that day after the appointment. The genetic counsellor joins us at the table.I was diagnosed with stomach cancer eight years ago when I was I was really fortunate that the cancer was found early. I was being treated for a stomach ulcer and a follow-up gastroscopy found a tumour in my stomach.
I found it really beneficial to participate in a clinical trial looking at what combination of treatment worked best for stomach cancer. The treatment path I trialled was preoperative chemotherapy, a total gastrectomy, and postoperative chemotherapy. Chemotherapy was very difficult and I struggled with the side effects.
My wife at the time gave birth to our little girl while I was having chemotherapy. This was very challenging — I was advised to be really careful with the baby because the chemotherapy meant I had a greater risk of getting an infection. I was also trying to understand that I had cancer and deal with the emotional aspects.
I found it really helpful to tap into Cancer Connect peer support. It was really good to have that awareness prior to the surgery. Once treatment was finished, it was quite daunting and I was fearful that the cancer would come back somewhere.
The way you view life is different after cancer. I really appreciate and have a lot of gratitude for what I have now. We also thank the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title. Download PDF kB. View all publications or call 13 11 20 for free printed copies.
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Featured resource Click below to download a PDF booklet on this topic. Need to talk? Call 13 11 20 to talk to a health professional Or email us your questions. Support services Online Community Check out this supportive online community for people affected by cancer Cancer Connect Talk to someone who has experienced cancer Looking for transport, accommodation or home help?
Cancer information Cancer Council Online Community A community forum — a safe place to share stories, get tips and connect with people who understand Visit our YouTube channel Stories and videos produced by Cancer Council NSW Connect with us on Facebook Join the conversation for up-to-date news and stories from the community.Early-stage stomach cancer rarely causes symptoms. This is one of the reasons stomach cancer is so hard to detect early.
The signs and symptoms of stomach cancer can include:. Most of these symptoms are more likely to be caused by things other than cancer, such as a stomach virus or an ulcer. They may also occur with other types of cancer. Since symptoms of stomach cancer often do not appear until the disease is advanced, only about 1 in 5 stomach cancers in the United States is found at an early stage, before it has spread to other areas of the body.
The signs and symptoms of stomach cancer can include: Poor appetite Weight loss without trying Abdominal belly pain Vague discomfort in the abdomen, usually above the navel A sense of fullness in the upper abdomen after eating a small meal Heartburn or indigestion Nausea Vomiting, with or without blood Swelling or fluid build-up in the abdomen Blood in the stool Low red blood cell count anemia Most of these symptoms are more likely to be caused by things other than cancer, such as a stomach virus or an ulcer.Stomach Cancer - Stage II.
I have good days and bad, but I always have a positive attitude knowing that I survived. I often sit outside looking at the stars and enjoying the back porch, not taking my time for granted.
I also enjoy spending time with my son and two grandsons, who are the center of my universe. Also, I am expecting a granddaughter in July. I am grateful for every moment. InI began to feel ill and experience digestive issues.
I went to the doctor and completed an endoscopy and colonoscopy. They told me at the time that they had found something suspicious but that I had to wait for the test results to come back to confirm any malignancy. I hated the waiting. It was a slow, anxious journey. Then, I finally went back to the doctor, and he gave me the news I dreaded hearing. I remember just feeling scared and unsure of the future.
I called and made an appointment to go to the hospital in Suburban Chicago. My aunt who raised me accompanied me on my initial evaluation. Our family was very familiar with cancer. My father died of lung cancer, and my mother had battled breast cancer. Various other relatives also had past cancer diagnoses.
When we walked through the door of the hospital in Zion, it hit me that I was in the right place. I met with my medical oncologist and his team. He ordered more tests so we could better understand what was going on. Then, together, we created a treatment plan that was right for me. I was treated with compassionate care as a whole individual. I appreciated that. We decided to start chemotherapy in October I got to take a break from chemotherapy over the holidays, and then I had surgery at the beginning of the new year.
But to be safe, I underwent a total gastrectomy, which totally removes the stomach and reattaches the small intestines to the esophagus. After surgery, my care team determined that the cancer had not spread to my lymph nodes. I spent almost three weeks at the hospital. I had a feeding tube inserted during the surgery, and adjusting to that was hard. I also worked with pastoral care throughout my treatment. I let them know early on that I wanted to pray before any type of procedure.
After my surgery, I completed three rounds of chemotherapy. But I trusted in God and my care team to help me finish it. My sister and my aunt also encouraged me and stood by my side. With their support, I completed my last round in April. After scans came back clear, I had surgery to remove my port and feeding tube. I often sit outside looking at the stars and enjoying the view from the back porch, not taking this time for granted.
The annual event honors CTCA patients who are celebrating their five-year anniversaries as cancer survivors. Call us anytime.That letter saved my life. When the endoscopy results showed precancerous changes throughout my stomach as well as an early gastric cancer, I was extremely nervous. As a professional mental health counselor, I have years of experience helping others work through issues in their own lives. I know the importance of staying positive during difficult times and not letting negative thoughts cloud your mind, especially when important decisions need to be made.
Michael liked him immediately and felt he was in good hands being in Dr. Reddy's care. Reddy recommended surgery along with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy HIPECan innovative technique that delivers highly concentrated, heated chemotherapy treatment directly to the abdomen during surgery. This technique allows higher doses of chemotherapy to be administered directly to the tumor.
Reddy and the medical oncologists at Fox Chase," Michael said. I will continue my care at Fox Chase because I am living proof that the dedicated team of doctors and nurses helped get me where I am today. When I started experiencing chronic and uncomfortable digestive issues over the course of two years, my primary care doctor prescribed heartburn medication, and I made changes in my diet.
During that period, I often had an achy, acidy stomach, and I was taking Tums all the time. When the symptoms continued, my doctor referred me to a gastrointestinal specialist who conducted an endoscopy to examine my digestive tract in Barry Thomas was diagnosed with cancer twice.
A patient at Fox Chase Cancer Center sincehe considers his team of doctors to be extraordinary. For general information or to ask us a question, please visit our Contact Us page. In our continued effort to protect out patients and staff against COVID, Fox Chase is now offering phone and video appointments for some patients.
Stomach Gastric Cancer Patient Stories. Henrietta Lewis Stomach Gastric Cancer. Patti Pyle Stomach Gastric Cancer. Michael Buzalewski Stomach Gastric Cancer. Helene Mullen Stomach Gastric Cancer. Request an Appointment.The world often seems suddenly strange and unfamiliar when a loved one is dying of cancer.
In addition to a flood of emotions and practical concerns, uncertainty about what to expect in the final few days causes more anxiety. While everyone's experience is different, the body organs and systems shut down during the dying process, leading to predicable signs and behaviors that reflect the mind, body and spirit undergoing transition from life to death. Pain associated with terminal cancer may worsen or become harder to control near the end of life. It is distressing to see a loved one suffer, but pain can usually be effectively relieved with medication and simple measures like changing position, massage and music.
Body language can be telling even when someone is no longer able to verbally communicate pain. Nonverbal indications of pain include restlessness, grimacing, moaning and guarding a specific area of the body. People nearing death usually have little interest in eating or drinking 3. While this is often upsetting to witness, there is typically no hunger involved.
Eating or drinking during this final stage of life causes discomfort because the digestive system becomes inactive.
The lack of intake leads to decreased urination and bowel movements. Drowsiness, with more time spent sleeping than awake, is a sign that a person may be moving into the active phase of dying. The dying process is divided into preactive and active phases.
While there is individual variability, the preactive phase usually lasts about 2 weeks and the active phase approximately 3 days. The inability to arouse someone from sleep or only with great effort, followed by a quick return to sleep, is considered part of the active phase of dying. Progressive weakness and relaxation of the muscles throughout the body affect appearance and function.
You may notice that your loved one's face looks droopy or less expressive and that he needs help to sit up or turn in bed. The inability to independently move is a significant sign of declining function as a person approaches her final days. Toward the end of life, there are notable changes in consciousness beyond sleepiness.
An inward focus is part of the preparation for death. You may notice your loved one is no longer concerned about former interests and converses less. Periods of disorientation, confusion and even agitation frequently emerge, and it may seem as if the dying person is in "another world. Erratic breathing mixed with periods when breathing temporarily stops is common in the final hours of life.
Mucus that collects in the back of the throat often produces a rattling sound that can be alarming to family but is not bothersome to the dying person. The skin turns a dusky color, and arms and legs cool as oxygen levels fall from low blood pressure and a fluctuating heart rate.
A number of individual factors, such as other medical problems a person may have, influence how long the body can maintain life under these conditions. Linda Vrooman writes about topics related to health, utilizing 30 plus years of clinical and research experience in a variety of healthcare settings. She is also an oncology certified nurse. Monitor the health of your community here.
More Articles. Written by Linda Vrooman. Related Articles. Hallenbeck, et al. About the Author.