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50 yo sister diagnosed with cancer of stomach cardia

bidi
Posts: 11
Joined: Apr 2010

She had no symptoms except for swollen lymph nodes above the left collarbone and left armpit. Biopsy of lymph tissue showed cancer. Intenstive tests (CAT scan, PET scan, endoscopy, ultrasound, colonoscopy, MRI) did not show any cancer other than the lymph nodes. However, a biopsy of some stomach tissue came back positive for adenocarcinoma with signet ring. Since it has spread to her lymph nodes, it is stage 4 and inoperable. She starts chemo next week the day after her 50th birthday.

She is a oncologist herself so this is even harder. She is/was in great health otherwise. Any words of hope, advice or guidance?

Tina Blondek's picture
Tina Blondek
Posts: 1560
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Bidi and welcome. I was a caregiver for my dad. He recently passed away from esophageal cancer with mets to his liver on 3/9/10. Caregiving is a tough job to say the least. Your sister being an ongologist herself is also an advantage, I would think. My dad was also staged at IV. He had 6 weeks 5 days a week of chemo and radiation. He did very well with this, until he got mets to his liver. Once the cancer has spread, it is much harder. She is young and in good shape, this will help her. Hope this helps. Keep in touch.
Tina

liveinhope
Posts: 83
Joined: Mar 2010

Hi Bidi,my 31year old son also has signet ring adeno and has completed surgery and chemotherapy.On this site you will find a number of people like your sister who have responded well to chemotherapy.Please don't lose heart.I hope that she responds and has a good quality of life.Our love and good wishes
Nisha

bidi
Posts: 11
Joined: Apr 2010

Very sorry to hear about your son - he is so young! Hope he is doing better after the surgery and chemo. My sister had one round of chemo so far and took it well. She has changed her diet to include more fresh fruits and veggies, and is taking a number of nutritional supplements such as fresh turmeric, garlic, wheatgrass juice, cinnamon, mushroom extract, etc. She is doing yoga breathing every day. She seems to be feeling good so far. Her second round of chemo is next Thursday - let's see how that goes.

Best wishes for your son. Let me know how he is doing.

Tina Blondek's picture
Tina Blondek
Posts: 1560
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi again Bidi and thanks for your sister's recent update! So happy to hear that her first chemo treatment went well. It is great that she has changed her diet and is doing yoga. Yoga is wonderful for the mind as well as the body. She will need a strong mental outlook to continue doing as well as she has. Best of luck to both of you. Keep in touch.
Tina

liveinhope
Posts: 83
Joined: Mar 2010

Hi Bidi,How is your sister doing?I hope the problems with chemotherapy are manageable.My son is well and busy at work(he is a copywriter in an ad firm).He lives with us so diet is not such a problem.Love and good wishes

Son of Liberty
Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2010

Nisha,

I saw your comments about your son being diagnosed with Signet Ring Cancer. I hope with God's will he is doing well. I am 32, have a beautiful wife, and a 6 month old and two days ago was diagnosed with Signet Ring Cancer in my Stomach and a small 3cm mass in my colon as well. I am not even sure where to begin. This is my first "reach out" to someone for hope. What has worked well? Thanks for any encouragement.

Jason

liveinhope
Posts: 83
Joined: Mar 2010

Dear Jason,I am across the globe from you near Bombay in India.My son Ateesh is almost a year from the day of his diagnosis.He received 3 cycles of chemotherapy(ECF)initially followed by total gastrectomy and again,3 cycles of chemotherapy.This lasted for 5 months after which he returned to work.
You will have to learn this language(of cancer and its treatment) fast.If you have any doubts don't hesitate to take a second opinion and ask your doctors all the questions you wish to.Above all keep up your spirits.Its a tough road ahead so take the help of all those who reach out to you.Remember its equally shattering for those who love you so forgive the occasional odd comment.
You can always write to me.Besides being a caregiver I am a doctor and a c ancer survivor.All my good wishes.My email id-nishamunshi@rediffmail.com Nisha

liveinhope
Posts: 83
Joined: Mar 2010

Dear Jason,you must be moving ahead with therapy.Has the chemotherapy been decided?Give it all you have and you will certainly find hidden reserves of strength.You and your family are in my thoughts. Good wishes Nisha

liveinhope
Posts: 83
Joined: Mar 2010

Dear Jason,Just to let you know i am thinking of you and hoping things are moving ahead.I know you will find reserves of strength within you to keep fighting on.
Good wishes for you and your family Nisha

golleedolly63
Posts: 11
Joined: May 2010

Was so sorry to hear about your sister. I have a 41 yr old son who just had a cancerous mass removed from his left kidney. He has been suffering with lack of appetite & cronic constipation & loss of weight & pain.He can not tolerate eating solid foods. He gets a full feeling after a few bites of food & drink.The Dr's have done cat scan & other test & claim they can not find anything. They have refered him to UAB a teaching hospital in Birmingham. Thats where things stand at this time with us. It is very had to deal with all of this when it is your family member. I can understand where your coming from. Take it one day at a time.Have faith in God & may god bless you & yours.

bidi
Posts: 11
Joined: Apr 2010

Wanted to provide an update. My sister has had 4 sessions of chemo (doxorubicin and oxaliplatin) 3 weeks apart so far. She is also taking Xeloda orally daily. She seems to be responding well to the chemo since her blood markers for her cancer (CA19.9) have dropped from 389 to 87 during the 12 weeks period. She had a CT and PET scan after the 4th round of chemo and the existing tumors had shrunk and additional metastates were not found. She is feeling well and has been working throughout. She is very lucky.

Wanted to share with others the other things she has been doing to improve her chances. She takes turmeric (fresh or powder) daily, as well as fresh garlic, before dinner. She has a glass of whatgrass juice (from Amazing Grass wheatgrass powder) on an empty stomach in the morning to alkalize her body. She has transitioned to a mostly vegetarian diet emphasizing fresh fruits, legumes, and vegetables. She has also been drinking fresh vegetable juice from a juicer (single gear masticating juicer) twice a day. In reading about Gerson Therapy (look it up on the Internet) we understand that teh enzymes and other components in raw vegetable juice has magical effects on the immune system. She is mainly juicing carrots and granny smith apples. She has also been doing pranayama for about 10 mins daily to increase the level of oxygen in her blood - apparently, a body that is well-oxygentated and alkaline is much more resistant to cancer.

In any case, she seems to be doing much better than expected given the very aggressive nature of her cancer (stage IV diffuse signet ring cell adenocarcinoma of the stomach). I don't know whether it is because of the alternate therapies she is doing, but thought I would share her story for others to at least check out the other options.

Her oncologist is saying that gastrectomy may be an option given that the cancer has not spread to other organs (her metastates were to distant lymph nodes only). We are all praying and hoping for the best.

Best wishes to everyone on this forum. Take care,

Tina Blondek's picture
Tina Blondek
Posts: 1560
Joined: Nov 2009

Hello Bidi
Thank you so much for your sister's recent update. So great to hear that she is doing so well. My dad also took oral xeloda for his esophageal cancer and did very well with it, he went into remission for a year. In December 09 he got mets to his liver. It is a very aggressive cancer in the liver. He lost his battle in March. I come here to these discussion boards daily to read others stories, help others with my experience. It does my mental state well. I have heard alot of this Gershon treatment lately. It all sounds good. Best of luck to both of you. Keep in touch when you can. Hugs to you and your sister.
Tina

liveinhope
Posts: 83
Joined: Mar 2010

Hi BidiThere hasn't been much happening on this site.I think many are doing chemo or surgery and wouldn't have much time to spare .I hope your sister is doing well.Good wishes to all Nisha

bidi
Posts: 11
Joined: Apr 2010

She is doing pretty well so far except for nausea, weakness and low blood counts between day 3-8 after the chemo. How is your son doing?

liveinhope
Posts: 83
Joined: Mar 2010

Hi Bidi,Thanks for the update on your sister.I can understand your fears for we have also been learning to live with them.We try to do some of the things that we wished to do together and had put off so far.Time makes it somewhat easier.
We are planning a holiday on a beach nearby and then I go off on a trek in the Himalayas.
Love to you both and take care Nisha

illAussie
Posts: 21
Joined: Aug 2010

Hi Bidi

All the best with your sister's treatment. It sounds like the chemo is suiting her & hope for the best outcome, especially if she has surgery. My husband is currently on his first treatment of chemo following surgery for signet cell tumor of the pylorus. He had most of his stomach removed Mid June & so far is coping remarkably well. He is on ECX (Xeloda in tablet form) and it all seems to be suiting him well, to date.

We thought that the chemo would have a horrible effect on him, but currently he has no nausea & still has his hair!

All the best to you & your sister

illAussie

bidi
Posts: 11
Joined: Apr 2010

Hi,
I am glad to hear that your husband is doing well on chemo so far. You may want to consider trying fresh vegetable/fruit juice adn flax oil. If you search on the web for Gerson Therapy or Budwig Protocol, you will find hundreds of sites that provide the rationale and effects of these alternate therapies. Wheatgrass juice is also a very powerful immune booster - you can buy wheatgrass powder (Amazing Grass is a good brand) on the Internet. Good luck to your family.

bidi
Posts: 11
Joined: Apr 2010

Another update ...

My sister completed her sixth cycle of chemo (Doxorubicin-Oxaliplatin-Xeloda) last week. She responded very well to the first 3-4 cycles and her cancer markers (CA 19-9) came down from ~390 to ~100; the numbers have plateau-ed out since then. She is feeling well other than the chemo effects the week after the chemo. No other mets revealed through the CAT/PET scans she did before the 5th chemo session. She is a doctor and has been continuing to work regular hours so far.

In addition to the chemo, she has been aggressively following some alternate therapies. She has fresh carrot/apple juice 2X a day, turmeric/cinnamon/mushroom supplements, and wheatgrass juice 1X a day. For the last 2 weeks, she has started having flax-oil/cottage cheese combo 2X a day in accordance with the Budwig Protocol. She also does pranayama 1X a day. In addition, she has eliminated almost all animal meats from her diet, and eats a lot of pulses/beans for protein.

So far, she seems to be doing much better than can be expected with her type/stage of cancer. Don't know what's next after the chemo - the most resistant cancer cells will be left after the chemo is done. We are praying and hoping for the best. However, as a cancer doctor herself, she knows the grim statistics and prognosis of her type of cancer.

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