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Surgery or no surgery?

Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2010

The chemo and radiation treatment were not easy, but after discussions with the doctors and surgeons about surgery,I am left me with many questions. Should I have surgery or not?
I have stage two. The tumor had gone through the wall of the esophagus, preventing my food
from stay down. Radiation and chemo did shrink the tumor but did not kill the cancer. Basicly I have good health for a 67 year old and am a candidate for surgery, any suggestion.

Betty in Vegas's picture
Betty in Vegas
Posts: 311
Joined: Jul 2009

still in those cells, you need to have the surgery. I wouldn't wait a minute. You may be a stage II now, but you won't stay that way. The surgery can give you a cure, but if you wait, your stage WILL progress if there are active cancer cells there.

My husband was stage IVM1A---and we literally begged for the surgery. And that was just for a CHANCE of cure. If he had been stage two, we would have danced down there for the surgery.

Yes it is a serious surgery, but it's the only way to get that out of there for good, and if you are stage II now, do it NOW before it becomes stage III or IV.

That would be my advice.


MOE58's picture
Posts: 649
Joined: May 2009


My husband (JEFF) was diagnosed on april fools day with Stage 2 esophogeal cancer, we were scared poopless, and thought how can that be, we went to a great oncologist here in oklahoma and have full confidence in him, my husband went through 3 months of Chemo, and then on July 23, he went and had the open esophojectomy, he did great through the surgery for that, he just had other problems to deal with.

Would I recommend surgery YOU BET, I am like William don't walk RUN if you are only a stage 2 you are great, Luckly Jeff's cancer had/has not spread and they took our 12 lymph nodes, and everything was negative, what more could we ask for, he is now 6 months post op and doing good.

I will say its not an easy road, and its not a speedy recovery, but it can be done to have a more outlook on life. There has been times I just wanted to give up and say the heck with it, I cant do this no more as a caregiver, its I think harder on a caregiver than the actual patient itself.

Please know I was so scared before surgery but if it had not been for William and Loretta Marshall and our dear blessed Kitten (which has now passed on) I don't think I could have gotten through the surgery. There were days I didn't like William as I didn't like what he told me but then there were days I wanted him around me I thought Man this man is almost GOD, as whatever he told me happened. Now he is my online DAD!!! imagine that.

Please know I am here if you have any questions, that you need answered, I try to reply to whomever needs help, as I remember sitting down writing just like you did and waiting for answers.

I wish you the best

Lori aka MOE

mumphy's picture
Posts: 486
Joined: Jun 2009

JUST DO IT. If my husband would have went to the Dr. eariler instead of waiting we would have had more options. He is stage IV with bone mets and he had the surgery.

Make an appt or two or even three until you feel comfortable with the Dr. who will be doing the surgery.

LIKE NIKE JUST DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Posts: 267
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi, I am somewhat new to this site but you have responded to some of my questions and I would like to thank you, I also noticed you said your husband was diagnosed with stage 2. My husband was diagnosed in October with stage 4 with lots of mets to liver, stomach, etc., he is going into his third session of chemo, will do six in total. He has lost 66 pounds since October and still not able to eat much, very very hard on him, throws it up right away, but able to drink. Our oncologist said yesterday that radiation might have to be done after chemo. I understand that alot of the times you do not get diagnosed until stage 3 or 4 when symptoms start appearing, in my husband's case, he was having swollowing problems that started in July and his doctors basically said it was cholesterol med's, until we finally did a scope and he was staged immediately four. Do you mind me asking how they found out your husband had this cancer and what has he done since. Did he do all the chemo/radiation surgery stuff, our doctors says surgery is not an option. thanks so much.

MOE58's picture
Posts: 649
Joined: May 2009

I would be more than glad to help you!! I too was asking alot of questions when I first came on, My husband Jeff age 45 never been sick in about 20-25 years other than a cold, told me one day in June he needed to go to the doctor, I said what for, he said I just don't feel well, and for him to ask to go I knew something was up, he said sometimes its hard for me to swallow, but keep in mind he worked swing shift and had alot of acid reflex, a smoker and drank, he also said he hurt around his gallbladder and we thought he was having a gallbladder attack and so did the doctor, so she sent him to have x-rays, came back negative, then an ultrasound came negative, wanted to just give him meds, as they were pretty sure it was an ulcer, well with me working in the medical field I said NO there is something going on with this man, he cant eat, it hurts, and he is in pain around his gallbladder, I got persistent went above the doctors head and managers head, and they booked him with a specialist to have a scope in a month, I said NO we are not waiting a month, something is wrong with this man, so after throwing a little tantrum, and not having a HMO I said either you schedule or I will find one, well we were sent to the specialist and had the test on a tuesday and he asked if he had ever been scoped he said I hate to be the one to tell you this but I am 99% sure you have cancer and its a tumor that is why you can swallow and you hurt. I about fell on the floor especially working in that field, I thought my whole world was tumbling down, then, he went on to work the next night on midnights, and the doctor called two days later and told us it was cancer. I immediately got in with the cancer doctor, and he went over everything with us, he said with Jeff in excellent health he wanted to start Chemo, well we had a port put in, started Chemo with hight potentent stuff he had it for 5 days off 3 weeks and then again, for 3 months he broke out with mouth sores, couldn't eat but liquids only was irratiable, hateful and was a whole differnt man than the man I married, there were times I just couldn't handle him, I really thought he wouldn't make it to surgery, then in July he had the surgery and on the table he quit breathing, he was a heavy smoker so his lungs were sick very sick as the surgeon said, i saw him day and night, for 12 days not responding in a heavy coma and on a ventilator, he was knocking on heavens door, but came out of it and was sent home on aug 8 2009.

We were advised to go to the radiation doctor just to make sure about radiation but since he had all negative reports the doctor said there was really nothing there to radiate so he was not in agreement for us to have it , and since we didn't need it we did not take it as the radiation has alot of side effects.

Now Jeff still has problems eating and we have had to have several dilations, but in general he is doing okay.

I certainly hope this answers your quesitons and if not or you have more just let me know and I will answer to the best of my knowledge. Please know I didn't do this 9 months ago as I was a baby learning how to crawl but once you go through everything it just comes natural.

Just put your BIG GIRL PANTIES ON, and things should go well.

Thanks and take care

Lori aka MOE

Posts: 7
Joined: Nov 2009

Josh, my son is only 23 years old with stg 4 adenocarcinoma and currently in chemo similar to your husband's, surgery was not an option at the time of diagnosis, 5-day rounds with 3 weeks off for 5 txs. this has been the worst course i can imagine, First josh went to 3 doctors, given Prilosec and completely dismissed also 3 emergency rooms refused, even after i as his mother and i am a nurse, by the way begged for a scan of any kind! this would have caught the acute pancreatitis he ws suffering from, secondary to the cancer, i suppose, One doctor even told be "with someone this age and this otherwise healthy we dont worry about things like CANCER! 3 days later Josh was admitted and finally diagnosed. He had not been able to eat in 3 weeks, a j tube was placed at that time and we were told that chemo was our only hope for a cure and that is only if he responded to it. Ok, that was in OCT first part, Josh spent the next 6-7 weeks in the hospital on so much morphine etc, i had to intervene several times, as he was overmedicated and at one time unresponsive but wide awake and unable to speak! anyway, Now here we are the next chemo tx was due after christmas, Josh ends up with a seizure and raging ifection from his PIC line the ER, scans are normal, he is on a ventilator and having some liver problems, ascites that is relentless. OMG!!! how much can i take? I have not taken him anywhere to get a second opinion, we were given no other options, i feel completely powerless! and to top it off, the nurses in ICU are not giving us anything to hang onto either. pleasse, do you have any advice? We are fighting fluid build up all the time...the oncologist is aware of the liver involvment, but yet very slight jaudice.....why is this happening?

Tina Blondek's picture
Tina Blondek
Posts: 1566
Joined: Nov 2009

Dear Mom of Josh,
My heart goes out to both of you. He must get a second opinion. This is just crazy. If his liver is involved, he will be jaundice. This recently happened to my dad, who has mets to his liver. He spent 8 days in the hospital, was dehydrated, anemic, and jaundice. He had to have a stent put in his esophagus to open it more, and a stent put in the blocked bile duct to his liver. I would leave the hospital you are at immediately, and get him to a cancer specialist.
Best of luck to you and your son. Prayers are being said.

Tina Blondek's picture
Tina Blondek
Posts: 1566
Joined: Nov 2009

Dear CW,
If surgery is an option, I feel you should go for it. That would be a cure. If the cancer is not dead, it will come back, in the same spot, or somewhere else! It is a major surgery, it is a long recovery, but it is so worth it in the long run! You are also entitled to a second opinion, if you wish. My dad is 71, ec in 11/08, chemo and radiation, not candidate for surgery because of 5 bypass surgery, now has mets to his liver. I feel that if my dad could have had the surgery....he would not now have mets to his liver. Oh well, here comes round 2 of the chemo treatments. Time to fight this battle again. I feel this way, if the treatment is available to you, do not give up, GO FOR IT!!!!

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