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My dad just diagnosed

StarvinOG
Posts: 5
Joined: Jan 2010

Hello everyone,

WOW! There is so much information and good advice in these discussions. My name is Arnold. My dad was diagnosed with Stage 4 EC on Nov. 12. 2009. Luckily he is still able to eat without a feeding tube. We have been to so many doctors and my dad has undergone the entire barrage of tests. Now the next step. He is beginning Chemo on Wednesday at Sloan-Kettering in NYC. It has been such a scary time. My dad just turned 69 in December and is in great health otherwise.

I am having a difficult time understanding some of the rationale talked about how to approach the EC. We started planning on the esophageal resection surgery but now the latest biopsy has found a small spot on the liver. Now the oncologist has basically ruled out surgery. They are hopeful that with aggressive chemo over the next 2 months they will be able to considerably shrink the tumors. Is this the typical approach? They are starting him on Inotecan (?) and a cisplatin.

So much to think about. It is such a great help when others, like you all, are sharing their experiences to help me figure this all out. I would just like to have one visit where we can get some good news. Or at least better news.
I hope my dad does well with his treatments. Hopefully the side effects will be minimal. EC patients

I pray a lot more these days.

lindadanis
Posts: 267
Joined: Nov 2009

my husband also has stage four with spots in liver and stomach, he has been on the same two chemo drugs you mentioned for almost a month and a half and is doing ok. Make sure they give him anti naseua medicine before starting chemo and also one of them can cause alot of diahrea so make sure they give him something for that also. My husband had swollowing problems in the summer and they did a scope and found the tumor. Can you dad eat anything? How long did they say for chemo, like how many sessions. My husband goes for two weeks then one week off then starts again, that is considered one session, he is doing a total for six sessions. has anyone mentioned radiation?

StarvinOG
Posts: 5
Joined: Jan 2010

Thanks for the advice.

My dad is able to eat. He goes slowly and eats little bits often. The tumor is encroaching on the stomach also.

They are giving him 2 sessions. Seem t be same schedule, 2 weeks once per week on and then one week off. Then reevaluate. I guess against the baseline CT? We did talk about the anti nausea and anti-diahrea meds and are prepared.

What kind of shape should I expect him to be in after his first treatment?

they did talk about radiation down the road. Is your husband undergoing radiation at the same time?

I guess they will wait to see how the tumors react to the chemo. The oncologist has not specified the number of treatments in all. I am hoping to find out more after Wednesday which will be his first treatment.

So much speculation and enormous amounts of information to digest at every visit.

Did they also rule out surgery for your husband? because of the presence on the liver and stomach?

Thanks again. I will add you and your husband to my prayer list.

Tina Blondek's picture
Tina Blondek
Posts: 1561
Joined: Nov 2009

Dear Starvin,
I think I have written to you one other time, did you post on the liver site as well? Anyway,
My dad was dx 11/08 with ec. He had 6 weeks of chemo and radiation. Did very well. He has had to have a stent put in his esophagus to open it more, and a stent in his bile duct to his liver which was blocked. He was not a candidate for surgery, due to his bypass surgery in 94.
He now has mets to his liver, and will start his chemo treatments within the next few weeks. He will also be on the same chemos as your dad. I am curious to know how they both do. We are prepared as well with the anti nausea and antil dirreahel. You are in one of the best hospitals in your area. They come highly recommended. That should make you at ease. You are doing a great job so far. Best of luck to you and your dad. Prayers are being said. You will find that you will be praying a lot more now!
Tina

StarvinOG
Posts: 5
Joined: Jan 2010

Dad has his first treatment yesterday of ironotecan. He did really well. Baseline scans showed a little growth of both tumors in the esophagus and the spots on the liver. However his numbers were good. It was encouraging to now start the fight after months of testing.
Next week they will be introducing Cisplatin along with the Irinotecan.

We have been overwhelmingly pleased with our experience at Sloan. Even though it is a 2+ hour trek to NYC for us we are going to continue seeking chemo there for the first 2 months then we will be handed off to an oncologist here in New Jersey. We want to be sure that the recipe is working and, more importantly, that the treatment is regularly administered.

My dad is in really good spirits. We will continue to pray for the best.

Thanks to you and others like you for helping me to stay strong and informed to be able to give my dad the best care possible.

May the prayers abound for us all!

Arnold Teixeira
Ocean Grove, NJ

Tina Blondek's picture
Tina Blondek
Posts: 1561
Joined: Nov 2009

Hey Arnold, Now that I know you are from NJ.....I was born and raised on the Jersey Shore!
Small world huh? I grew up in Ocean Township, NJ. My brother still lives there in Howell. We moved to Va in 2004, when my parents retired here. I am not too sure about many cancer treatment centers in NJ. You might want to stick with Sloan. Jersey Shore might have something to offer. Glad your dad did well with his first chemo. Let me know how he makes out when they combine the two. Isnt is something that our dads are from NJ, have the same cancer, and are having the same chemo treatments, at about the same time??? God puts certain people in our paths for a reason! Best of luck and keep me posted!
Tina

cfight's picture
cfight
Posts: 77
Joined: Jan 2010

My father was diagnosed in December 2009 and started chemo last week. He wasn't eligible for surgery...the cancer had already spread to his arm. He started chemo last week (1 x per week) for 3 weeks then 1 week off-- 2 cycles then more testing. He's also receiving radiation on his arm for two weeks. All in all, he's doing good... some digestive issues, fatigue and lost of appetite. He took his first anti nausea pill today. The diagnosis was very overwhelming for me and the information out there is even more daunting. I'm glad you found this site. I found the people and information extremely helpful.

I wish you and your family strength during your journey!

Tina Blondek's picture
Tina Blondek
Posts: 1561
Joined: Nov 2009

Hey StarvinOG,
Just checking in with you and your dad. Have not heard from you in a week or so. Hope all is going well for your dad. My dad goes to onc. Thursday to discuss his chemo treatments. Hope we all make the right decision! Thinking of you and your dad.I was curious how he was making out with the cisplatin and the irretocean chemo. Spelling is not correct i am sure! My dad was recommended the same chemo treatment.
Tina

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