Aug 28, 2009 - 4:51 pm
Hi, I've been a lurker for a while and decided to join the group. I'm a caregiver to my husband Tom, who was diagnosed with Esophageal Cancer in May, 2009 and it was staged at T3,N1,M0 at Moffitt Cancer in Tampa, FL. Being that Moffitt is an hour away we decided to do the chemo/radiation locally. The oncologist we were referred to suggested a clinical trial to Tom and he decided to go for it. In addition to the carboplatin, paclitaxel and 5FU, the trial added Avastin and Tarceva to the mix along with daily radiation. The carbo, paclitaxel along with the Avastin was administered intravenously in a port in his chest twice, 3 weeks apart for around 7 hours. The 5FU was the pump/fanny pack version and the Tarceva was in pill form once a day. Tom ended up in the hospital for two nights with an infection from low WBC and after the second dose of chemo, he had to stop the pill, radiation and 5FU because of severe mouth sores, for a week. They discontinued the 5FU after that but he did the pill and radiation for an additional 7 days. He had trouble with the radiation for the last 5 doses and for the two weeks once the radiation was finished. He got sick several times and had quite a bit of pain in his boo-boo area (his term). Tom is 60 and like a lot of people was very healthy prior to his diagnosis. He does have diabetes but it was well under control and had recently lost 30 pounds voluntarily. (wish he had them back now). He had lots of trouble trying to eat once his radiation side effects started. When this process started he was 208 and is now down to 175. They didn't put a feeding tube in because his problems didn't really start until the radiation was over. They also told him the radiation would continue working for two weeks after it was finished and he could be in pain for that long. The oncologist keeps telling him he is doing very good but I'm not sure Tom agrees with him at this point.
Next week starts the restaging process and as you can all imagine we're really, really stressed. After all he's been through I sure hope all of these drugs have done something to shrink his tumor. He goes for CT Scan and PET scan on Monday and a scope on Friday morning at Moffitt.
I've been reading about a lot of you over the last couple of weeks. Congrats to both Moe and Abe on their cancer free spouses. I've been praying for both Kitten and Donna and I'm sorry I can't remember other names at the moment.
I would like to take this opporunity to say "Thanks" to William Marshall, your postings have been a big support to me during this time. I would especially like to thank you for talking about an assistant to Dr. Luketich during your operation and the fact that he had gone to Moffitt Cancer Center. We have an appointment with Dr. Alvelo-Rivera on the Wednesday after Labor Day. We're not sure if Tom can have the MIE procedure but even if he can't Dr. Alvelo-Rivera can perform the surgery and we are looking forward to meeting him.
Sorry this is so long and thanks for listening. I've been having trouble posting so I hope it goes through.