Toga Trial - Stage 4 EC

tillyrae13 Member Posts: 2
edited July 2011 in Esophageal Cancer #1
Hi. This is my first post. My dad (54 years old) was diagnosed with Stage 4 EC on March 5, 2011.

He's undergone several treatments and he's responding well so far. His first scan after a few rounds of treatment showed a 54% reduction. As you can imagine, we were thrilled! The only complications thus far have been severe diarrhea (weight loss) and his hands/feet began to peal(have since healed). The doctors have adjusted his meds. accordingly. Also, he gets extremely tired quickly. My dad's the kind of guy who is full steam ahead on everything he does. Nowadays, he's taking it easy and gardening often. He's adjusting the best he can. We all are.

A suggestion - after my dad was diagnosed, he insisted on getting a puppy. Of course, my brother and I (both in our twenties and not living at home) thought this would be a horrible idea. We were too quick to judge. The pup (Stevie) keeps him going. She even sleeps right next to him during his afternoon naps. My mom and him have opened their arms and hearts to this puppy, and the puppy has done the same to them. I highly recommend a pet (maybe not a puppy, but a pet)! She brings smiles to all of our faces and is a nice distraction at times.

Anyone else out know of anyone who has been part or is a part of this trial? Any feedback? Comments? Suggestions?

I look forward to our discussions. I understand this is a horrible disease and hope and optimism doesn't always come easily. However, online communities like this one connects people who need to be connected. I feel that with connectedness comes hope.


  • Daisylin
    Daisylin Member Posts: 365
    You are so right, pets are the best therapy! We did not get a puppy, but already have a 6 year old Beagle named Daisy. We've been calling her 'Nurse Daisy', and she is a delight for both of us, and always can be found snuggling my husband or myself. Since my husband stopped working in January, he's even more in love with the little fur monkey! She is a welcome distraction, and she makes us smile and laugh, sometimes through our tears.

    Glad that Stevie is giving your dad joy and comfort. Dogs are truly magical creatures! I think my Daisy has helped me deal with all the stress and anxiety that this disease has caused.

    I have never heard of the trial that your dad has undergone, but 54% reduction is FANTASTIC! Congratulations, hope he continues to feel well.
    Take care,
  • mruble
    mruble Member Posts: 174
    You are so right about a pet. We'd had a dog for about a year and a half before my husband was diagnosed. She's been his constant companion. After surgery she would carefully climb into his recliner with him and lay on his stomach. I'm not sure if it was the pressure or the warmth but it did wonders in calming his often-upset stomach. Since his surgery in February 2010 my husband has been hospitalized twice, each time for two weeks. The nurses on the oncology floor allowed me to bring Peaches to see my husband and those visit lifted his spirits like nothing else could. Like Chantal, we refer to our dog as "Nurse Peaches" because I can always count on her to let me know if something isn't quite right.

    You and your father will be in my thoughts and prayers. It's a difficult journey your family is on -- one that none of us have chosen.
  • Gatoraid
    Gatoraid Member Posts: 66
    I truly believe in pets. I was diagnosed with stage III last August. Went through 2 rounds of chemo, 28 days of radiation and surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital. I am clear at this point and hope the same will happen as a result of this trial for your dad. We have 2 dogs and 2 cats and I believe that animals know when something is not right. When I got sick, they stuck to me like glue and became closer to me than ever before. My wife because nursy Laura (with the feeding, in home hydration, etc.) and the pets took care of both of us. You take care and I wish you the best going forward. Dana Farber and MGH are the best place to go for this disease.