Apr 10, 2013 - 6:28 pm
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.