Hi there - I want to introduce myself.

Laura23 Member Posts: 81
I have been catching up on all of your posts and trying to learn as much as possible.

My husband, Luis, age 51, was diagnosed April 11, 2011. He has had acid reflux for 20 plus years and no one ever mentioned that it could cause cancer. He has also had sleep apnea for 10 plus years. In the fall of 2010 he started having more acid reflux that was difficult to control. In January, he spoke with a doc friend who suggested omeprazol for a few weeks. When that didn't help, he went to our primary care doc who ordered an upper GI scope. She didn't think it was urgent. He put it off because he was busy at work. But he said he could feel the food go down when he swallowed, which was new. He also had an episode where the food got stuck, which is what I think made him go get checked. When he finally got around to having a consult with a GI doc, the doc thought it was allergies or maybe an ulcer at worst. He scheduled the endoscope for April 11th. Even the GI was surprised to see that it was cancer.

After a CT, PET and EUS, he was determined to be stage 3, T3N1M0. At this point, we switched from the local hospital to Fox Chase Cancer Center, which is about an hour from our house. The local oncologist just didn't seem to be in a hurry and I felt he would end up killing my husband.

On May 5th, he had surgery to put in a chemo port and a J-tube. The docs thought it would be best to put the J-tube in before treatment began. So far, he hasn't used it except for flushing it with water.

He started pre-op treatment on May 31st. He has had 5 weekly treatments of carboplatin and paclitaxel and is now finished with chemo. He will have a total of 28 radiation treatments on an IMRT machine. He still has 4 left to go and will be finished July 8th. So far, he has sailed through the treatments with very few side effects. He has mostly experienced fatigue but is starting to have more and more pain with eating. This week has been the roughest so far. He is also starting to not feel like eating. Because he has done so well so far, he has not lost any weight.

Luis has some follow up appointments scheduled and we are stll waiting for a follow up PET scan to be scheduled. He will meet with the surgeon on
July 18th at which point we hope an MIE will be scheduled for mid-August. We looked into seeing Dr. Luketich at UPMC but our insurance won't
cover it. So, we are seeing Dr. Walter Scott, who is chief of thoracic surgery here at Fox Chase. He does an average of 40-50 MIEs per year,
although he mostly does surgery for lung cancer patients. We are confident that he will do a good job.

Thank you for all the information on this site. It has been a blessing.


  • BMGky
    BMGky Member Posts: 621
    Good luck to you. Sounds
    Good luck to you. Sounds like you all are on top of things. I agree with you: You want good care, and you want it now!! I understand Fox Chase to be an excellent hospital and it is supposed to be highly ranked cancer center. Another member of this discussion group is also being treated at Fox Chase. He mentioned his doctor's name and that he was into his chemo.

    Hopefully, side effects for your husband will stay minimal, but they can arise as you well know. The jtube may become your best friend if eating becomes an issue. The little pump is easy to use and requires little to no maintenance, just flushing with water.

    Radiation seemed to affect my husband's ability to eat more than the chemo. He underwent both treatments simultaneously. It seems the radiation does some scarring where the tumor "used to be (we hope.)" Appetite changes and taste changes occur. My husband has always loved meatloaf. Somewhere in this journey, he lost his taste for meatloaf. In trying to get food into him, there was a lot of food thrown away as we would find something he liked, and then, he wouldn't eat it. He wasn't being difficult. It just happens.

    Do watch his hydration. For some, my husband included, the radiation really affected him, and he became very dehydrated. It makes them feel terrible and lifeless. The oncology nurses picked up on this and he started getting regular fluid IVs.

    Keep posting his progress and any of your concerns. Someone here has probably experienced what you are worried about and can give you suggestions. Please let us know.
  • jthomas233
    jthomas233 Member Posts: 85
    Good Luck!
    I'm also rather new to the site...Diagnosed May 9th with T3,n0,m0...Had J tube and cath placed June 6th at Fox Chase...finshed third week (scheduled for 5) of Taxol/Carboplaten and 13 out of 24 radiation treatments...still working and getting some exercise in. Hopefully, Prashant Shah will be my surgeon...he works with Dr. Scott...hoping for clean pet scan and MIE as well. My eating has actually gotten better over the last week...hope that is a good sign, but I understand the last week of radiation could slow me down a little.

    There are some wonderful folks on this site and I'm sure they will be as kind to you as they have been to me...good luck with your treatment!