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Hoping for some perspective...

Sloaner3
Posts: 22
Joined: Jun 2007

Hi All,

I'm new here.   My dear sis was diagnosed about a month ago.  Stage IIb adenocarcinoma.  Very aggressive plan being put in place... 28 radiation treatments in conjunction with chemo (not sure of drug choices) which will be 6 weeks in duration followed by the esophagectomy.  My sis is only 55 and healthy.  From what you all have heard/read/experienced, do you think this will rid her of this? And a follow up... does this cancer come back often?  If so, any details would be great.  

I don't want sugar coating, I'm really hoping very honest dialog. I love her with my whole heart and want to be the best support I can for her. 

LauraandLarry's picture
LauraandLarry
Posts: 184
Joined: Sep 2012

Welcome and so sorry you have found your way here. This is a wonderful place to find a load of support and input. Everyone's story is different and again nearly the same. EC is a very serious diagnosis. You will find very grim statistics. You will also find many wonderful survivor stories. The top suggestion we all have in common is to be sure that your sister is being treated at a top cancer center, with a team that is experienced in treating this cancer. Also never be afraid to seek 2nd or 3rd opinions if needed. I don't know what area your sister is in but I'm sure someone here can help you.

paul61's picture
paul61
Posts: 1122
Joined: Apr 2010

Like your sister, I was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and staged IIB. With cancer there are no guarantees about the outcome of treatment. The statistics show that tri-modal treatment; radiation and chemotherapy followed by surgery have the best chance of long term remission. This form of cancer is very aggressive and there is a 50% chance of recurrence in the first year after treatment. However, your sister should ignore the statistics. We are all a statistic of one and each of us has a different reaction to treatment. Positive attitude can make a big difference in the success of treatment.

 The surgery is MAJOR surgery so it is important to get a second opinion from a major cancer center with a background in treating many esophageal cancer patients. If you tell us in what part of the country your sister lives, we can make some suggestions about esophageal cancer specialty centers near her.

After surgery and chemotherapy I have been fortunate enough to remain in remission for three years and am back to enjoying life with my family with a few life style changes to accommodate my new digestive system.

Wishing you and your sister 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

servman86
Posts: 8
Joined: May 2013

Sorry to hear about your sis.  I wish the best of luck to her.  I was diagnosed at stage III EC.  My treatment consisted of Radiation, gastro-esophagectomy, and then followed by chemo, (Cisplatin & 5FU) 6 months.  You will hear and you will find that there are no 2 cancers alike, and no 2 treatment experiences that are the same. I will tell you that I am a 14 year survivor.  I was diagnosed at age 36 and will turn 52 this fall.  I had lymph node involvement, but no mets.  I like everyone else would only caution you to absolutely make sure that you go to a treatmet center/hospital that deals with EC on a regular basis.  The doctor that had diagnosed me, dealt in this type of surgery, however, he refused to do mine and told me, " You need the best of the best and I'm not it."  I thank God that he was that honest with me. and gave me that advise. So do make sure that her care team is familiar with this type of cancer.

 

Sloaner3
Posts: 22
Joined: Jun 2007

I appreciate, already, the candor and wisdom of this board.

We feel confident with the doctors at the University of Michigan where she will be treated.  She has been told that it is the best care possible in Michigan.

 

It helps to know she is not alone.

LauraandLarry's picture
LauraandLarry
Posts: 184
Joined: Sep 2012

My husband is being treating treated at U of M. I think they are wonderful. He has alot of set backs since his surgery. Some out of his control, just the nature of the beast. Some due to his reluctance to follow directions. Good luck, prayers,

tcaba's picture
tcaba
Posts: 41
Joined: Nov 2012

So sorry to hear that. I was 54 in 2010 when diagnosed.  After 2 1/2 years of clean reports I am about to begin treatment for recurrent EC. Scar tissue growth at the surgical junction become a problem with swallowing beginning 6 months ago but dialations remedy that.   I had NO other problems until April when during a dialation suspicions were raised.

My previous treatment was cisplatin/5fu, really not too bad, a little nausea at times and poor appetite for a couple of days following. 35 rad treatments, other than going to clinic everyday for 7 weeks, was a breeze.  Surgery, was a bear.  Ivor-Lewis, if that is what she has, is major surgery  BUT the drugs available do wonders for pain.  One thing I did finally learn on the 4 day post-op was to ask for meds when you need them.  Do not try to tough it out and wait.  Recovery was about 3 months.

Esophogeal cancer as everyone will tell you is a serious disease.  There are statistics out there and they can be quite grim.  IF you are not careful they will put you in a bad place mentally, which in turn will affect your treatment and recovery.  Be mindful of that when researching on the web.  EC is one of those diseases that typically is not found early so the stats tend to reflect advanced cases.  Sis, as myself, I think is kind of middle of the road at IIB.  Not early but not late either.  

Get plenty of rest, don't be afraid to ask for meds to help with depression, anexity or whatever and keep us posted.

tcaba's picture
tcaba
Posts: 41
Joined: Nov 2012

So sorry to hear that. I was 54 in 2010 when diagnosed.  After 2 1/2 years of clean reports I am about to begin treatment for recurrent EC. Scar tissue growth at the surgical junction become a problem with swallowing beginning 6 months ago but dialations remedy that.   I had NO other problems until April when during a dialation suspicions were raised.

My previous treatment was cisplatin/5fu, really not too bad, a little nausea at times and poor appetite for a couple of days following. 35 rad treatments, other than going to clinic everyday for 7 weeks, was a breeze.  Surgery, was a bear.  Ivor-Lewis, if that is what she has, is major surgery  BUT the drugs available do wonders for pain.  One thing I did finally learn on the 4 day post-op was to ask for meds when you need them.  Do not try to tough it out and wait.  Recovery was about 3 months.

Esophogeal cancer as everyone will tell you is a serious disease.  There are statistics out there and they can be quite grim.  IF you are not careful they will put you in a bad place mentally, which in turn will affect your treatment and recovery.  Be mindful of that when researching on the web.  EC is one of those diseases that typically is not found early so the stats tend to reflect advanced cases.  Sis, as myself, I think is kind of middle of the road at IIB.  Not early but not late either.  

Get plenty of rest, don't be afraid to ask for meds to help with depression, anexity or whatever and keep us posted.

dudley22
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2013

sorry to hear about your sister. I am stage III and just finished 5 chemo and 25 radiations. I have been very lucky with side effects and have not lost any wieght. I will be going to the VA hospital on the 21st for pet scan and meeting with Dr to see where we go from here. I first choise is to go to Sanford for surgery, hoping the VA will pick up the tab. Plan for the worst case and hope for something better. I am lucky to have daughters who have really worked the system to get my treatment done right. One is a nurse and deals with chemo and raditation treatment with kids, so I had a really good idea of what was going to happen.  Don't be afaid to ask questions. I have found out that my Dr was really good at bringing things down to my level of understanding and that help.

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