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Stage 4 survivor

Katanna's picture
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2008

My 5th year anniversary is coming up on July 15, 2008. It is on that day 5 years ago I had my esophagas and 30% of my stomach removed. I have never smoked and very seldom had a glass of wine. I was told that I only had 6 weeks to 6 months to live, but here I am. The sugeon said there was NO concer left in the body. This happend through prayer, wonderful friends and family as well as great doctors and nasty chemo and radiation. I have had a lot of problems BUT I am a fighter. I was told it was my not give up attitude. Believe me it was tough that is why I am writing. I need to know if anyone else is out there that has survived? I returned back to work after 2 years with the airline as an agent. I was to stressed so then I went into a call center but spent more time in the bathroom then on the phone. I was told by my doctors that I would never work again but I had to give it a try. The problem I have is constant runs, sometimes throwing up in the middle of the night. I have severe pain in my ribs and back. My ribs cramp at times and I am so very tired yet I have yet to have a full 8 hours of sleep. I have other problems to but hey I am now 54, divorced 3 grown married children and 6 grand children. I have a wonderful Grey Hound that keeps me company. I tire so easly no energy. Anyway more later but any input from anyone will help. Thank you and God Bless!

Posts: 1
Joined: May 2011

Hello. I am desperate for some answers and if you have any info it would be greatly appreciated! My uncle has just had the EC removed and he is now talking out of his mind and hallucinating..apparently it is bc they switched his meds. He is acting as if he has alzheimers or sundowners. Is this the end of the road?

Thank you so much,

linda1120's picture
Posts: 438
Joined: Oct 2010

Dear Rayna,

It is not abnormal for people to become paranoid or hallucinate with some of the medications they give to you after surgery. My husband did this and it only lasted for a couple of days. It is very frightening, but it will pass.

I hope this helps you.


Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2011

My husband has been diagnosed with fourth stage esophageal cancer and has been receiving a variety of chemo drugs since early February. At this point it would really be very helpful to have some feed back from survivors of fourth stage esophageal cancer. Our main questions at this point are:

At what point in your treatment did your oncologist bring in radiation therapy?

Did your oncologist feel that radiation therapy was a bad option because it would make it harder to monitor the effectiveness of the chemotherapy if the tumor was receiving radiation at the same time?

Did you have a doctor that was more inclined to focus in a positive way on the slimmer chance of survival rather than the greater odds that you would not?

Who was your oncologist and at what hospital were your treated?

Good luck to all and thanks in advance for your response

mardigras's picture
Posts: 207
Joined: Sep 2011

As a caregiver for my husband newly diagnosed with EC, I just wanted to say a huge thank you to all of you who have given me encouragement on these past few dark weeks. Please stay with me as I did not have any peace of mind until I stumbled in here in the middle of the night. I don't feel so alone now.
So thank you, thank you all!
God Bless You
Marci X

Posts: 5
Joined: Jan 2010

hi Marci,

how are you doing? I just read some of your posts. I am my mother's caregiver, we just found out her cancer (cervical) has come back and it's stage IV with a 4cm mass wrapped around kidney, ureter and resting on colon, spots on liver and lung. It is hard to remain upbeat/positive but that is what I must do when I'm around her. She wants to fight so I think that helps. hang in there.
God Bless,
mary beth

Posts: 110
Joined: Jul 2011

Katanna thankyou for posting and it is great to hear this positive post. I compliment you on your determination on when the docs said no you said yes i can. You showed them , maby it was a mind set that you have . I have come by a couple hear that have got lucky if you would and have passed the marks way beyound there dreams . Keep up the positive attitude!


LilChemoSmoker's picture
Posts: 192
Joined: Oct 2011


I don't know Katana's status at this point, but I can tell you that this posting is nearly 3 years old. Please pay attention to the original posting dates on these postings.


Posts: 110
Joined: Jul 2011

I see Michelle on the post the date , funny I wonder who posted this then ? Anyway I think alot of this started when i posted on how long some might survive this. I like to think of this sight as its name - even though stage 4 is not good. I did find a couple of long time survivors here on this site , as i posted once before. Just trying to stay positive for the ones who need hope.


Daisylin's picture
Posts: 380
Joined: May 2011

I think alot of us here get a bit funny about Katana. She only posted the one time, never any updates since this post. Also, many of us find it a bit suspicious that she had surgery. As you know, from your mom's case as well as everyone else here, the plain truth is that stage 4's just don't get surgery. She could more likely have been a stage 3 and misrepresented herself unintentionally.

Of course we all want hope, and no one begrudges you that Jason. There are certainly some that survive a few years, and we all strive for that goal. Be realistic, but don't give up hoping and praying! Lee and I had huge hopes and dreams at one point too, and there's nothing wrong with that, as long as it doesn't cloud reality.

wee jane
Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 2011

I was diagnosed with stage 4 EC (mets in liver) in October 2008. Iwas treated with palliative chemotherapy (ECX) for 5 cycles. The tumors shrank a lot but are still present. I have regular scans but so far my disease is entirely stable. I have no real symptoms and lead an active and enjoyable life. I have changed my diet radically and take a number of supplements including mistletoe, turmeric, Manuka honey and bitter apricot kernels. As you can imagine my oncologists are pleased but a little surprised! I hope my story gives you some hope.

Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2012

Thanks so much for your inspiring and encouraging words! I have a dear friend who was recently diagnosed with stage VI bile duct cancer and believe that in addition to modern medicine, nutrition is very important. Do you have any more insight regarding your diet you can share?

Thanks again!

sherry1352's picture
Posts: 4
Joined: Feb 2015

Thanks for the heads up on the dates. I see most of these posts are old.

Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2011

This is such a wonderful thing to hear! Where did you go for treatments? (city, state) My "second dad" has stage 4 esophageal cancer, he had a complete esophagectomy and they just told us he has about a month to live. I feel like how can someone tell you how much time you have. I guess I feel like I need someone to talk to who has been through this. If you wouldnt mind, I, as well as my sister would love to talk or email with you. I hope you had a great holiday and have a great new year.

sherry1352's picture
Posts: 4
Joined: Feb 2015

I have esophageal cancer. My oncologist says stage 2 the enoscopy dr says stage 3. Anyway I wonder if the pill form of marijuanna called Marinol would help you sleep. It knocks me out! Walgreens has it you just need a doctors prescription and good insurance to get it. I wouldn't trust any unregulated form of MJ. Good luck! Sherry

Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2015

Encouragement is a wonderful thing and there are lots of things to say about attitude, and encouragement.  

Jan 2, 2014 I was told that the results from endoscopy revealed a large mass at GE junction

Jan 6, 2014 Diagnosed with Adenocarcanoma of the Esophagus

Jan 7, 2014 CT scan revealed Esophageal mass and 2 Hepatic masses

Jan 14th, The Doctor says that the disease is terminal and surgery will do not good but treatment could control possibly and a prognosis of 6 months to 1 year 

Jan 27th, Met my oncologist, and my first impression was "Oh great, here I am with terminal cancer and they give me a high school girl for a doctor".  At first interview she introduced herself to me, my wife and my daughter and spent a lot of time talking to the two of them.  Then she said tell me what you know about your cancer and I told her everything that I knew about it.  Then my daughter asked her about a prognosis and She said 6 months  maybe a year if we have good success with the therapy.  As soon as she said that she looked at me and said I know you are a fighter aren't you and I told her I was, then she sort of giggled and said  Let's fight this thing together..

Feb3, 2014  Porta Cath installed in upper left chest

Feb 6, 2014, First day of infusion with Folfox.  My Doctor decided to only use the Oxaliplatin and 5FU, and you know exactly what and how I felt that first day and through all of this so far up to date.

My cycle was every two weeks.  From that first time to this day, there are tons of prayers being sent up for me, my family, my Oncological team, my pharmacologist and after 6 cycles  Dr. Sherrod said lets shoot a scan and see if we are making any progress.  They did the scan on April 8th. and you know the anxiety I felt in anticipation of the report from the scan.  She told me she would call as soon as she read the scan and she did.  The morning of the 9th, she called and started talking about my side effects from the chemo.  There weren't very many at all.  No nausea, no hair loss, no constipation or diahrrea, only jaw pain, cold sensativiy, and minor upper chest pains. Then she started to giggle and said"I read your CT scan and I wanted to tell you that the Mass at the junction is not measurable at all.  And the Hepatic masses are significan'y smaller.  It's working far far better than I had even hoped for".....

You all know how I felt hearing that, the happy emotions, the tears and the prayers that followed are now precious memories of something so good from something so bad.

It's now one year and one month into the treatments and my port has been removed and at last scan in January, there was nothing "remarkable" as it says on myt scan detail.  I have been on Capecitabine but have been off of it now for two weeks.  I know that at some point I will have to go back on it I think  having mets to the liver but for now, all is good.  We shoot another scan on the 26th of March and I am confident that it will too be recorded as "nothing remarkable"

I am a veteran of the Viet Nam conflict and all of this was done through VA Hospital but all of My Oncology team is from Vanderbilt Hospital which is adjacent to our VA Facility.

Doctor Amanda Sherrod, my family, and all my friends have been incredibly imortant in helping to keep my attitude high and my expectations even higher and I cannot stress the importance if doing that.  I thank God every day, many times a day for what he has done for me and I pray for all those that have been going through what I have been going through.

One of the most important parts of batteling this beast is being able to talk about it to family and friends.  Their support is intensified when they understand what you are going through and can help you with managing that mentally, and they do it well.  Talking to others that are going through the same thing is essential as well.  There is a different level of understanding when talking with other patients.

Sorry for the diatribe and lengthy post, I just felt I needed to say what I did.

May God Bless All

















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