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Dad Just Starting Out at 90

pcs1453's picture
pcs1453
Posts: 76
Joined: Dec 2008

Right before Christmas my dad, 90 years young was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. It is the AC type, associated with his Barrett's esophagus.  His pet scan showed no other effected areas, thank goodness. His tumor is small and low in his esophagus.  His doctors discussed radiation and chemo at the same time but are just going with radiation due to his age.  He is in good health, otherwise, walks every day.  My mom was told to fatten him up because he may have a hard time eating by the end of 5 1/2 weeks radiation.  Tomorrow is day 1.  From reading some of your posts, I see eating is an issue during treatment. Can anyone tell me about how many treatments they had before the side effects appeared?

 

Thanks for any advice/comments. I have been on the colorectal board for 5 years and folks are so caring.  I can see it is the same here.  

Tina Blondek's picture
Tina Blondek
Posts: 1560
Joined: Nov 2009

Hello and Welcome

God bless your dad for making it to 90 years young! The fact that he is in good health and that the tumor is small is to his advantage. My

dad passed from EC that went to his liver in March 2009. I have to agree with the drs to only do the radiation. This will not cure it,

but will prolong his life. If he has trouble eating, give him milkshakes, protein shakes, broth, etc. Stay positive and lean on the Lord

and us! Keep us posted.

Tina in Va

pcs1453's picture
pcs1453
Posts: 76
Joined: Dec 2008

We are indeed blessed to have my dad with us at 90. Thanks for your comment. Will keep you posted.  Yesterday was his 11th treatment.  So far so good.  

JKGulliver
Posts: 81
Joined: Apr 2013

My husband had chemo, then chemo/radiation.  He developed problems with swallowing and eating around the fourth week of treatment.  Some people also experience skin irritation as a result of radiation, but he did not, thank goodness. Every person reacts differently.   John also fattened up as much as he could prior to radiation, but he lost 10 pounds as a result of radiation side effects.  He was able to gain that back prior to surgery, but he lost it again, post surgery.  

We found that whole milk, ice cream, gnocchi, and mashed potatoes loaded with every imaginable high calorie ingredient helped alot.  We also made high calorie purees and he sipped them both hot and cold.  Everything he ate during this time had to melt in his mouth. He sometimes would put peanut butter in his mouth and let it melt whie he watched TV.  He said he use to do this as a kid.   Swallowing was still hard, but was relatively easier and more successful because there were no food chunks to get down.  He had a smoothie every day, loaded with anti-angiogenesis foods, including tofu.  We used coconut juice as the fluid.  These smoothies were surprisingly good and I drink them now, too.  

My husband said, during this time, that food became his enemy.  Having said that, he engaged the enemy 6-7 times a day, eating small amounts, but more or less eating constantly throughout the day.  It was a chore.  Maybe we did not approach this correctly, but it got us through this period of his treatment.

All the best. 

pcs1453's picture
pcs1453
Posts: 76
Joined: Dec 2008

John did it all, wow. I sincerely hope he is doing well.  Good tips on the food.  Thanks.  My mom is making him protein shakes everyday. I'll pass on advice.  11 treatments down, 16 to go. So far so good.  

Take care. 

pcs1453's picture
pcs1453
Posts: 76
Joined: Dec 2008

Last Monday Dad finished his 27th treatment.  Thankfully, he did not develop any swallowing problems. The worst for him was tiredness.  What a trooper, 90 years old. He gets a break for a few weeks before he goes back to see his doctor. Then it's another PET and endoscope (or whatever it's called). We are all praying for no further treatment. 

Tina Blondek's picture
Tina Blondek
Posts: 1560
Joined: Nov 2009

Hooray for Dad! Great to hear he is done with treatment. Thanks for the update. Now spend as much time as you can with him. Make every minute count! Gna ive yourseleves a hug and continue to stay positive!

Tina in Va

 

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