My Story

I have been diagnosed with stage III esophageal adenocarcinoma, primarily of the gastroesophageal (GE) junction. In other words, I have a tumor that is located where the stomach meets the esophagus. It started as simple abdominal pains that we thought were the beginning stages of an ulcer or gastritis due to stress. No one thought given my age, health, and family history that cancer was a possibility. I proved them wrong, and plan to do it again when we beat this. This diagnosis came to us on April Fool’s Day through a diagnostic EGD where we thought we would likely find an ulcer. It has been a sprint since then with one procedure after another. Each test has revealed more of the severity of this cancer, given its location and the likelihood that it’s been there for some time.

Chemotherapy will most likely begin on April 15th in combination with radiation. This will be done for 5-6 weeks. This will reduce the size of the tumor and destroy or decrease inflammation in the current positive lymph nodes around the mass. After a little resting period, our oncological surgical team will perform an esophagectomy and/or gastrectomy to remove the tumor and lymph nodes as well as my esophagus and my stomach. The hope is that this procedure will rid my body of the tumor and the cancer. Recovery will be very long and hard, but very possible. The way I eat and live will never be the same, but this is a change I am ready for. If this means I can spend many more years with my family, I do not care what it takes, I am determined to survive! Recovery from the surgery should take at least 2 months if there are no complications. In the meantime I am preparing myself body and mind for the radiation and chemotherapy so that I can be as strong as possible going into this intense surgery. The mental well being has a great effect on how my body will handle chemo and radiation. We will get through this. We will stay strong. We will stay positive. I will live!

Our care is being handled at Ochsner Medical Center’s main campus. My surgical oncologist, Dr. John Bolton, is one of the best in this field.  Words cannot begin to express how much my family and I appreciate the love and support we’ve received thus far. Please continue to pray for me and my family in this process. Be happy and positive. Life is too precious to not live it to the fullest everyday. Thanks again for joining us in our battle. Stay posted for updates as we continue this journey.



4 thoughts on “My Story

  1. We are with you Carl, and you sound great..strong and preparing exactly as you should! We stand beside you, Alix, and all.

  2. Hey Carl,

    This is Blake Babcock from CBS/Jesuit/LSU. I’m sorry to hear about your diagnosis. For what it’s worth, I wanted to let you know how great of a surgeon John Bolton is. I’m currently finishing up my general surgery training in Philadelphia and plan to pursue oncology in the next couple years. I had the chance to operate with John Bolton at ocshner before I came to Philly. He performed a gastroesophagectomy on a 26yo male. His technique was flawless, and he inspired me to model my career after his own. You are in more than capable hands. Your youth is your greatest asset that will get you through the chemo and surgery. Stay strong brotha. See you soon.

  3. If there is anything Morgan and I can do let me know. You are in our thoughts everyday. Sending prayers to you and your family.

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