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Results of Endoscopic ultrasound are in...

Bermudagirl
Posts: 120
Joined: Jun 2012

And unfortunately it was not what we wanted to hear. Dave has stage III either esophageal or gastric cancer; we won't know for sure until the biopsy is back. It does involve 2 lymph nodes. It's at the juncture of the esophagus and stomach. While this is certainly grim, it could be worse, at least it is treatable. Had a great gastro guy this morning who told us that while we were going to have a rough road, he felt that it was definitely operable after a course of radiation and chemo. The tumor is roughly 2 to 2.5 cm. He has recommended a great surgeon right here in the Baltimore area, a Dr. Richard Heitmiller, who used to be a Hopkins guy and was lured to Union Memorial. I noticed on a quick look that he was in the top 1% of docs for his specialty by US News & World Report. He comes highly recommended. We will avail ourselves to a second opinion, though.

We have an interesting side note in that the gastro guy who did Dave's first endoscopy on April 27th, then had him come back for a repeat on June 1st, seems to have fumbled the ball. We aren't quite sure how he could have missed a 2 cm tumor! And why he had him wait 5 weeks if something was suspicious, and THEN still say on June 1st the findings were still consistent with gastritis. We are not litigious people, but if there was negligence on the part of this initial guy we are going to follow up on it. The specialist this morning was totally misled, thought he was going to be looking at an early stage lesion. So obviously the "fragment" that I spoke of initially was grossly identified!

So now we begin our journey. Dave and I are comforted by the fact that there are so many people doing well here on this forum. I know that I will visit often to update and just get some moral support. As I mentioned previously I am a cancer survivor, so know all about chemo, PET scans, radiation, and the emotional toll this will take on him, so hopefully can help him through that.

BMGky
Posts: 666
Joined: May 2010

While the results weren't what you had hoped, it does sound like that you are dealing with a tumor that can be treated. Do let us know what they say.

Since you seem experienced with much of what he is facing, you know that time is of the essence. You want the proper treatment begun as soon as properly possible.

Best of luck.

BMGky

paul61's picture
paul61
Posts: 1113
Joined: Apr 2010

While the results were not what you hoped for; it is good to hear that the cancer is localized and therefore treatable with chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. Having been through the process I will not try to suggest that it is easy, but it is survivable, and it will go much faster than you think.

Be sure to avail yourself to a second opinion and research the credentials of your surgeon carefully. Be sure to ask how many esophagectomies he personally does and how many the facility he works out of does annually. This is a complex surgery and aftercare for the five days following surgery is critical.

I know it all seems overwhelming at this point, but the news you have received is good news.

Some suggestions from someone who has been there:

1. Begin a note book where you will keep notes from discussion with your medical team and test results.
2. Always insure Dave has someone with him at doctor appointments to provide a second set of ears to listen and take notes.
3. Ask the doctor to explain any term you are not sure you understand (there will be many)
4. Keep a copy of all test results including written findings from ultrasounds and scans
5. When you begin chemotherapy be sure to write down the name and dosage of the drugs that will be used
6. Ask what side effects you can expect and what medications are available to minimize the side effects
7. Ask for a written copy of the treatment plan including how many rounds of chemotherapy and radiation will be administered.

Once you have the treatment plan, come back here and you will find many of us have had the same chemotherapy drugs and we can suggest things your doctors many not think of to make the process less difficult.

Tell Dave, the treatment will sound daunting but there are those of us who have had treatment, survived, and are now back to enjoying life again.

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!

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