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treatment completed

ttbjpw
Posts: 11
Joined: Jan 2014

Husband just finished 5 weeks of chemo and radiation.  Have to wait 5 weeks till PET scan. What can we expect during this time?

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paul61
Posts: 1122
Joined: Apr 2010

If your husband is like most EC patients he should begin to feel much better two to three weeks after chemo and radiation has been completed. Many survivors have a very sore throat after radiation and that takes some time to get better. Chemotherapy drugs stay in your body for some time so it will be some time until the side effects from them subside.

I assume the PET scan is to asses the response to initial treatment and perhaps to decide if your husband is a candidate for surgery. Have you discussed surgery with your oncologist?

Best Regards,

Paul

ttbjpw
Posts: 11
Joined: Jan 2014

Thanks paul yes, the scan is to see if it is small enough to be removed surgically or if it's gone,  which would be awesome! We have discussed surgery and already have a surgeon in line.  We were told the chemo and radiation continues to work even though treatment is done,  so wasn't really sure what to expect.  He never had a sore throat, mainly tired.  Last night he actually ate bacon. That's a big deal.  Its been liquid and soft everything.  He has a feeding tube but has not had to use it.  Not sure when port gets removed.  Any thoughts on that? When im in the Dr office I think I'm in such shock my mind goes blank and then I think of so many things later. 

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

The amount of time the chemotherapy port stays in tends to vary widely by cancer survivor. I would think your oncololgist would want to keep the port in until after surgery and analysis of the pathology of the tissue removed in surgery. If the post surgical pathology shows any stray cancer cells in the lymph nodes removed, many oncologists recommend follow up chemotherapy just to be safe. I had my EC surgery four years ago and I still have my port. Most oncologists suggest removal of the port after two years of remission. If the port is causing no issues it tends to be up to the survivor and the oncologist.

Best Regards,

Paul

Deathorglory
Posts: 69
Joined: Jul 2013

Hello,

 

Congratulations on getting through the radiation and chemo.  A couple of things that are fairly normal for the weeks following completion are a gradual (slower than you'd probably like) lessening of side effects.  Both chemo and radiation side effects are cumulative, so it took 5 weeks to build up and it'll take a similar length of time to subside.  Unfortunately, you can also likely expect a good deal of anxiety about the coming PET scan.  That is an extremely common theme.  Even years later, folks still get anxious about their tests.  It's 100% natural and I don't know if anyone has found a way around it.  

 

I hope everything goes well for you and that the PET results are exactly what you want to hear.

 

Ed

ttbjpw
Posts: 11
Joined: Jan 2014

Heading out soon for the PET scan. Thought things were getting better,  but for past week he hasn't been able to keep anything down. We have to wait until Wednesday for results.  Will be a long week.  

 

 

ttbjpw
Posts: 11
Joined: Jan 2014

Results in the morning,  having a hard time sleeping.  Felt so good about this up until a couple weeks ago.  Things seemed to be getting better then all of a sudden everything he got down came back up, and some things he couldn't even get down. I can't imagine how i will feel if they tell us its still there and inoperable. 

ttbjpw
Posts: 11
Joined: Jan 2014

Results are in.  All seemed hopeful.  Mass shrunk to almost gone.  Radiologist and oncologist both said treatment was successful.  Therewas a lymph node high up on the esophagus the surgeon was concerned about.  When we asked about that one today the oncologist said there was no mention of a lymph node up high on the esophagus.  Woohoo!  We will see the surgeon Wednesday.  

Deathorglory
Posts: 69
Joined: Jul 2013

Sounds like you've gotten good news.  I hope everything continues down that path.

 

All the best,

 

Ed

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