Feb 18, 2013 - 5:18 pm
Kind of a long post, so to summarize, my questions are:
My Moms Story:
My Mom, who had her 52nd birthday this February, was diagnosed with stage III esophageal cancer (adenocarcinoma) a few months ago. A large occluding tumor ~3 in. in length, was found in the lower 1/3 of her esophagus (they couldn’t even fit a normal scope past it, and had to use an infant scope), with possible involvement of 1 or 2 lymph nodes. At the time of diagnosis, she was severely underweight, and a few weeks later when she was finally getting a feeding tube she weighed in at a measly 91 pounds (she is 5ft 6in tall). She had 6 weeks of radiation therapy, and two rounds of chemotherapy. The second round hit her hard, and she unfortunately lost all of the weight she had gained over the past weeks, and was back down to 91 pounds.
It’s been three weeks since treatments had ended, and she still feels quite lousy. Her stomach is always “sour”, even while taking three different antiemetic meds, and she produces a significant amount of thick mucous. Sometimes there is so much mucous, that it literally just, for lack of better words, spews out of her. She is very fatigued as well, but is only able to sleep for a maximum of 2 hours at a time. And swallowing anything, even water, is painful and basically impossible.
We have an appointment on Feb 25th to check in with her chemotherapist, and then we’ll have a PET scan to see if she is eligible for surgery. No one has really told us what exactly needs to happen to make her eligible for surgery, which is frustrating to say the least. So she’s just been focusing on gaining weight and getting a lot of rest.
Although we have all been in pretty good spirits through this whole ordeal, it is getting harder to maintain positivity. We expected for her to start to feel a little better post chemo and radiation, and thats just not happening. My brain is starting to over analyze everything, and I’m starting to question whether or not she’ll even be able to have the surgery. Without the surgery, the chances of her surviving for any significant amount of time is obviously non existent. This is really the first time that I’m facing the realization that my Mom is dying. I am afraid that her will to fight this thing is also waining. Every day she says to me that she is just so tired of being sick.
Does anyone have any advise about this situation? Has anyone had a loved one go through treatment, and not be eligible for surgery? Is it “normal” to experience zero improvement post chemo and radiation?
I am really looking for honesty, and although encouraging words are welcome, I know that the reality of this situation is lousy. So please, if you can share any information or experiences with me, even if they didn’t turn out well, know that it is very much appreciated.