According to a story from wncn.com, Seneca Ottey was diagnosed with esophageal cancer at sixty years old. Seneca was the father of Michelle Urban, who works as a pharmacist in Wilmington, NC. She says that he was given nine to twelve months to live after the diagnosis.
Esophageal cancer is one of the more challenging types of cancer to detect, and symptoms often only become apparent when the cancer has reached an advanced stage. This means that the five year survival rate is low at only eighteen percent.
Urban says that her father was showing potential signs early on, but it was not definitive enough to worry him; he often had bouts of bloating, belching, or hiccups after meals. Other common symptoms can include coughing, vomiting, difficulty swallowing, and unexplained weight loss.
Eventually, the continuing hiccups caused Seneca to mention the issue to his doctor. When the cancer was discovered, it was already too late. That tumor was three centimeters in diameter and the cancer had already spread to his lymph nodes. To learn more about esophageal cancer, click here.
In the time between his diagnosis and his eventual passing a little over a year later, Seneca spent most of his time checking off his “bucket list.” He bought a Dodge Charger and Michelle picked up tickets to see the New York Mets play, which was her father’s favorite baseball team. He underwent radiation treatment as a way to buy him some more time. Although he seemed to be responding well to treatment, he died after undergoing hernia surgery. He slipped into a coma after the operation and never recovered. A brain scan revealed that while the initial tumor had shrunk, the cancer had spread to his brain.