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Hi, Sal here.... have a few questions re:MD Anderson in Houston

Wife of patient...
Posts: 129
Joined: Oct 2011

Good afternoon all,I am seeking information regarding MD Anderson in Houston. Has anyone had EC surgery at this facilty? What/how was your experience? infections? any redos(going back in)? complications? How efficient was the support staff? Is their a Doctor at MD you would refer?

Thank you in advance for your response.
Sal

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

Hi Sal and hello to you and your husband. I was a caregiver for my dad. He passed in March 2010 after a 16 month battle with EC with mets to the liver. I have heard all good, positive feedback about MD Anderson in TX. You will get a lot of responses I am sure. This EC all depends on the individual. Everyone responds differently to treatment. What stage is your husbands? Is he able to have the surgery?
Keep a positive outlook and mind, it will help you tremendously. Keep in touch as often as you can. We are always here for you.
Tina in Va

Wife of patient...
Posts: 129
Joined: Oct 2011

My husband was Dx Aug 2011, Stage T3N1M0,. 5 days a week radiation, 1 day a week Cisplatin/Taxel. So far minimal side effects. My husband has come to the understanding that surgery is an impotant componet of treating this beasty disease. I'm researching possible centers of excellence for sugery. Also considering the Mayo clinic in Arizona.
Thanks
Ssl

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

Hello again SSL,
If he can have surgery...wonderful news! From what I have learned here, the MIE (minimal invasive) is the best way to go. I am sure MD Anderson does this surgery. There is also an excellent hospital in Pittsburgh, PA that does this surgery. Like I said, you will get a lot of responses. William and Loretta from VA Beach, VA will respond, they are wonderful people. William is an 8 year ec survivor. Keep doing your research, you can never learn too much. Keep us posted.
Tina in Va

TerryV's picture
TerryV
Posts: 915
Joined: Jul 2011

Sal,

"My husband has come to the understanding that surgery is an impotant componet of treating this beasty disease"

HOORAY! You got him to understand! Good job :)

I'm so pleased you were able to reach him, to get past the denial, the fear, the oh my Gods. Continue being the power behind him. You start to run low, just shout. We're here for you!

Terry

Wife of patient...
Posts: 129
Joined: Oct 2011

Terry, yes but I am really scared. I am anxious for a second opinion (6 to 8 weeks after chemo). I just have a bad feeling, and I am trying to be positive.
So I am researching, reseaerching, my insurance is changing to new company first of the year. I want to have a few of our ducks in a row, make a plan and to be prepared.
My husband was a type A personality until his diagnosis. I think I pushed too hard, and he needed time to deal with HIS Cancer on his terms & time frame, not mine. Hey... I never said I was the perfect care giver, I am trying my best though.
I know there are no guarntees.
Thanks for being there Terry,
Sal

TerryV's picture
TerryV
Posts: 915
Joined: Jul 2011

I was just like - "I just have a bad feeling, and I am trying to be positive." And the path after surgery was Clean! Doc now calls Nick his Poster Boy for THE surgery.

"my insurance is changing to new company first of the year" - I had this happen also. Ours changed on 10/01/11. Told the docs that I wanted everything done before Insurance change. Our initial insurance handled it all so well, I didn't want to take any chances on "bumps" in the road.

You will be fine! Trying your best is all you can do. And it *will* be good enough! :)

Terry

cher76's picture
cher76
Posts: 302
Joined: Nov 2010

Sal,
I am sorry I hadn't answered sooner, have not been checking board everyday lately. My husband is a patient with MD Anderson. he was diagnosed in October of 2010 with stage IV EC. We live at the very tip of south Texas on the US/Mexico border and near the Gulf of Mexico. As soon as our GI doctor said he had never seen a tumor as large as Rickie's we know we had to go elsewhere for treatment, and of course MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC) was our choice. In fact our son immediately got online and saw where we could self-refer, so that is what we did, even before we saw an oncologist here at home. MD Anderson has been wonderful to us. They immediately contacted us and took all our information. Within two days they got back to us and said they would be setting up appointments for us. We arrived there about a week later and were treated great. They had a wonderful online system that allows you to check you appointments and directions to each. You can also access your medical reports on this same website. We first met with Dr. Stephen Swisher, who is the chair of the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. They took a thorough medical history and then he explained to us that a after testing a team would meet and decide on a plan of action. He was really great and informative. After about 3 days of testing we were informed that since Rickie's tumor was so extensive he would not be a candidate for surgery. We were then sent to see Dr. Jaffer Ajani in the Department of Gastrointestinal Oncology. He has been our Dr. at MD Anderson ever since. Our first round of chemo was done at MDACC since we didn't know what to expect. The infusion centers there are wonderful and we always felt that all our needs were met. The support staff is very knowledgeable and professional. Since we live so far away it is always nice that all I have to do is get on the phone and call and they always answer my questions. They also provide training for caregivers in the care of PICC lines and feeding tubes and just about anything else you might have to go home with. After our first round of chemo and a clinical trial, Rickie decided that he wanted to receive chemo at home. That was not a problem, and Dr. Ajani would prescribe the chemo and our oncologist here at home would administer it. All reports were sent to our hometown doctors or I would print out copies and hand carry them to them. Dr. Ajani is considered a top world authority on EC and I credit him, our doctor here at home, my husband's sheer will to live, prayer and the good Lord, for the time we have had. The first time we saw Dr. Ajani after Rickie's first round of chemo we felt like he didn't really expect to see us again. But there we were back for more. After a year of several different chemos, at our last visit Dr. Ajani told us there is really no other chemos left to try, and he refered us to Dr. Daivd Hong who is the chief of the Targeted Therapy Clinic. We are currently waiting to see if we are eligible for a clinical trial, however mets to the brain have been discovered so we are currently treating that. Those are the experiences we have had and I would recommend MDACC to everyone. I do not know anything about the surgery department first hand, but many people from our town choose to seek treatment there for all kinds of cancers, and I have never heard anything bad. I am sure as with any hospital there are good and bad stories, but I have no first hand knowledge of them. I wish you all the best of luck. Check out their website, and feel free to private message me if you have any more questions.
Cheryl
Wife of Rickie, dx Stage IV EC, October 2010

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