Feb 19, 2013 - 12:37 am
My husband has stage IV EC. Diagnosed @ time of surgery 12/4/12. Presented unusually; intermucusal. CT did not pick up the extent. Surgeon performed his duty, yet did not get all that was in the esophogus. Performed total gastrectomy. Margins to the pancreas and lower abdomen; 6/6 lymph nodes positive upon biopsy. EGAD. Sought 2nd opinion @ Mayo Minnesota; no hope for surgery due to scar tissue; and mediasteinem + upper neck lymph nodes showing positive on PETCT. Just after surgery there was an esophogeal leak that resulted in an abdominal abcess. It was drained; radiologist clipped his lung upon removing the pig-tail tap - I have never seen another human being in so much pain other than childbirth in my life. Resulted in further pleural effusion, and the abcess remained strong. The man lost 40 lbs he couldn't afford to lose - he's always been very active. Tapped both pleural effusion & abcess again, and gave him a J-Tube. Have dealt with narcotics, nausea episodes that rack him and having me count the calories leaving his body during these episodes, lack of appetite, and all the usual accompanying bull$hit that comes with cancer. The only hope we've got is that he heals from the surgical wounds, and the abcess - while inactive at this time- clears, chemo. My husband has never been close with a cancer patient during treatment or surgery. He is clueless. And appears unwilling to educate himself - unusual for someone who is normally a very mentally, physically, and psychologically strong individual. He's a commercial fisherman by trade and does salmon, tuna, and crab. Tough man in every respect. I am a chef by trade, yet have been working with him these last years. I have fed cancer patients, and know from experience what to expect. Doesn't make it any better, though, many-a-time I find myself at my wit's end.
Have way too much experience with cancer; lost my Mama, Grandma, Oma, Tante, and many clients to this horrifying disease. On the other hand, I know survivors who are in their double-digit years and I rejoice every time I speak to them, think of them, well, you know. Without hope, there is really not much to look forward to.
So, That's who we are and what mayhem is going on. Thanks to all who post; makes the journey lighter when the load is shared.