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cancer??

candigrl631
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2004

hello. i am so scared right now. i have had pain between my shoulder blades for 7 days. i had pain of food going down my esophagus for 2 days. the pain was very intense. the first day when i swallowed solids, i could feel the food going down and it hurt. by the time it got to the center of my chest it was very painful. the weird thing is that the pain of the food going down also felt like i could feel pain in my back between my shoulder blades also. the next day the food hurt just as bad going down but the pain was was the food hurting my esophagus more lower as it went down. the pain in my back feels like my spine needs to be adjusted but my chiropractor says my spine and neck are fine. as of now. i have no pain swallowing but i still have pain between my shoulder blades. i am 80 pounds overweight, female, 41 years old, suffer from acid reflux for 4 years. never treated. according to info on the internet, i probably have advance esophagus cancer and will die in less than 12 months. my doc is ordering a barium swallow. what is your opinion? thankyou, maryann

mv1959
Posts: 12
Joined: Aug 2004

Do not rush yourself into the grave. I was diagnosed with cancer of the esophugus and stomach in May of 2004. I was stage 3, with one lymph node involved. Get your testing done asap. In addition to the barium swallow I would get a esophagogastroduodenoscopy taken. That is when they sedate you and put a camera down your esoph and stomach. They can also take biopsy tissue during this procedure. That was the procedure that revealed my cancer.
I know the numbers don't look good, but remember that the 5 year survival rates are based on the treatments available 5 years ago. Many things have changed in the last 5 years. I was in a clinical study at Northwestern Hospital in Chicago. My treatment consisted of six weeks of chemo and radiation (chemo every Monday, radiation Monday thru Friday). I then had six weeks to recover from treatment. On August 23rd I had a transhyatal-esophegectomy. They removed 5 in. of esophugus and 40% of my stomach. They also took 8 lymph nodes for study. The surgery showed that the cancer was all most completely gone from the esoph, and stomach. The lymph nodes were all clear of any cancer. The study shows that 25% of patients have this result from the chemo and radiation. 50 % of the people have significantly reduced cancer presence from the chemo and radiation, with the remaining 25% showing little to moderate improvement. After surgery I recovered for 5 weeks before having 6 more chemos.
I have had 2 scans since surgery and am cancer free as I write this. I have gained back 20 pounds (after losing 50 while being treated), and I can eat everything but veggies and fried food.
I would highly reccommend getting to a teaching hospital. If you are near Chicago I could not have had a more positive experience than I had at Northwestern. (www.n***.org) My Doctors are: Mary Mulcahy, chemo; Jeffery Wayne, surgeon, and William Small, radiation. They were all top notch.
A few tips for your upcoming treatments. Stay positive. I know it's hard, and that you can't stay positive all the time, but a positive attitude does help. Let your Doctors know about any pain. The treatment will make it very hard to eat and drink. Pain med's work very well. Morphine is a wonder drug. The last 3 weeks of my treatment I wore a morphine patch and used liquid morphine before meals. Combined with the Magic Mouthwash, I was able to eat and drink. Speaking of drink, keep your hydration level up. If you need to go in for IV fluids everyday. That's what I had to do the last 2 weeks. The 1st set of treatments were brutal. Radiation is the hardest thing tolerate during the whole ordeal. Make sure to manage your pain! The anti-naseua medicines given with chemo work very well. I had very little naseau during either of my sets of chemo. I may have been lucky, but my sister, who is an oncology nurse, said that very few people get terrible naseau these days. The surgery was difficult, but was probably the easiest part of the treatments. You start out the day of surgery the worst you are going to be and get better each day. With the chemo and radiation you start out ok and get worse each day.
Over all the pain and suffering are worth it given my results. I won't try to kid you, you are in for some difficult time in the upcoming months. I will let you know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I'm exercising, eating and living a pretty normal life just 8 months after diagnosis. Remember some one has to make up the good numbers in the survival rates that you read, why not you? Good luck. If you want to e-mail me with any questions, please feel free. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

colsie
Posts: 24
Joined: Dec 2004

HI,
I know it is a long time since your post, but I wondered what your test results were. I have a 17 year old daughter who has exactly the same thing as you. We had heard of similar symptoms from many and all (except her) were due to gall bladder. In my daughters case she has a motility problem. It is like a spastic esophogus and when it hits, she can't eat anything but soup or jello for 10 days. She has had it 3 times in 18 months. I hope that your situation is similar and that cancer has nothing to do with it. If it is, then you are in a good place on this website,
C.

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