Welcome everyone! My name is Sandi, and this month I celebrate my first year anniversary of surviving esophageal and throat cancer.
Every time I think back to what’s happened in the past 2 years of symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and recovery, I recall bits and pieces and wish I’d kept a journal of everything that I experienced. It’s hard to look back and think, “Did I really go through all that?”
Since there are no new beginnings, only new endings, I decided that I could start right now and begin to journal events going forward. I could also recount events from the past. Then I thought, why not include anecdotes and treatments from a personal perspective? Why not try to give hope to someone in a similar situation? Why not let people know possibly what to expect when cancer is diagnosed: before, during, and after treatment?
I didn’t want this blog to be an advice column: every person experiences the diagnosis, the treatments, and the emotional aspect differently, and I didn’t want to inadvertently pass along advice that would potentially be harmful. This is simply a look back at my experiences, through my eyes, with the hope that I might help others.
I can’t speak of cancers other than my own specific case, because I have no experience to relate to other than my own and I’m not a professional; however, I can hope that everyone will take the messages of encouragement to heart.
Lastly, I’m not a writer. I don’t expect to win any prizes for my eloquent word wizardry (hey that wasn’t too too bad), so please don’t judge me for that.
My throat cancer specifics:
I’m a middle age-”ish” female who never smoked a thing. I work in the tech and innovation fields, and I love gardening, watercolour painting, puzzles & games of all kinds, and anything to do with food, but not necessarily in that order. I’m typically a very private person so writing this blog is a bit of a departure for me.
First symptoms: June-ish 2013, food got stuck when swallowing. I didn’t choke on it and I could breathe ok, it just wouldn’t go down.
Cancer confirmed: Dec 7, 2013.
First radiation treatment: Feb 11, 2014.
35 Radiation treatments (daily).
2 Chemo high-dose Cisplatin treatments (3 were actually scheduled, but that’s another story).
Last treatment: March 28, 2014.
First indications of success: June 24, 2014.
I hope to publish every two weeks (every month at the most). I welcome your comments as long as they’re constructive; however, I can’t answer any medical questions about any case but my own — I’m a survivor, not a cancer professional, and you should always refer to your own medical team for what’s best for you.