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Dad recently diagnosed with T3N0 stomach cancer

Brenda07
Posts: 4
Joined: Nov 2010

My dad was just recently diagnosed with stomach cancer. They have done a CAT scan, esophageal ultrasound and a PET scan. So far, all they have told us is that it is T3N0. He was supposed to start chemo today, but he had the PET scan on Thursday last week and they have decided to biopsy the lymph nodes that may or may not have cancer from what they saw on the PET scan. I am very confused about this whole process. The oncologist told my dad that they should not have done the CAT scan or the ultrasound, because they are not necessary. I don't know what to believe anymore. They still have not told him what stage the cancer is, but from what I can find, it looks to be stage 2. Can anyone help me make sense of what these early steps are and what we should be asking the doctor? Any help would be must appreciated.

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cbeckman
Posts: 14
Joined: Nov 2010

I completely understand what you are going through! My mom has been recently diagnosed with stomach cancer and we just learned today that it is stage 4. Let me tell you SOME DOCTORS SUCK! I went to all the appointments with my mom, she picked out an oncologist, when we go there, he drew a picture of her insides, told her this is where the cancer is at, and said "this is what we are going to do." When I tried to ask him question, he cut me of, it took, me 5 tries to ask him which office she can be seen at. He wouldn't let us speak, he wouldn't answer any questions so after we left, I told my mom she is not seeing him and began the search for a new Doc.I got on the internet and searched, most doc's are patient rated. I found one that was what we were looking for and Today was the first apointment. Not only was he straight with us, he also gave us detailed information on what was going to happen, how they were going to do things, and we didn't have to ask. I will say, they cannot give you life expectancy and all that, that depends on how the patient handles the procedure prescribed, but I will tell you, Don't give up, keep asking questions, and do the best you can.. My mom was diagnosed, then went for a cat scan and then 4 days later for a pet. Maybe this is common, maybe not, but they told us they wanted these to see if any other areas were affected. Good luck and don't give up!

Brenda07
Posts: 4
Joined: Nov 2010

Thanks for the post. At least I know we are not alone. The oncologist he has is not bad, it's all the others I have issues with. He is meeting with the gastroenterologists tomorrow to see when they will do the lymph node biopsy. Sounds like it will be this week yet. Not sure why the gastroenterologists is doing the biopsy and not the oncologist. He will then meet again with the oncologist on Monday and hopefully will start his chemo soon. He is supposed to have chemo once a week and radiation 5 times a week. I have started doing my own research, as the doctors have not told my mom and dad much about the chemo being used or the side affects. It would be nice to know for sure what stage it is at, so we can plan from there....

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cbeckman
Posts: 14
Joined: Nov 2010

I think the oncologist is primarily for treating the cancer, and the gastroenterologists is for all the testing. I dont understand why they didn't biopsy it in the first place, that dont sound right, but again, I am as new to this as you are.

With my mom, she can only do Kemo, her cancer is in the lineing of the entire stomach along with the fluid in her belly. they are testing her (the gastroenterologists) to see if she is her2 positive, if she is they will add the herceptin drug.

I also found out today that she goes thursday for her port, friday to get a echo gram, then monday she has her first treatment, they said that she is to come on at 8:30am so they can start her on fluid, then she see's the DR at 9:30, then she starts the kemo and it takes 5hrs for that.

I guess the best thing I can tell you is to keep researching! my mom is stage four, but I read on here that people are making it even in this "final stage." I called my mom today and gave her a menue that she has to start doing everyday, I read a lot of storys of people doing better by eating lots of vegitables..Anything I read by actual cancer patients is a blessing.

Good luck and stay strong! and feel free to email me anytime.

Brenda07
Posts: 4
Joined: Nov 2010

Found out today that dad now has to have a mediastinoscopy done on Thursday of this week to look at the lymph nodes in his chest. Because he is on an aspirin regimen he has to be in the hospital overnight. They said the lymph nodes are irregular looking. Not sure if the cancer has spread to them or not. They meet again with the oncologist on Monday for a 40 minute appointment. My mom said she has about 40 questions written down that she wants to ask him. Hopefully we will then find out the stage and he will be able to start treatment soon. They will not put a port in him because of the blood thinners he needed to be on for his heart.

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cbeckman
Posts: 14
Joined: Nov 2010

Don't give up on the questions, also, some of the nurse can help answer a few too. It sounds like the Doc is making sure he is checking everything out, this is really a good thing and don't be alarmed. They missed my mom's cancer a year ago, they did a scope, told her she had some thickening of the linning in her stomach, gave her nexium, and told her she would be ok. She really had to trow a fit, then change Doctors, to get another scope, only to find out a few weeks ago that the "thickening of the linning" was cancer.

Brenda07
Posts: 4
Joined: Nov 2010

Dad went back to the oncologist today. I decided to go with them to try and get some of my questions answered. Best thing I could have done. Found out that he is stage 2a. It is a curable cancer. The cancer is about 3 cm large and has gone through the first 2 layers of the stomach. It has not spread to the muscle lining of the stomach. His mediastenoscopy came out negative on all the lymph nodes they tested. That was a relief. Because he has a stint in his heart, they changed his chemo meds a bit. He is not going to be having carboplatin and taxol, instead of 5fu. I now have more research to do on that one, but feel better knowing they are looking out for his best interest. One of the side affects for the 5fu with someone that already has heart issues could be a heart attack. He will start chemo and radiation on Monday. Chemo every Monday and radiation Mon-Fri. They told him he would probably get sick from the chemo and may or may not loose his hair. The oncologist went over all the side affects for both chemo meds, including the rarest of them. Dad is a very optimistic person and will make it through this. I have learned that we all have to be strong and he will then too.

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