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Team Sepeda: Jesse's Story

Posted on 06 February 2017


Around the first part of November, Jesse Sepeda was dealing with difficulty swallowing food. While thinking it was a reflux issue, he followed up with his family physician which prescribed him medication.

At the follow up appointment, he mentioned pain in his left calf. They immediately sent him for an ultra-sound which discovered a blood clot. That same day they prescribed blood thinners. After taking the blood thinners for approximately 4 days, Jesse had developed internal bleeding. He was directed to report immediately to the local hospital, which then transported him to Riverside.

On Monday November 28, 2016, Jesse and family received the news that no family can ever imagine hearing. The endoscope revealed a mass at the base of his esophagus. The biopsy concluded it was a cancerous mass. Additionally, cat scans reveled the cancer had spread to the liver, lungs and lymph nodes. Stage IV Esophageal cancer. Jesse and family was told that the cancer was inoperable and incurable.

The doctors immediately placed a filter into Jesse’s pelvis to control the multiple blood clots (which are caused by the cancer and thickening of blood) and started chemotherapy treatment. The first treatment didn’t go as planned. The sickness caused the tumor to bleed again. Low blood pressure and the internal bleeding sent him by squad back to Riverside for another 5 day stay. At that point, the team of doctors determined that he should be treated with radiation for 10 days to shrink the esophagus tumor.

After the 10 day treatment, Jesse is back on chemo, receiving it every 3 weeks as an infusion and 2 weeks of chemo pills – one week off and starts the process over again.

The oncology team has said that Jesse will never be off of chemotherapy treatment due to the progression of the disease.

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