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peg1213
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2013

Today, I finally got up the nerve to post. My husband was diagnosed with Stage IIB esophageal cancer in late Jan 2013.  He had been experiencing difficulty with swallowing & vomiting on and off since last summer. It took a blood clot in his calf the day before Thanksgiving to get him to the doctor's office.  He experienced a delay in getting diagnosed since we were told the blood clot was more dangerous than his vomiting & weight loss. He was put on warfarin therapy that complicated further testing but in mid Jan, after a endoscopy he was diagnosed. We were referred to a local community hospital with university ties for further diagnosis & treatment. Currently he is receiving chemo & radiation to help shrink the tumor before surgery. Unfortuately the tumor had almost completely closed his esophagus (the EUS test was incomplete due to the closure). He seems to be toleratng the treatments as well as can be expected. His real issue is j-tube feedings. He hates it! The tube was placed in late Feb & it has been a constant fight since. He has lost more than 50 lbs since Nov & his surgeon keeps warning him that unless he can gain some weight the surgery might have to be postponed for awhile. Another complication is dehydration which is another battle since he can only sip small amts of fluid by mouth. So it's fluid infusions at least twice a week along with pushing the fluids when possible.

Every day is a struggle for us both. All I can do is try to remain calm yet concerned & keep asking questions from his doctors while trying not to kill him when he balks at hooking up to the pump.  With his last chemo a week away & less than 10 days of radiation on the calendar, all I can hope is that he can begin to eat liquids or soft foods without the usual mucus coming up. Reaching that goal, I think, would be a big emotional boost for a proud 63 year old who has lost so much over the past 6 months including his job & health to this diagnosis.

I will keep you all in my prayers, as this is battle that cannot be taken lightly. It must be fought with courage & compassion, even threw the toughest times. I just wish that esophageal cancer was talked abt more in the media, so that others who are experiencing gas or reflux issues would get to a doctor's office & not keep grabbing for an OTC antacid to ease symptoms. I've learned alot & have even more to learn abt this difficult journey. But with better treatments, courage & the grace of God, we will all make it through.

Denise134
Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2013

Hi. Since we are both new today, I thought I would say hello. Sorry for what you are and your husband are going through. I understand the struggle of the food as I watched my dad starve and dehydrate for almost 8 weeks, as he refused a feeding tube. We opted for the stent which has been working to get food down, but not relieving us of the misery he gets from constand pain and hiccups. My dads tumor nerly completely closed his esophagus too, so much so that the first stent failed and he has two!  Best of luck to you!

Denise134
Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2013

Hi. Since we are both new today, I thought I would say hello. Sorry for what you are and your husband are going through. I understand the struggle of the food as I watched my dad starve and dehydrate for almost 8 weeks, as he refused a feeding tube. We opted for the stent which has been working to get food down, but not relieving us of the misery he gets from constand pain and hiccups. My dads tumor nerly completely closed his esophagus too, so much so that the first stent failed and he has two!  Best of luck to you!

paul61's picture
paul61
Posts: 1116
Joined: Apr 2010

Peg,

I was also diagnosed as Stage IIB in 2009. Originally they thought I was stage 1 so I went directly to surgery without the benefit of chemotherapy or radiation therapy. After surgery they discovered a positive lymph node as a part of the post-surgical pathology so I had to complete 18 weeks for chemotherapy after surgery.

I know your husband must be frustrated and depressed at the current state of his life right now. And facing a major surgery is certainly daunting. But I can assure you it is worth the battle. I am now three years from surgery and back to enjoying life with the people I love.

I wish you and your husband the best.  

Best Regards,

Paul Adams

McCormick, South Carolina

DX 10/2009 T2N1M0  Stage IIB - Ivor Lewis Surgery  12/3/2009 - Post Surgery Chemotherapy 2/2009 – 6/2009

Cisplatin, Epirubicin, 5 FU - Three Year Survivor

Molo
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2013

Hello, I also am new to this site with you being my first post.  My husband 42yo was dx 2/8/13 with stage 4 esphageal ca.  We just finished round 3 of chemo yesterday.  He has been a real trooper.  I like you watched these symptoms go on for about 6 to 8 months before diagnosis.  We are hoping that this treatment will give us the option for an esphagealectomy in our future.  There is so much uncertainty with this diagnosis--I hope your husband is able to pack on some pounds so that he will have the strength he needs to fight. Sending virtual prayers your way.  Keep me posted on your feeding successes!Wink 

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