According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), if someone remains in complete remission—meaning all signs and symptoms of cancer are gone—for five or more years, some doctors may say a person has been “cured.” Still, cancer cells could remain in the body for many years after treatment
Remission means that the signs and symptoms of your cancer are reduced. Remission can be partial or complete. In a complete remission, all signs and symptoms of cancer have disappeared. If you remain in complete remission for 5 years or more, some doctors may say that you are cured.
Update 21st June 2017
I am currently being monitored by one of the leading Oncologists in Cape Town Dr Jacqueline Hall – who just happens to be the wife of the leading chest surgeon Professor Mark De Groot who had performed my esophogectomy in 2015.
Had a scheduled annual PET scan yesterday in the “special purple room”……….which is about as inviting as a morgue >>> but good place to catch up on some zzzz >>>> at Panorama PET CT in Platekloof Cape Town
scheduled appointment with the Oncologist was set for Friday 23rd …… however as it would turn out the Oncologists office called and asked whether I could amend the appointment to the Wednesday 21st June……. they had asked for a rush to be put on the results.
No worries – 21st June was indeed my 15th Wedding anniversary and the wife [Linda] and myself were heading out to dinner so sliding by the Oncologists office was a mere formality….. I would of course be dragging the lovey Linda with too the consultation.
Arrived on schedule and lo and behold – Professor De Groot pops his head round the corner and ……. with a frown on his dial – mentions that he has elected to consult with me instead of his wife…… and will see me as soon as he has dispatched his current patient.
I sat there and took in those words – and merely observed how a surge of adrenaline and endorphins swamped my body ……………. literally the flight / fight syndrome had released itself in full force > not such a welcome scenario to somebody who’s vagus nerve had been disconnected during the esophogectomy ……..
As someone who has a very pragmatic outlook on life – I knew that I would hear those words ….. somewhere / sometime / somehow …… but right now today > on my wedding anniversary in front of my wife ……. I wasn’t ready !!!
Anyhow I managed to wean the pulse rate down from 150 bpm …….. Just prior to us being ushered into the Profs office……
Professor Mark De Groot is an esteemed individual and is highly regarded in his field of expertise – Thoracic and Esophageal Surgeon …… but what I like about this learned professional is his ability to cut to the chase + his ability to drop a couple of F – Bombs as and when the need arises…… my kind of guy >>> as I have always struggled to trust someone who cannot curse.
But I digress ….. the results Stuart ….. the results>>>
Scan revealed a mass approx the size of a grape – positioned right In the middle of my chest …… in typical Stuart fashion …. situated in one of the most anatomically least accessible places towards my spine lo and behold it’s pressing onto my windpipe – causing me that irritation and resultant nasty cough that I have been plagued with for the last 2 weeks
Due to locality ….. very isolated area > surgery not an option in this instance.
Radiation is also out the window as mentioned prior mass is located in prior radiation treated zone – therefore maxed out and cannot receive any further radiation – as will do more damage than good….. in layman terms tantamount to burning a hole in my chest.
So that leaves chemotherapy – starting IV cocktail Monday ….. for the months I am away will take oral – and when home will be doing cocktails intravenous.
We are looking at 4 cycles thereof …. and that there is the prognosis for the immediate future