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Squamous Carcinoma In-Situ

PeggyG57
Posts: 7
Joined: Oct 2013

Hi All,

First of all thank you for sharing your stories.  Some of my problems have bee pretty lame by comparison.

Other than my problem trying to get off of the reglan & stomach issues I guess I have been doing pretty well.  I think the mental thing has been the hardest for me to  digest.  I never thought I would  get Cancer.  I was a healthy 55 year old woman... worked out, went to work every day, non-smoker.  I admit I like to have a few drinks but never considered myself to be an alcoholic.  From what I have read, that appears to be an indicator of "Squamous" Cancer.  I have always been weight concious (A banana & a yogurt, light dinner, etc.)  While eating my banana I started to notice a slight burning when swallowing & then started to lose weight without trying...very odd for me.  After 6mos. on Prevacid with no change & more weight loss my primary care Dr. sent me to a Gastrologist for an Endoscopy.  I was diagnosed June 28th, 2012. The biopsy shower "segments of high grade dysplastic and keratotic squamous epithelium; squamous carcinoma In-Situ.  A later endoscopy with ultra-sound determined it to be a T1N0 Tumor limited to the mucosa. We live in the Cleveland, Ohio area.  I had never even heard of esophageal cancer let alone realized how deadly it could be .  I trusted my care to the Doctors at our local hospital.  Southwest General Seidman  Cancer Center. They sent my case to the "Tumor Board" and after about a month determined that Surgery would be the best way to go.  My husband & I were in shock when they explained that they would remove my whole esophagus & stretch my stomach up to replace it.  I never even knew what the surgery was called until I got on this site.  I was very lucky.  I do not to this day know how many surgeries of this type that Dr. Lee performed.  As I said "I trusted..."  How naiive of us both. I spent ten days in the hospital. I did not need chemo or radiation as no cancer showed up in the surrounding lymph nodes.   They had put in a feeding tube during surgery & sent me home with it.  I was able to drink protein shakes right away &  never had to use it.  I wanted it off.  The Surgeon prescribed the Reglan when I was having trouble keeping food down and I had no really bad side effect.  It did effect my sleep & made me somewhat anxious but not horribly so.  I had no idea I should not be on it long term & it really does keep your system regular.

Sorry to be so long winded, but my point here is that there are probably others out there just as ignorant to this disease as I was.  I think "Paul" should start his own organization.  I've read everything he's written & he is so full of good advice.

I'm not sure if this cancer will surface elsewhere.  I have had 2 sets of scans since my surgery in August 2012.  They also recently did ultrasounds of my liver, pancreas & gall bladder as well as another endoscopy.  They seem to take me seriously when I think something is wrong & I know that is good.

I know I need to move on from this but it is going to take some time I think.  Thank you to everyone on this site for sharing their stories.  It really helps.

 

mrkenney
Posts: 12
Joined: Nov 2013

Peggy, I'm brand new to this whole 'cancer' ordeal so take my comments for those coming from the new kid on the block.   I don't know how you 'move on' from cancer. I honestly don't know if you ever do. I know a lot of survivors and they are just that survivors. I get the impression from them that like a soldier returning from war, we may go about our lives as normally as anyone else, but cancer like war is always there in the back of our thoughts - some of us just handle it better than others.

I'm thankful to read that you were able to undergo surgery and that the outcome sounds very positive. Here's to you and your husband handling survivorship well!!

paul61's picture
paul61
Posts: 1090
Joined: Apr 2010

Thanks for the kind words. I am so happy that your treatment and outcome has gone well.

In terms of “moving on from cancer”, you are right, it does take some time, and as “mrkenny” pointed out I think a diagnosis of cancer does change us and our perspective on life. I know, from a personal perspective, I value the good days much more. I don’t take for granted birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays with the people I love.

And of course I think the one thing all of us who are “survivors” learn to live with is that there always seems to be another scan or other test on the horizon; and then the wait for the results. And, where in the past when we had a new pain or “strange feeling” we just assumed it would get better, we now have that voice in the back of our mind that says “I hope this isn’t a recurrence”.

I think we learn to live in the moment. When we get up and feel good we say, “I am going to enjoy today and let tomorrow take care of tomorrow”. When we get up and are not feeling our best we say “I am going to give this a few days and if it does not get better I we see my doctor, but for today I am going to be kind to myself and try to be as positive as I can”. I most cases things get better with time and we move on.

I always ask myself “If tomorrow was my last day on earth how would I like to spend today”. Then I try to do that.

Sometimes I actually succeed. J

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

 

 

PeggyG57
Posts: 7
Joined: Oct 2013

Paul,

Thank you for your inspirational words.  I printed them off & will read them when I start to get the Poor-Me's.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday.  I'm going to try & eat a little (very little) of everything & enjoy my time with family a friends.

Take Care,

Peggy

 

 

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