Jun 10, 2002 - 9:39 am
I am a 64 year old man and on Nov. 26, 2001, after being informed that a routine gastroscopy and biopsy of Barrett's changes in my lower esophagus had revealed adenocarcinoma of the esophagus at the esophageal-gastric junction, I was admitted to USC University Hospital (after a bunch of tests including coeliac angiography, stress ultra-sounds, blood work, intra-esophageal ultra-sound etc.) for esophagectomy. CAT Scans showed nothing useful. After undergoing the surgery, an en- bloc dissection and esophagectomy with stomach pull-up and 83(!) nodes removed, I developed a chylous leak. I had some other complications including atrial fibrillation, post-op collection of fluid in the mediastinum compressing my neo-esophagus and producing vomiting of my saliva, fevers and white counts up to 35,000. I was hopitalized for a total of 7 weeks and remained on the jejunostomy tube feedings at home for some time afterward. No chemo- or radiation therapy was indicated. I did have some mild post-op depression and did consult a psychiatrist for it. I am now tube-free (some six months after surgery) and am slowly adapting to my newly re-arranged GI tract, gaining weight by multiple oral feedings and slowly regaining my strength. Psychological outlook is not recovering as well as I expected. Since I have been asked to report for check-ups every three months I feel as if I only have three months at a time to live. I would love to contact others with CA of the esophagus in any stage, pre- or post-op and compare notes, outlook, anecdotes, etc. If you are interested please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.