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Advice Sought: Early Stage Esophageal, Dr. Recommending Esophagectomy (McKeown procedure)

FCCC1
Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 2010

To fellow survivors:
I am searching for your advice and comments for someone diagnosed with Early Stage Esophageal cancer. According to my doctor - an Esophagectomy (non-invasive type) is recommended to arrest the possible spread of the cancer. I am interested to know if anyone can relate your recovery stories from esophagectomy.
Your quick response would be appreciated as doctor recommends surgery soon.
Many thanks,
FCCC1

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

What stage are you? Who is your doctor? What other medical intervention have you had.

I would assume from what you said, you have not had chemo or rad, you are probably stage I or II and your doc wants to do this and hopefully no chemo or rad. If that is so, thank the Lord above, and run to the doctor for the procedure.

Though you will hear herein, that everyone's experience is different, even if you choose the worst recovery scenario, they are all better than being dead. If this cancer grows and it will, and fast, that will be your outcome.

SO what you want to do is seek out the best doctor you can --someone who does these weekly or daily--not someone who has done three and hopes for the best. Find the best hospital you can to have the procedure done in. Then, go in and get it done.

As for my husband, he did well. He's in his mid 40's and he is 3 months out, eating a regular diet, and until clean up chemo started, was back to work 10-12 hours a day. Now he has slowed down for chemo, and is only working 8 hours a day.

And he is still with me, which he might not be except for the intervention of great doctors and God.

So run, don't walk, and get your surgery :) You can do it.

Moe--do you have some of those big boy pants?

Moe will explain the big boy pants.

Welcome to CSN :)

Betty Johnson

FCCC1
Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 2010

Betty,
Thank you so much for your quick response. My doctor thinks it might be in the nodes, I'm in very early stage, 74 yr old. I'm concerned because I've had no symptoms and it's hard to believe I have cancer if I have no symptoms. But he says he saw pathology which he states is invasive cancer of esophagus. Going to Fox Chase, heard it's the best.
Again,thank you.

FCCC1
Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 2010

p.s. Who is Moe?

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

Moe is auser here. She has a special way of gearing everyone up. ;} if it is in nodes yo
u need chemo then rad then surgery. It is a weird cancer. I felt he same way about ny hubby. How could he be sick when he feels great? It is mean how it sneaks up. You need to ask questions like what stage is the cancer (depth of tumor and spread tells you this. ) what chemos can we try. You should get an endoscopy w ultrasound and pet scan too. Ask about radiation options

MOE58's picture
MOE58
Posts: 649
Joined: May 2009

Go to all my post and read them and see how scared I was up until now. I have come along ways and I helped Betty In Vegas, see the light, Mumphy see the light, and a few others which i cant remember right now.

Good luck

Moe

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

I was on my cell phone...and those buttons are so TEENY!

MOE58's picture
MOE58
Posts: 649
Joined: May 2009

Well, first off let me tell you welcome to our site, Cancer is not what we ask for, My husband of 45 years old, never been sick a day in his life went to the doctor thinking it was his gallbladder had all the signs for it but they all came back negative, after being persistent with the doctors, he went for a scope, the doctor then told us he had a tumor, and 99% sure he had cancer adenocarcinoma, we were told this on April Fools Day, not only did I think it was joke I was scared to death. My husband went through 3 months of Chemo and was diagnosed at stage 2 he had the esophojectomy on july 23, and was in ICU for 12 days he did fine with the surgery it was he had other complications after surgery, I will tell you it is not an easy surgery at all, you have a long recovery period, you will have to have help, not only bathing but other things as well, Never did I think I would be wiping my husband's butt and cleaning him up. You will have a NG tube after surgery to make sure your stomach is handling everything, but then you will have to go for a swallow test to make sure there is no leaks befor eyou can start eating. You will have to change your diet once you are home, to very small meals, as you have a new stomach now and it doesn't know how to work. You don't won't the sugar or you will be in the potty this is called dumping syndrome, and stay away from milk, it doesnt do well with your new esophogaus will give you cramps and etc. My husband has done well, it did take him a while to get things goin in life but just recently came off the pain meds. You won't be able to lay flat in bed so make sure you have a recliner when you come home as that is how you will have to sleep for awhile.

Would I recommend the surgery YES, i would, yes I was scared nervous, and etc. but all in all It was for the best and now he has no evidence of disease and has had 3 pet scans since and is still doing fine. He see his oncologist every 3 months and so far so good.

We have some BIG BOY UNDERWEAR for you, you will need them before its all over with, and as I always say when you hit a bump in the road you pull up your BIG BOY UNDERWEAR, and keep on going. I had to use mine alot, and so has everyone else on this site.

Also my husband had 13 lymph nodes removed and there was none to be found in any of them.

I hope this has helped and if you need any other questions answered I am sure I can answer them.

Good Luck
Lori aka MOE

mumphy's picture
mumphy
Posts: 486
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi,

I'm Kathy AKA Mumphy,

I also would have some chemo and or radiation prior to surgery. My husband is stage IV. He had mostly chemo and that shrunk his tumor and the killed the lymphnodes.

I did have the MIE or laproscopic surgery and did fine. Unfortunatley with all of the tests
somehow they miss some mets in his back and we are working on that.

Not many EC patients are able to have surgery because it is just spreds through out the body so fast, so now while its early get them to kill as many of the buggers that they can prior to surgery. You just never know what is hanging around!!!

Keep us posted on your progress and alway feel free to come here to vent or ask questions thats what we are here for.

Good Luck,
God Bless
Kath

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