May 01, 2013 - 1:30 pm
It’s finally spring here in the Midwest. I hope to enjoy it a little more this year than last year. One year ago today, we learned that my husband Paul had stage 3 esophageal cancer. In May and June, he received 28 rounds of radiation and 5 weekly chemotherapy treatments. At that point, he wasn’t eating anything by mouth, and barely drinking anything. Memorial Day weekend he got a J-tube which made all the difference in the world. In August of 2012, Paul underwent a minimally invasive esophagectomy at the IU Cancer Center in Indianapolis Indiana. He was in the hospital 9 days, the first 4 were pretty rough but he was back to work part time after 6 weeks and released of all restrictions after 8 weeks. He was 63 years old at the time.
He has had 2 clean scans since and with a few exceptions, you would never know the hell he went through last year. He never ever lost site of the importance of a positive attitude and a sense of humor. When his friends starting acting differently (kind of tiptoeing) around him, he flat out told them to knock it off – and they did and they all had a good laugh about it.
I don’t post often but I do read the board regularly and for all of you newly diagnosed and in the early phases of treatment, I just want to let you know there is hope and there are happy endings. I know that at one year, we are not “out of the woods” but we sure are in a better place now then we were last year at this time. Things really do seem normal again.
Some important things we learned from this experience: 1) Find the best treatment center you can with doctors that specialize in EC and don’t hesitate to get a 2nd or 3rd opinion. 2) Do your best to maintain a positive attitude and laugh as much as you can. 3) Don’t fight the feeding tube (it’s not really that bad). 4) Refer back to this site often, it will help you more than you realize right now.
Best wishes to all of you struggling with this horrid disease.