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**1st post** MIE at UCSF vs. UC Irvine w/ Dr. Nguyen with MediCal?

Ucsf_smile's picture
Ucsf_smile
Posts: 81
Joined: Sep 2011

Hi all,
Been reading and learning tons of info here thelast couple months. What a fantastic group.

My mom was diagnosed at the end of July and finished treatment at UCSF on Oct. 6th.

Initial staging is adenocarcinoma- t3n1m0, stage 3

She went through 5 once/ week chemo- cisplatin and taxol + 23 daily radiation treatments.

All the oncologists and doctors at UCSF have been phenomenal! Absolutely top notch at the Hellen Diller Cancer Center. We met with her surgeon today and he has completed 35 esophagectomies this year. I have no reason to doubt the level of care at UCSF, but would like to explore meeting with Dr. nguyen at UC Irvine.

Any thoughts on the two cancer centers and surgical experience?

She has MediCal and I'm not sure how much more time we have to spare, since we are at the 3 week post treatment point now. I feel like time is pressing...

What is the average "wait time" of folks here pre-MIE surgery?

Do you think I have enough time to explore Dr. Nguyen while jumping through MediCal hoops?

Her pet scan is scheduled for next week, FYI.

Thanks so much for your insight!!

Ginny_B's picture
Ginny_B
Posts: 537
Joined: Sep 2011

First, I can't help with your questions. Just want to say that my mom (84) is just starting the journey your mom just finished. Mom ix TxN2M0 stage 3. She is going with 5FU chemo drip 24/7 and 30 days of rads. Yesterday was day 2.

Good luck to you and your mom.

TerryV's picture
TerryV
Posts: 916
Joined: Jul 2011

My husband was diagnosed also as T3N1M0, Stage 3. His radiation and chemo was similar - 28 rads with 2 week long infusions of cisplatin and 5FU.

His treatment ended on 08/02. I don't recall his PET scan date, but he was in surgery on 09/08. He had a THE surgery. It's somewhere in the middle of Ivor Lewis and MIE.

I pushed for the surgery to occur that early. Our insurance was changing. I believe surgery 4 - 6 weeks after treatment end is fairly common, based on what I read here at CSN.

Best of luck to your mom and the whole family. This truly is a whole family issue. It takes us all to have help the patient have the strength to get through this.

Prayers and good fortune to you and your mom.

Terry
wife to Nick, age 48
dx T3N1M0 05/19/11
THE 09/08/11
Clean Path 09/13/11

Ericalynn's picture
Ericalynn
Posts: 207
Joined: Jun 2011

My Husband (John) was diagnoses May-17, 2011. Started Chemo/Radiation June1, 2011. Cisplatin on day one & day 20, 5FU on pump M-F & Radiation M-F for 28 treatments. John’s last day of treatment 7-11-11, surgery performed on 9-9-11 (9 weeks post treatment) He had his surgery at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fl. MIE with robotic, his surgeon Dr. Kenneth Meredith does the surgery 3-4 times per week. 29 lymph nodes were removed (with esophagus and part of stomach). All specimens came back negative for cancer. IF you have been reading on this board for a while I think you have read how important it is for an experienced surgeon. John did not have his chemo/radiation at Moffitt, Moffitt is out of network for our insurance but for the surgery I applied for out of network coverage and was approved. John's first appointment at Moffitt was July 13, 2011 (after treatment was completed) so you have time. Dr. Meredith likes to wait 8 weeks post radiation (radiation continues to work after treatment). You have time to get a second opinion. After second opinion your Mom and you ( and family)can then decide what you feel is the best surgeon and hospital for her. John had a surgery date with an in network surgeon and we felt comfortable with him. Then I started reading on this board & pushed for a meeting with Dr. Meredith. Once we meet him and his staff I knew that he and Moffitt were the right place for John to have a successful surgery.
This is a journey and you do have to navigate through the health care system but it is worth it.
Good luck and keep us posted.
Erica

Heeran's picture
Heeran
Posts: 173
Joined: Aug 2011

My mom just finished 6 weekly sesssions of taxol/carbo platin plus 28 radiation treatments just yesterday. I'm told the surgery if she's a candidate will be 6-8 weeks after the last radiation session. I already interviewed one doctor here in Omaha (He's done 10 esophagectomies this year). I also called Dr. Luketich's office and got things going there as well. Good luck to you, please keep us posted.

Heeran
Daughter of EC patient T3N2M0 Squamous Cell

LilChemoSmoker's picture
LilChemoSmoker
Posts: 192
Joined: Oct 2011

I couldn't agree more with your decision to seek counsel with Dr. Luketich's office.

Good luck!

-Michelle

Ucsf_smile's picture
Ucsf_smile
Posts: 81
Joined: Sep 2011

Thanks for the input- I will give dr. Nguyen a call tomorrow.

Ucsf_smile's picture
Ucsf_smile
Posts: 81
Joined: Sep 2011

Hi William and CSN family-

Good news, we have a surgery scheduled with Dr. Nguyen next Weds, 11/23! They did pre-op biopsies yesterday in the esophagus and stomach. I'm going to send an email to the doctor asking the plan for the surgery.

Ucsf_smile's picture
Ucsf_smile
Posts: 81
Joined: Sep 2011

Thanks William-

Luckily I got an appointment for my mom scheduled with Dr. Nguyen when I called this morning. We have an appointment with him next Tues, 11/8! Now just hoping we can gather all the medical records from UCSF in time for our visit. I agree we can't go wrong with getting a second opinion from Dr. Nguyen.

Yes, UCSF will be performing MIE also. Here is the UCSF surgeon profile: http://thoracic.surgery.ucsf.edu/faculty/clinical-faculty/pierre-r-theodore,-md.aspx

I trust his experience and capability to perform a successful MIE surgery- but like all have said below, it's worth a visit to Dr. Nguyen (the Dr. Luketich of the West Coast). LOL.

Looking forward to making a final decision soon.

Ucsf_smile's picture
Ucsf_smile
Posts: 81
Joined: Sep 2011

All,

Just a quick update-
We are almost 4 weeks post op and my mom is doing great. Surgery was MIE with no complications- lasting about 5 hrs. Dr. Nguyen is extremely talented and efficient.

Was in ICU for 2 days, then she walked herself out of there to ICU step down. She had lots of pain, but that was to be expected.

All margins were negative and 21 lymph nodes with NED.

She's in great spirits and getting out everyday. Life is actually lightened up a bit.

Surgery was on nov. 23 and her next PET CT is scheduled for Feb.1st.

Ginny_B's picture
Ginny_B
Posts: 537
Joined: Sep 2011

Wonderful news! Your mom's staging was the exact same as my mom, only my mom is inoperable due to the location. Keep posting updates! It's so encouraging!

Ucsf_smile's picture
Ucsf_smile
Posts: 81
Joined: Sep 2011

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