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Posts: 57
Joined: Jan 2009

Sometimes I feel like I'm talking to myself on this board but it's kinda therapeutic for me so here goes. My 38yo husband was diagnosed with unresectable stomach cancer in Jan 09. He went thru one regimen of chemo but it had no effect on the tumor. We then tried to get him in a clinical trial but found out yesterday that he did not have the specific protein they were looking for. Also, during the time he has taking tests trying to get into the trial he has not been on any chemo so his symptoms have worsened a bit. He is having an endoscopy today to check for obstruction in his esophagus. It seems like we just can't win or even get a leg up on this thing. One question, for those of you that had chemo before surgey, did you have chemo with radiation? Radiation has never been mentioned as an option for my husband and I don't understand why. But I will ask again today when we meet with his oncologist.

Posts: 37
Joined: Sep 2008

Well I certainly hope that a Dr. at some point that you talk to will be able to come up with something for your husband. I try to respond as often as I can, because I know when I went through the surgery I really didn't have anyone to turn to. I found this page well after the fact.

My treatment in short was Radiation for 2 wks w/ 1 wk of Chemo as well. Surgery, then a repeat of the Chemo/Rad treatments. Chemo as an analogy is more of a spray paint effect. It's trying to get anything and everything. Radiation is more controlled pinpoint of treatment like a fine paint brush. I tried to read older posts, but couldn't find a description of your husband's cancer. Since the radiation treatment usually aggravates the treated area pretty harshly it does not seem to be used in cases where there is spreading of the disease. That and it is horribly expensive. If I remember the bills correctly I think two weeks of treatment was as much as the surgery and recovery.

Depending on insurance coverage they may have decided to not treat that way either. Unfortunately I can't really give any advice as to why they might not have changed things. Maybe I watch Scrubs too much and how they portray the chief of medicine of always looking on the business side of things.

I hope the Dr's give you some reasonable answers for their determined treatments. And I hope that it does work for your husband in the long run.

Posts: 57
Joined: Jan 2009

My husband's cancer was advanced and unresectable when it was found with lymph node involvement. The plan was to have chemo and then surgery. After 3 rounds of chemo, the tumor had not shrunk and there was a questionable spot on his liver. As I stated before, he also had obstruction at the end of his esophagus due to the tumor and will have to have a stent put in. We met with a radiation oncologist on Friday and will begin radiation on Wednesday. The radiation oncologist was very encouraging and eager to begin treatment.

Posts: 16
Joined: May 2009

That is great. Any type of treatment that doctors suggest is a good thing.

My dad was stage IV, which was a tumor inside the stomach and a spot on a lymph node. The lymph node was removed immediately and he had a total gastrectomy. He had 3 rounds of chemo before which shrunk it slightly and radiation and chemo afterward. He did not have radiation before the surgery, though, only after.

Everyone's cases are slightly different though. If the doctor is able to explain the treatment plan and it makes sense for your husband's case I'd say you're in good hands. Any treatment is still treatment.

PS: I'm reading :)

Posts: 57
Joined: Jan 2009

I just can't help but think that we should have fought for him to have surgery after his initial diagnosis because I really didn't understand why it was deemed unresectable. But anyway we trudge on. I don't know if surgery is an option after extensive radiation. He has his 1st of 30 treatments today. The radiation oncologist assured us that the tumor would shrink but I don't know if that means he can then have surgery.

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