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after effects of esophageal surgeryhI

anderson5's picture
anderson5
Posts: 13
Joined: Mar 2012

Hi,
Im just reposting an update on my dad who had surgery on Feb 16 of this year. It has been nearly 4 months, he spent the first month in hospital, he has gone from 94 kilos down to 67 and seems to still be loseing weight, vomiting on the odd occasion and experiencing a lot of pain in his ribs as well as stomach cramps. His post op appointment was good news, they say they got it all. In the last couple of weeks dad has noticed 3 lumps, one on the back of his head, one on his side and one under his chin in which they done a biopsy on and it has come back showing cancer cells. This was devastating, his cancer specialist is on leave until the 14th so we dont have any answers for another week and a half, the wait is terrible. I'm just wondering if anyone else experienced these symptoms with ribs and loseing weight and nausea months after surgery? it was stage 3 and he is 58 years old, he always remains positive i wish i could do the same!

Guigna
Posts: 71
Joined: Feb 2012

when they spend a long time in the hospital, the cancer gets a chance to grow unencumbered. The same happened to my husband. The rib pain could be a number of things, including adhesions from the surgery, muscle spasms caused indirectly from the surgery, pain from coughing, even new tumors could cause this.
We eliminated a lot of my husband's pain by taking him for deep tissue massage. It does nothing to lessen the cancer, but increases his comfort level by several orders of magnitude.

billyd
Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2012

hi my surgery was april 2nd on my birthday i am 59 i am 9 weeks out of surgery and have started to gain weight back. I am nauseaus most of the time but force myself to eat. I also experience alot of pain i had my surgery done in syracuse ny it was done with the divinci robot. I spent a week in the hospital then went back due to dehydration for a week then out for a week then back again for complications again. They told me they got it all we will find out on wed the 20th of june. Strange i had no symptoms i was admitted to the hospital severe cramps pancrias was irratated. Dr did mri and found this groth took a biopsy and 4 days later they operated. No one has said a word about stage all they say is we feel we got it all. I have not seen any other groths but i can tell you that the boys in syracuse dont take vacations when it comes to a positive cancer result.

Berta00
Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2012

My brother, Matt had surgery the end of April. They removed his esophagus and pulled the stomach up. His problem is eating. He can't seem to eat enough and is down to 139 pounds. My question for you is what do you eat, how often? This is the one area that is getting him depressed. The dietician at the cancer center was no help and had no suggestions which is disheartening to say the least. He starts chemo next week and I am greatly concerned that his weight loss will escalate. He doesn't have email or Internet right now but needs a "friend" who can relate to this battle you all are fighting. Any suggestions or words of wisdom are welcome. God bless you.

paul61's picture
paul61
Posts: 1116
Joined: Apr 2010

Berta,

I had Ivor Lewis surgery two years ago. It took me quite a while to begin to gain weight back and I did not gain all the weight I lost from surgery and chemotherapy, but I have arrived at a weight that is right for me and I have been maintaining that weight.

The answer for me was to eat small meals seven or eight times a day. I don't wait until I am hungry to eat I eat when it is "time" to eat.

The issues he is experiencing are very common for those of us who have had a “re-arranged” digestive system. It takes time to get used to our new plumbing.

Two things I can tell him from experience. First, it does get better and you will eventually be back to eating most of the same foods you enjoyed in the past. Second, it does take time and during that time you will lose some weight before you diet stabilizes and you regain some of the weight you lost.

I will include some references to web sites that contain helpful information. You may have already gotten these from the nutritionist at the hospital where you had your surgery but just in case.

A diet guide for people who have had an esophagectomy:

http://www.upmc.com/healthatoz/patienteducation/g/pages/dietafteranesophagectomy.aspx

A diet guide to avoid “dumping syndrome”

http://www.upmc.com/healthatoz/patienteducation/n/pages/dumpingsyndromediet.aspx

A high protient / High calorie diet for recovering cancer survivors

http://www.rush.edu/rumc/page-P07231.html

These are some “rules of eating” that helped me when I was recovering.

1. Avoid foods that have high concentrations or sugar or simple carbohydrates
2. Eat seven to eight small meals a day
3. Eat slowly and chew all food very thoroughly
4. Rest for approximately 30 minutes after eating (in an upright position)
5. Drink minimal liquid during meals ( drink liquids approximately an hour after eating)
6. High calorie supplement drinks (like Ensure) must be sipped slowly over a long period of time.

I have found that food supplements like BeneCalorie can be mixed in many foods and add calories without the “over full” feeling.

http://www.nestlenutritionstore.com/general-itemdetail.asp?T1=BENECAL+24CU&SRCCODE=PDSS10&gclid=COms4YjTgasCFY8DQAod3Drh1Q

I hope these suggestions are helpful. It does take time for your body to adjust to the changes from surgery.

If he would like to talk on the telephone please send me a private message here and I will send along my telephone number or if he would like me to call him send along his telephone number.

Best Regards,

Paul Adams
Grand Blanc, Michigan

DX 10/22/2009 T2N1M0 Stage IIB
12/03/2009 Ivor Lewis
2/8 through 6/14/2010 Adjuvant Chemo Cisplatin, Epirubicin, 5 FU
Two year survivor

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance!

paul61's picture
paul61
Posts: 1116
Joined: Apr 2010

Berta,

Here is what I typically eat in a day

8:00 AM 2 eggs scrambled and half a bagel with cream cheese

Noon Half a turkey sandwich with a handful of potato chips

1:30 PM Nature Valley "Sweet and Salty" granola bar

2:30 PM Smoothie ( 1 banana, six large strawberries, table spoon of chia seeds, 4 ice cubes)

6:00 PM Six ounces of chicken, 1/2 Baked potato, dinner roll

8:00 PM One apple (skin removed)

10:00 PM 1 1/2 cup of frozen yogurt

I find EDY's makes a frozen yogurt that is very close to ice cream.

I drink very little with meals but try to drink several glasses of liquids a hour after meals. I find Gator Aid and water work best for me. Every so often I cheat and have some diet cola but carbonated beverages do not agree with me very well.

Best Regards,

Paul Adams
Grand Blanc, Michigan

DX 10/22/2009 T2N1M0 Stage IIB
12/03/2009 Ivor Lewis
2/8 through 6/14/2010 Adjuvant Chemo Cisplatin, Epirubicin, 5 FU
Two year survivor

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance!

captdave's picture
captdave
Posts: 168
Joined: Feb 2012

My experience eating post THE was probably not the norm. Initially I was drinking 4 protein drinks (like ensure) daily supplementing the scrambled eggs and avocados and high protein soups. I still, 5 months after surgery try to have one protein drink a day and one avocado a day. This gives me that little extra needed protein and "good" fat I need to maintain my weight especially if I don't get to eat as often or the quality of food I like to during the day.

Dave

Freida
Posts: 191
Joined: Nov 2011

Hi Anderson
Bill had pain in his side and when they did his post chemoradiation scans they discovered he had a broken rib. They did not see anything on his PET or CT scans that indicated cancer in the area (Mets to the bone are a concern when someone is a cancer patient), but it is something they are keeping a close eye on. His next scan would have been a CT (because of insurance), but because of the unexplained broken rib they will do a PET scan as well.

They did say that throwing up can cause the broken rib, so that may be a possibility for your Dad (Bill's rib pain started before he had any throwing up - he never threw up during chemo or rads, but did have some problems a few weeks after chemo & rads stopped).

All the best
Freida
wife of Bill, diagnosed 11/8/2011 T3N2Mx, 2 months of Induction chemo followed by 6 weeks chemoradiation, not a surgery candidate

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