Nov 20, 2013 - 10:25 am
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.