My dad

naomi_1 Member Posts: 1
edited March 2014 in Esophageal Cancer #1
My 78 year old,relatively healthy father was just diagnosed with stage iv esophageal cancer with mets to liver and lymphatic system on Dec 18th 2010. He has finished 11 radiation treatments, has had a port placed and is to receive chemo starting Jan 26th. His appetite is poor, and painful over liver area.. The doctors give him 6 to 10 months. He is not ready to give up, and neither are we. They tell us there is nothing we can do that would improve his prognosis. We want to prove them wrong,Praying for a miracle...Know of any help we can seek out, or treatments?


  • ecdad
    ecdad Member Posts: 11
    new too
    I am new too but one day after dx's I was looking up the best cancer hospitals in the country, one close to me, but we haven't even started treatment, but I was glad I did that and I am hoping for the best, Read all you can on this board, it taught me alot in just 1 week. You will get plenty of advice on here, you are already ahead! Good Luck and God Bless!
  • unclaw2002
    unclaw2002 Member Posts: 599
    Naomi,I am so sorry to hear

    I am so sorry to hear your news but welcome to our family. My father was diagnosed in December of 2009 with Stage III, T3,N1,MO cancer. He has survived for 13 months and celebrated his 79th birthday in November and this last Christmas. He had some setbacks with his chemo and treatment and this summer the cancer had spread to his liver and he became Stage IVb. He was given perhaps months to live this summer.

    Right now he is participating in a clinical trial for Stage IV patients at MD Anderson (out of every 3 patients only 2 get the experimental drug and we don't know if he is getting the drug or the placebo). In fact I will be traveling to meet him in Houston, he is traveling as well to find out how he is responding to the treatment. We meet with the doctor on Thursday to find out the results of the scan and will find out if he will continue in the trial or what his next step is. My dad has a wonderful attitude about fighting this cancer, but is also concerned about the quality of his life.

    I will write you a longer post later but wanted to ask you a few questions so you can help us help you.

    1. First can you tell us where your dad is being treated, what hospital, what doctors?
    2. What tests have been conducted on your dad - diagnostic and biopsies?
    3. What type of espohageal cancer has he been diagnosed with? Where is it located in the esophagous?
    4. Have you gotten a second opinion from a doctor who specializes in espohageal cancer, its treatment and diagnosis at a major cancer center hospital?
    5. Has your dad been able to eat? does he have a J-tube?
    6. Have they tested your dad's tumor for the HER2 gene?
    7. What kind of chemo are they going to administer? Why have they done radiation before any chemo? Usually they start with chemo, then do a combination of chemo and radiation and then perhaps more chemo. Also have they told you how many radiation treatments they are going to do on your dad?
    8. Are they recommending any type of treatments for the liver tumors?
    9. Is your dad on regular Medicare or an Medicare HMO? If he is on an HMO you have less than a week to change his insurance to regular Medicare . . . this is essential. Medicare HMO's will not allow your father to get the best care and treatment. I know it sounds counterintuitive but regular Medicare is much better. You will need to get supplemental insurance and prescription drug coverage but believe me this is necessary. You have until the last day of January to opt back into the regular Medicare program and get out of any private Medicare HMO program.

    Each person is just that, a person not a statistic, and we don't know how they will respond to treatment or how long they have left on this earth. This is a very serious, dangerous and deadly cancer. That is why you will see advice on this board to get second opinions, seek the best care, go to the best doctors. Don't let concern about being close to home determine your treatment or care, nor that you like the doctor at home. This cancer requires everything you can do and it is essential to be where the doctors deal with espohageal cancer every day ---- it isn't even okay to go somewhere where the doctor is a specialist in breast, or other cancers. You need someone who is a specialist in treating esophageal cancer.

    Good luck and prayers with you and your dad. If you have any questions please feel free to email me personally.

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  • linda1120
    linda1120 Member Posts: 389
    Hello Naomi,

    Where does your father live? It is helpful to get a second opinion at a large cancer center. If you share where you live others here can guide you.

    I wish you the best and I am sorry your father has this cancer. My husband just had surgery for his and is in the recuperation mode.

  • Tina Blondek
    Tina Blondek Member Posts: 1,500 Member
    Hello Naomi and welcome to you and your dad to our family! I was a caregiver for my dad. He was dx with ec 11/08, had 6 weeks of chemo and radiation. He did very well. He was not a candidate for surgery because of his heart issues and because it was stage IV. Dad had 13 great mos. The last 3 mos. of his life were not good. In Dec 09, he was dx with mets to his liver. He passed away on March 9,2010. Please get a 2nd opinion. We did and we had my dad 10 mos longer than his first opinion told us! If there is nothing "they" can do, there is someone who can! Do a lot of research, find a specialist in your area, or travel to a well known cancer center. There are plenty. Let us know where you live, where he is being treated etc. Keep us posted.
    Tina in Va
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