Thanks for this thread. I go over what may have been symptoms all the time in my mind.
Some itching in the spring, but not so extreme it caused concern. Then it went away on its own.
At the time, we suspected nothing more severe than his annual allergies, with stuffy nose, drainage in his throat, coughing. It was a bad allergy season last spring, so it didn't seem unusual.
He had a few stomach events -- some apples that didn't agree with him. Some nuts that upset his stomach. Some fish that upset his stomach. A few bouts of diarrhea. That was over the course of the year prior to diagnosis.
He was feeling some back pain. But then he'd ridden bikes all his life and had had a few wrecks. Had worked construction as a young man and had some back issues from that. Was in a desk job and had to commute so thought he wasn't getting enough back strengthening exercises.
What got his attention: Went to dr for the worsening allergies in mid-August and was diagnosed with pneumonia. Blood tests showed nothing to be concerned about. One week later his stomach blew up like a balloon -- extreme ascites. That was the beginning of all the ABC tests. The tests continued for four weeks, including at MD Anderson with Dr. Javle.
Biopsy turned up tumors on the liver, Catscan showed a small spot on his lung, other tests -- mets throughout the peritoneal fluid and cavity. He was diagnosed Aug. 26 and died Oct. 24.
In hindsight, I wonder if these events individually were signs of the cancer, or if they were, some or all of them, individual illness events like all of us have now and again. Or has the cancer been there since the time I met him in 1975 when he got what we thought was food poisoning in the college dorm cafeteria from some ham that he ate?
How do we explain cases like the 12 year old boy in California who recently died of the disease?
From the variety of all our experiences, I guess what we do know is that more medical knowledge is needed. As others have said, it's a sneaky cancer, until it smacks us over the head. I hope and pray for a screen someday to save lives. For now, I am grateful for this forum because sharing information will lead, I believe, to answers.
Wishing each and every one of you a good day. My thoughts and prayers go out to all!