Jan 01, 2013 - 11:45 am
Diagnosed in May 2012, T3N1MO, Was treated at MD Anderson in Houston. I did 5 1/2 weeks of combined Chemo and Proton Radiation (5 days a week) and completed that Sept 13th, 2012. Chemo was Xeloda (5FU in Pill Form) twice daily and Docitaxol once a week on Mondays. I waited until Nov 14th before I went through a modified Ivan Lewis Procedure. I had been married for about 20 years with 3 grown kid, divorced her for about 7 years and when she was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer and I was Diagnosed with EC cancer we decided we needed each other and decided to remarry. I delayed the surgery, we were remarried on Oct 27th with our kids being our groomsmen and bridesmaid and our 3 grandkids being the ring bearers. We flew off to Vegas and drove to the Grand Canyon for a week and came back for my surgery. We both had the Grand Canyon on our bucket list and I'm so glad we did the trip before my surgery.
Surgery was Nov 14th. They had me up and walking that night after my surgery that day. It was a chore with the Gastro Nasal Tube, 2 Chest Tubes, J-Tube, catheter, and IV's all in me but the Nurses were great. After a few days the Nasal Tube was driving me crazy and caused me the most discomfort. They finally removed it after 5 days and me promising not to swallow anythiing. I'd swish water around in my mouth and use a suction tube like a dentist to make sure I didn't swallow. I walked around the hospital floor about 6 times a day. I was released after 8 days and did the formula feedings through the J-tube for 2 weeks and nothing allowed by mouth including liquids.
On Nov29th I had the Barium Swallow Leak test which I passed. My first meal after passing the test was Chik Filet Nuggets and it was soooooo great to actually eat something again. We also purchased an inflatable wedge for the bed that is automatic and works great. I still have my J tube in and use it for water flushes to stay hydrated. I go back to the Dr Jan 3rd and If I can maintain my weight and not take anything through the J tube they may actually remove it on the 3rd. I struggle at times to keep my weight constant though. I was 260+ pounds when I started this and I struggle to stay at 230 now with supplementing with the J tube. If I eat more than small amounts I tend to throw up a small amount and I can always tell because I have this feeling in my throat.
I have had about 3 bouts with severe acid reflux while sleeping that makes me wish I had never done the surgery. It wakes me up, I chew a handful of Tums and swish water to try and stop the burning. It usually lasts for about an hour. I'm still on a learning curve and I think if I don't eat or drink anything at least 2-3 hours before going to bed it helps. I was always a side sleeper until my surgery and now it has only been on my back with the inflated wedge but for the last 2 nights I have been able to lay on my side again and not have a problem with reflux.
I have gone through some "Woe is Me" times and not being back to 100 percent yet questioned having the esophogectomy since they told me the Combined Chemo and Radiation had gotten the Cancer. But then I read others on here that have gone through so much more than I have and I then feel guilty for feeling depressed at all. I am Cancer Free and a survivor. The inconviences that I experience are nothing compared to what it could be like.