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my dad can not have surgery now- Please help

angel6122
Posts: 28
Joined: Aug 2012

MY dad was all set to have esophagual surgery but his surgeon ordered a PET before his surgery which was suppose to be on Feb 28th the PET came back showing he had mets to liver and lungs.. So his surgeon said he will not do it My dad already had done dose dense chemo and radiation prior to his upcoming surgery. Now his onco whom he saw today said he would put him on a different chemo that was much harsher. EOX. My dad is in pretty good health and eating ok now except has to have his throat stretched every week. My concerns are that I have read that surgrey is the only thing for a cure or remission. So will the other chemo's make a differencce for him? He is 78 but acts and looks much younger. He gained back all teh weight he had lost and eating pretty well. So with this in mind Does he have a fighting chance even without the surgery now? He is stage 4 Any stories out there with stage 4 with no surgery but had chemo and rads and how are they doing? I just recently lost my beloved sister so dad is still grieiving over her. so I was kind of relieved he didn't have surgery becasue I know you need to go in there with a good frame of mind and have some fight in you,l and at this point he doesn't so maybe it's a good thing, I don't think he would of left the hospital. I know no one likes to give statistics but with whats going on with my dad should I be very worred? Could he still have another couple of years or or we talking sooner or longer hopefull? His Dr. won't give out a time frame and I understand but you all have gone through it and read stories im sure, so hopeing you can give me some thing to go on here. Especially since losing my sister (my best firend in the whole world) and my dear husband has a tumor on his brain and he will be having that removed in mid April. This is all so much to take in, so I need to know what im faceing. Please help!!!

Ladylacy
Posts: 464
Joined: Apr 2012

My husband was told that surgery was out for him since the cancer has gone to his right lung.  He had laryngeal cancer first, clear now.  But last year he was diagnosed with cancer at the cervical of the esophagus and they said surgery would not be an option due to location and previous radiation.  So they did another 35 radiation and 7 chemo, then in September/October he was declared cleared.  At that time neither case was in the lymph nodes or anywhere else.  Follow up PET/CT showed something in right lung which required a needle biopsy, turns out to be cancer.  Also there was a recurrence and must larger area right below where the cancer at the cervical of the esophagus was found.  Surgeon said surgery was out due to spread.  We will see the oncologist tomorrow. 

Personally, I want my husband to have quality vs quantity and he is 76 and prior to all this his health was good.  But now I see a big change in him.  I know that any chemo for what he has now will be hard compared to previous chemos and no more radiation.

Treatment is hard on anyone and as caregivers it is hard on us and we need to take care of ourselves too.  You have your hands full right now but let your father make his decision because after all it is his and believe me, I know how hard that can and will be.

Wishing the best -- Sharon

angel6122
Posts: 28
Joined: Aug 2012

  Thank you Sharon. I wish you the best to for you DH. My dad went to his onco today and they going to do another round of chemo, a stronger one than the last ones he had a few months back, it was low dose.This time will Be stronger and called EOX I worry about that because he didn't do well on the low dose one so hope he can tolerate this one. It is in his liver and lungs now, I havn't thought about his nodes, is that somthing the PET scan would pick up? when I had BC they were only able to check my nodes through a masectomy I had positive nodes but it diddn't put me in the stage 4 catergory like it seems it does here.   

Ladylacy
Posts: 464
Joined: Apr 2012

What my husband had was a small tumor in his lung which was needle biopsied due to location and it was cancer.  Then last week when the specialist tried to go down his esophagus he went into a large tumor and pulled out.  Surgery due to spread not possible.  Plus it would be very hard on my husband.

Saw the oncologist today, and he said that more chemo wouldn't cure only buy time and might possibly could hasten his death.  My husband had elected not to undergo more chemo and the doctor agreed with him.   The doctor did say if he changed his mind and understood what could happen, to let him know.  The oncologist was not pushing chemo nor would be say how much time my husband had left.  He said that was something he couldn't predict and I agree.  Only the man upstairs knows that.

I think lymph nodes have to be biopsied. 

Sharon

angel6122
Posts: 28
Joined: Aug 2012

Sharon- I thought so on the lymph nodes, that they needed to be biopsied and don't think they have done that on my dad. Guess at this point it won't make a difference whether they are positive or not.  That's what I'm worried about my dad going through such a harsh TX and not having the quality of life, but it is his decision and I guess I have to honor that. I just don't want him to be in pain.

I hope your Dear Husband has lots of time left with you and a good quality of life as well. Thank-you for taking the time to answer my questions with what you are going through.

Hugs, Debbie

 

Tina Blondek's picture
Tina Blondek
Posts: 1560
Joined: Nov 2009

Hello Ladies

I was a caregiver for my dad. He had EC at the GI junction that spread to his liver. He and we

will celebrate his 3rd Anniversary in Heaven on March 9, 2013. I totally agree with wanting to

have quality of life rather than quanity. If we knew then what we know now...we would not have

had my dad do chemo and radiation. You learn so much with this journey of cancer. Everyone

is different. Everyone has their own story. Everyone responds differently to treatment. I always

advise people to go with their gut feelings. Let the victim of cancer make the final decision.

Hope this helps you both. Stay strong, stay positive, keep the faith!

Tina in Va

angel6122
Posts: 28
Joined: Aug 2012

Tina- Sorry you had to lost your dad to this terrible beast. I just found out tonight that my dad will not be doing more rounds of chemo as I previously thought, they were not telling me the whole story and wanting to spare me since the family is grieving over losing my sister this last month. His onco told him that what every one here is saying that the quality would be better. Im devastated of course but also don't want my dad to go through any pain or suffer. I want to also still believe in a Miracle for him as I know you all do as well.

May I ask how long your dad lived after being DX with the liver mets? Did he have surgery? Again, so sorry and may the anniversary of your dads passing be gentle on you.

Hugs,

Debbie

jrdials's picture
jrdials
Posts: 8
Joined: Feb 2013

My case is different, as all cases are. I was stage IIIB, had a tumor in the lower 1/3 of my esophagus and 4 cancerous lymph nodes, 2 in my chest, 2 behind my stomach. Don't know how they determined that just from CT scan - no biopsy on nodes. I was told that because of the spread that I wasn't a candidate for radiation or surgery. I was told that if the chemo didn't work that I had 4-6 months to live. Well I now alternate between CT and PET scans every 3 months. I've had 2 CT and 1 Pet that have been cancer free. I've also last week had a endoscope with biopsies on my esophagus and liver with no sign of cancer. Although I wasn't stage 4, my chemo only treatment has seemed to work for me. Check my profile for chemo types. I think a lot of prayer helps most.

 

Good Luck

angel6122
Posts: 28
Joined: Aug 2012

Jrdials- That is great news and I hope you continue to be NED (no evidence of disease) I'm hoping that the prayers for my dad also are anwered.

Hugs

callerid
Posts: 99
Joined: Dec 2012

Curious why they didn't suggest surgery. Do you have other heaalth problems?

Also did you change your diet, supplements or excercise regimen? Sometimes the inconsistency of information drives me crazy. His onc said antioxidants were not a good idea. Other alternative oncs said it's a necessity.

 

Thanks

Deb

jrdials's picture
jrdials
Posts: 8
Joined: Feb 2013

Hi Deb, I've got a lot of mostly nuisance health issues but none that would disqualify me for surgery - as far as I know. I did have a quad bypass 20 years ago with no problems since. I had 2 carpal tunnel and 1 rotator cuff surgeries since then. Actually I felt that Divine intervention led me to my oncologist and I knew absolutely nothing about cancer treatment, so I really didn't question what he told me. Now that I've been exposed to so many others that have had esophageal cancer, I really wonder why he didn't think I was a candidate for either radiation or surgery. He invited me to get a second opinion but I didn't. On the other hand, the results that I got couldn't have been any better. I haven't read any results that were better than mine. My only negative outcome was that the chemo did cause considerable, apparently permanent, neuropathy in my legs. All the "normal" chemo side effects went away except for fatigue and neuropathy. I regained my weight plus some, no special diet or exercise. I never lost my hair, it got pretty thin but never went away, although I was told I would lose it. The only thing that I can point to that I think made my case different was that all three of my doctors are very religious and offerred scriptures and prayers along with the standard "medical" stuff.

Like you though, there seems to be very, very little consistency in symtoms, treatments and outcomes. That's all the more reason not to base your expectations on statistics or the stories of others. If I had done that, I really think I wouldn't be here telling my story.

 

Jon

 

Dad'sfight
Posts: 155
Joined: Feb 2013

Congrats on your success. It gives me such hope for my father. He was T3N2MO, did 6 weeks of chemo and radiation. We did a Pet scan and they said he responded but felt like he wasn't a good canidate for surgery. The size of his Tumor was 7.7cm, that alone makes me very nervous about it coming back without the surgery. My father had lost his J-tube because of an infection, so the only nutrition he gets is what he eats. They say that's why they don't want to do the surgery because of lack of nutrition and that's affecting the healing of the radiation.  I respect the oncologist opinion, but like i told her the surgeon that has been taking care of my father might not even be the surgeon we want, I haven't had a chance to even ask how many he's done etc.... They gave us 2 weeks to get my dad eating better and they said they'll re-evaluate.  Your told these horrible statistics and your immediate thought is without surgery he's going to die anywhere from 1-3years. Your story gives me hope, makes me believe that maybe my father can survive without surgery for many years.  Wishing you the best!!

callerid
Posts: 99
Joined: Dec 2012

You were extrememly lucky to get not only qualified doctors but spiritual ones. I am certain your words are going to be very encouraging to many on this board. So happy for your outcome. 

 

Take care!

Deb

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