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DIAGNOSIS AND STAGING COMPLETED

hopper52's picture
hopper52
Posts: 117
Joined: Apr 2011

God is good.........I was diagnosed with EC on 04/07 after having chest and pain between my shoulder blades for two years and a couple of months having difficulty swallowing. My PET and CT scans did not indicate any mets but I thought I was probably still looking at stage III since my symptoms had been with me for so long. Met with the Chemo and Radiation Oncologists yesterday and was informed that I am T3N0Mx (Stage II) Why the Mx instead of M0 I don't know unless they're just being cautious. I was so elated I forgot to ask. I see my surgeon tomorrow for the initial consult. I start chemo and radiation for 5 1/2 weeks (Cisplaten and 5FU) in a week or so,then a recovery period and then MIE surgery which I'm estimating to be around the end of July or the first part of August. Surgery will be done by Dr James Meredith at Moffitt cancer center in Tampa.

My next hurdle I have to overcome is to deal with my cardiologist in getting permission to stop Plavix prior to surgery. I had three drug eluding stents placed in Dec 2010 and protocol calls for being on Plavix a minimum of one year. They did the scopes and biopsies without any problem and the cardiologist says he knows they can install a chemo port without cessation of Plavix, but the surgery may be a totally different animal. Has anyone had any experience with this issue?

I mean, wow, stop Plavix and "have a chance" of having a heart attack or foregoing surgery for 6 months and maybe let this EC kill me.

Thanks for everyone's prayers and support.

hopper52's picture
hopper52
Posts: 117
Joined: Apr 2011

Met my surgeon today and was very impressed. Does various types of surgery with quite a bit of experience with MIE. He mentioned possibly doing robotic surgery similar to MIE but with only 2 incisions......I guess this is the next "cutting edge" thing possibly. Him and his department has handled over 280 cases of EC (I think he said in the past 2 years). He said they just published a report on robotic surgery a couple of months ago. I was totally unfamiliar with it so I need to dig around and see what I come up with. He said Moffit and a Washington DC location are two of only a few facilities that do this.

Looks like I'm going to have a change in my chemo because my cardiologist will not let me come off Plavix (blood thinner) to have the port installed so it looks like they're going to change the 5FU to something else. By the time I roll around to surgery it'll be close to a year on Plavix so maybe I can get the approval to stop it for the surgery. One of those catch 22 things.

All in all I'm very satisfied with the team that Moffitt has assembled and I'm ready to get the show on the road although I admit I am a little nervous about the chemo and radiation. Thanks again for everyone's support and prayers.

Bobs1wife's picture
Bobs1wife
Posts: 153
Joined: Sep 2010

Hello hopper52. My husband had robotic surgery August 16, 2010 at Mayo Clinic, Rochester. Dr. Wigle is the only surgeon there that does the robotic. The surgery went very well, although very long. We were told the open incision surgery is much shorter, but the recovery time is extended. He felt the extra time in surgery was well worth it in regards to recovery for the patient. Small incisions, although a thorough surgery that they have found is just as efficient as the large incisions. It's a very precise surgery and eliminates any shaking and hand fatigue for doctors during long surgeries. It may be the DaVinci robotics and there are videos online if you do a search. You have been offered the very newest of technology. His surgery went very well and he had no surgery complications, although most surgeries do have a few complication, but if you are at an experienced facility they will be watching for anything and everything before it even develops and will be right on top of it. I think it is a feeling of relief to just get started on the plan. That in-between time is really rough. Wish you the best for your chemo and following surgery. Please keep us updated. Linda

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