Jan 01, 2010 - 12:34 am
I am new to the group but have found so much comfort and encouragement from reading your posts. My husband was diagnosed with EC 7-16-09. He went in for a simple outpatient procedure and came out with a stage III adenocarcinoma in his distal esophagus. I will admit that there were brief periods following that diagnosis where I could not breath. For us things happened very quickly. We were referred to Ochsner's Medical Center in New Orleans, LA. I am so grateful for Dr. Ramon Rivera who quickly connected us with a surgeon, Dr. Abbas Abbas. For 3 weeks it seemed like every piece of news we heard was bad. Those frequent trips to NOLA during those weeks became almost more than I could bare.
As an educator, research has always been my solution to things. With this, it proved to be too much. I just could not take the statistics that I was finding. After the second week I quit looking for info on the web. I am lucky to have a brother who is a nurse at a hospital with an impressive cancer center, a sister whose best friend is an oncologist in Houston, and a brother-in-law who is a physician. Their encouragement when I felt almost paralyzed by the fear of making wrong choices about treatment and care for my husband was a lifeline.
We were also very fortunate to be referred to an excellent oncologist, Dr. Glenn Smith, in our hometown of Hattiesburg, MS, who handled my husband's treatments prior to surgery. My husband's tumor was too large to remove pre-chemo/radiation. He went through 4 rounds of 24/5 chemo (5FU and Cystplatin) and 5 weeks of radiation. He suffered terribly from mouth soars and lost most of his hair, including his beard which he had for over 35 years.
My husband had his esophagectomy 3 weeks ago today. His surgery was done laporoscoply and he did quite well. We thought we were home free until he developed an infection due to a leak at his anastemosis. Because of the infection he has not been able to take anything by mouth. He started on clear liquids this past Tues. but had to stop because he threw up all night. He has thrown up every morning, and sometimes through the night, since we came home from the hospital. The docs keep saying it's early and that things take time. From what I've read in your posts this is probably true, but it's hard not to be a little worried.
His pathology report came back great-no residual cancer, all lymph nodes negative. I will admit that it will be a long time before I feel safe again no matter what the docs say.
God has been so abundantly present throughout our cancer journey from helping us connect to the right docs to keeping us afloat financially as my husband is self-employed and unable to work in his HVAC installation and repair business. For me, all his scars are the outward sign of the inner faith of the many people who prayed for our family and will forever remind me of the miraculous hand of my savior.
I promised myself that I would share our story in the hopes that it could be a testimony to others along this road. I am not an EC expert, but I have discovered a few things that have made this trip somewhat easier for my husband and am more than happy to offer any part of our experience.
With greatest respect and a certain faith,