Jan 06, 2012 - 1:21 pm
I just found this site today and I wanted to post on here just to find others who may be going through what I am.
The week before Christmas, my dad was diagnosed with esophogial cancer. You have to forgive me because I am not quite practiced on the lingo and abbreviations and medical speak yet. What I know is that he had problems a few years ago because he diaphragm was paralyzed on oneside. He had a procedure done that helped him, but I'm not sure that things were ever fixed and I do not know if the two are related completely. I don't like to ask many questions just now so I can't piece this together with the current situation.
At any rate, my dad is a heavy equipment mechanic for Caterpillar and he has been having a lot of problems swallowing and eating and chest pains when he was at work. So they ordered an upper GI done before Christmas. This showed a mass at the top of his stomach and pollups that had moved further up into his esophagus. He was then sent to a Dr. Schilly in Johnstown, PA, who confirmed what they found on the upper GI was cancer. He was then sent to see a UPMC doctor at Presby in Pittsburgh named Dr. Luketich. He had all the scans done and they did a laproscopic scope on him the Friday before Christmas. They did the scope because on one of the scans, they were spots that showed on his liver. They went in and ablated (sp.) the spots on his liver, removing them. Unfortunately, one of the other scans showed that his lymphnodes were swollen and that they too also proved positive for cancer. I've heard whisperings from my relatives who know that it is stage 3, but my stepmom has not told us this directly and I suspect it's just overdramatics from my aunts who have also said they give him two months max. It's very overwhelming.
Right now as it stands he is to have chemo and raditation for 3 months and then surgery. I just want to know what to expect. My dad is a very strong force to be reckoned with. It's just hard to wrap my head around the fact that he is this sick. I just want more information. I don't like questioning he or my stepmother about it all the time because I feel like it hurts them to keep rehashing, but I need just some facts for myself so I can prepare on how to help and be supportive and not fall apart. I know it's just a word and not a sentence, but it's a very scary word.
Also, I am 35 and I have heartburn and reflux all the time, but only advice or help from my doctors has been prescriptions. With this happening now to my dad, would they be more likely to give me a further checkup?
I am really new to this, please be patient with me. Thank you for any response at all.