The Warrior- Meet Rick
Rick had already beaten Hepatitis C and testicular cancer when at the age of 56, he noticed a strange lump—or “nodule” as he called it—while relaxing at home with his wife Christina. Understandably suspicious, he went to the doctor the next day to request an X-ray. After undergoing the CT scan, Rick was told he had a thickening of the esophageal wall.
Signs of Esophageal Cancer
- Difficulty swallowing
- Pain, discomfort or burning sensations in the middle of the chest (behind the breastbone)
Going to the Doctor
Rick made an appointment with his gastroenterologist, having seen him for previous health issues. Following a scope, he was informed that the results indicated the strong possibility of cancer. Rick’s doctor suggested he go to Moffitt Cancer Center for his treatment, but he decided to do his homework first, researching cancer facilities in Texas, Arizona and several other states. Rick quickly came to the same conclusion. “Moffitt was the place to go. I mean, this was it.”
Giving Cancer the Warrior Mindset
Esophageal cancer is no walk in the park. “You’ve got to be a tough cookie to get through it,” says Rick. And he was. After removal of his esophagus through the Ivor-Lewis procedure, he was required to stay at Moffitt for eight days while the sutures healed—consuming no water or even ice. The self-professed “warrior” was quickly back in action. “On the fifth day I had done 25 laps around the nurses’ station,” he recalls.
Helping Others Carry On
While he was recovering, he was asked to speak to a patient who had the same procedure but had developed a serious infection. Rick shared his insights and encouraged him to fight through his struggles. A veteran, Rick now gives back by making medical appointments for other veterans in the V.A.
If you’ve been experiencing symptoms of esophageal cancer, Moffitt Cancer Center can help you determine the cause. No referral is necessary to make an appointment; simply call 1-888-663-3488 or complete the new patient registration form online.