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The Little C

Serene Lake

Well, thank you for your prayers! Looks more and more like I’ve dodged a huge bullet as medical tests continue to indicate I have a very small and early gastric tumor. I’ve seen the pictures; it kind of looks like Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree- just a scrawny little thing.

Blood tests do show a slightly elevated level in a marker that’s an indicator of tumor growth. But a CT scan came back completely boring with nothing irregular whatsoever. This should all mean it’s at a very, very early stage which means everything in regard to stomach cancer. Basically it’s the difference between it being curable or not- the difference between a 5% and a 75% five-year survivability rate.

Within a week or so, I’ll get a treatment plan and then get a second opinion on that plan. I’m pretty sure they will still want to dive in with knives so they can eyeball things for themselves and cut the thing out, along with a hopefully very small portion of the stomach. And while an operation of that nature has risks of its own and really, really sucks for about 7 days in the hospital and then another six weeks of recovery, it’s way more important and significant that long-term survival looks like a real good bet.

My highly amusing doctor, Thomas Butler, tells his patients that the most important part of any treatment plan is looking both ways before you cross the street. Because what good do the best and most intricate treatment plans do if you’re going to go get hit by a truck?

My son has a funny line about trucks too. Last year, I sent him info on what his life insurance benefits would be just in case I get hit by a truck. His dry, one sentence e-mail response was priceless.


Stay away from trucks.



  1. Jack Speer
    March 27, 2013 at 8:27 pm


    Great news! Maybe there is something to this Facebook thing. Oh, and stay away from trucks. Seriously, Mass Ave is like the old video game frogger at rush hour.


  2. irma spencer
    March 27, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    Robert: Keep up the good results.We want you well.

  3. Mike McCay
    March 29, 2013 at 4:05 pm


    No news about C or c is welcome, but this news is as good as can be expected. I wish you a speedy recovery. Perhaps you should stay away from trucks, but keep in mind what the truckers say: “Old truckers never die, they just get a new Peterbilt.”
    All the best.


  4. Crys Q
    March 29, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    The glass is half full. And I’m sure you see it as even fuller. Hate the prospect of hospital and recovery — but that word recovery — oh so nice.

  5. SarahAndyLive
    April 29, 2013 at 1:10 am

    catching gastric cancer early is a positive! good luck!

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