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A long overdue Update on Dave

Bermudagirl
Posts: 120
Joined: Jun 2012

I wish I could write more positive news, but we are 10 weeks post-op surgery on Monday and STILL not home. Actually I can say that he is now out of Hopkins and in rehab, but I doubt he'll be home for Christmas. Dave has beat incredible odds and weathered post op complications that we never dreamed of, but he still has a very long road ahead of him. The hope is that he'll have reconstruction done in the spring, but I worry that he won't be strong enough to endure another surgery, or that there are no guarantees that he won't experience similiar problems the next time they attempt the esophagectomy. The good news (which was a week after surgery which seems a life time ago) was that the pathology report was good, no lymph node involvement. But of course he has not had any scans since then, we simply have been fighting to overcome the complications from surgery.

For those of you who are just starting this journey, I don't want to scare you, Dave is in the extreme minority of patients who experience complications after the THE, but it can happen. His stomach was not able to be used for the esophagectomy, so the colon was used instead. That became ischemic (septic) so the whole thing had to be taken down and he was left without an esophagus nor stomach. The plan is for reconstruction in the spring using his small bowel. We have a wonderful surgeon at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, and he has received phenomenal care there. This is why it is so critically important that those of you starting out find a hospital that treats EC and does it regularly! A garden variety oncologist and hospital will not cut it. You are playing in the big leagues now and need a hospital and team that can handle it. I am firmly convinced that if Dave were not at Hopkins or other hospital of its caliber he would not be alive today.

At this stage we just have to take it day by day. But neither of us are giving up; if anyone can come through this it's Dave.

BMGky
Posts: 666
Joined: May 2010

Tell Dave we say, "Hello." He has our admiration. We pray his strength and stamina continue strong so that he can have further surgery this spring. I thought the month post-op following my husband's surgery was awful. I can't imagine how hard it has been on him and on you to weather this prolonged battle. We so hope he wins.

The late Norman Cousins, a former editor of The Saturday Review, wrote about battling a severe illness. He advocated funny movies and where possible, being in surroundings that are not pure hospital, where the schedules are not as rigid and the atmosphere more pleasant. I'm not certain how much laughing Dave can do with his severely affected abdomen, but if he's up to it, he might enjoy some good jokes, old TV series and funny movies.

Thanks for the update. Both of you "hang in there."
BMGky

birdiequeen's picture
birdiequeen
Posts: 329
Joined: Mar 2011

We appriciate the time you take to update us with your post. Our prayer are with Dave, you and his medical team. The strenghth you and Dave are exhibiting is an insperation for all. Dave's journey has not been typical but we are here when you need to share, vent or rejoice in any success no mater how small.

Take care

Ginny_B's picture
Ginny_B
Posts: 537
Joined: Sep 2011

Hang in there.

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