Feb 20, 2012 - 11:31 pm
I spent last night reading your postings and cried for all you - both the success stories and the ones who did not make it. It is such a cruel evasive cancer. I live in Melbourne Australia and EC is very rare down here hence my internet search for help and information.
My dad was super fit, never smoked, skied in the USA for 6 weeks every year, is a great bloke but he also had a Barrettes esophageus.
Dad was diagnosed with a stage 3 tumour of his esophageus in August 2011.
He endured 7 weeks of chemotherapy and radio therapy and then had a complete removal of his esophageus via the Ivor lewis method on December 19th.
Please bear with me, I am an accountant and have no medical experience in these matters let alone describing them.
His recovery from what was a very brutal surgery has been good – getting food down was a bit tricky at first and he did have 1 dilation 3 weeks ago which has helped. He is getting his fitness back and is in overall good spirits.
My understanding was that my dad’s tumour was a T3, N2 and when diagnosed in August 2011 was a M0.
We always knew dad would have to have followed up chemo as an ‘insurance policy”. It has been very emotionally and physically painful journey for my siblings and mum – we are a good and strong family but dad’s situation has been very hard.
Dad had a PET scan yesterday and the results have sent me spinning. 2 hot spots were detected being 1 node near his kidney and 1 node near his lung. There is no evidence of any cancer cells in any of dad’s organs. I have no other details on the extent of the nodal changes.
His oncologist said he was unable to conclude as to whether they were nodal or whether they were nodes that had been inflamed from the surgery. I understand the Ivor Lewis is very invasive.
For the most part I have been very strong about dad’s surgery and treatment but all of a sudden I am over whelmed with fear that it has now spread and cancer will eventually get dad. The oncologist said this next round of chemo had a 50% chance of curing dad i.e. getting rid of all cancer from his body, assuming these 2 hot spots were cancer and not inflamed nodes from the surgery. Does any one have an experience in this area? Are hot spots usual 2 months after surgery and 3 months after end of a radio / chemo regime? Any experience in chemo after an Ivor Lewis? I would be ever so grateful for some insight from your experiences.
I understand my Dad’s next chemo regime will be a mix of 5 fluorouracil and epirubicin for 21 days straight via a pump for 3 months.
While I am very concerned with this latest news, I am acutely aware that my dad’s situation is positive relative to others – I weep for you all and am indebted for you sharing your stories. It has helped me feel I am not alone down here in Melb Australia dealing with EC. I sincerely wish each and every one of you health and happiness.
PS if I can be of any help in giving my experience with dad’s recovery from the Ivor Lewis including starting solid food again and the physical impact pls let me know – there are some things that worked really well for dad that we stumbled on.