25 days of the roller coster ride of cancer

My husband was diagnosed 25 days ago with stage one esophageal cancer....everyday is a roller coaster of emotions....The five stages of grief, denial is my favorite! We are going to do the surgery. I use to worked for cardiothoracic surgeons. I know the langue all to well....I was just on the other side of the fence, scheduling it. I did not have the emotions.....

So waiting for a surgery date now... My husband is in an HMO, we have to go through proper channels...... I think we will take a family vacation the
our grown kids and grandkids....before surgery, glade I found this sight.... I know loved ones call, some try to cheer you, so many tell us movies to see...? Everything and everyone make me/us nervous ;(


  • BobHaze
    BobHaze Member Posts: 161 Member
    Another Stage 1 survivor
    Welcome to this great site. Like others may say, I'm glad you found us, but sorry you had to look. But here you're going to find advice, others' experiences, and lots of support.

    I, too, am a Stage 1 survivor. Your husband and I and a sadly small number of others are blessed and incredibly lucky to have been diagnosed early. It's weird to feel lucky to hear you have cancer, but so many here were only diagnosed when the disease was so advanced they couldn't swallow. So as much of a bummer as it is to be told you have cancer, I find comfort in reminding myself that I am, in fact, lucky.

    I assume that by now your husband has had an EUS and maybe some other diagnostic procedures. It would be helpful to us here to know where he will have his surgery, who the surgeon is, and which procedure he will have: Minimally Invasive Esophagectomy (MIE), Trans-Hiatal Esophagectomy (THE) or Ivor Lewis (IL). It would be good if you can fill in some details in your "About Me" page, because it will help everyone get to "know" you.

    Hopefully your husband's HMO will allow him to be treated at a major cancer center, rather than a regional hospital. Esophagectomy is a major procedure that will alter his digestive system, remove many lymph nodes, disable some nerves, etc., and should only be performed by a thoracic surgeon who has significant experience with the specific procedure he or she will be performing. Thankfully, there are many such surgeons, but it is worth asking him or her how many esophagectomies they've done and how frequently.

    That said, my surgery was 6 months ago last week and I'm doing pretty well. I can eat almost everything I used to eat, just not as much at a sitting. I went back to work 3 months after the operation, and I started working out at a gym at about the same time. It's not all a bed of roses and there are lots of ups and downs along the way, but it's more than worth it. As the "godfather" of this site, William, has been known to say, "Would you rather have cancer?" (that was you, Bill, right?)

    It's normal to be scared and on an emotional roller coaster right now, for both of you. I think the pre-surgery vacation is a great idea. My wife and I did something similar and went to Maine for a long weekend a couple of weeks before my surgery. I didn't know exactly what to expect from the procedure, but I knew my life was going to change to some extent and it was so nice to have that time alone and try to forget about cancer as much as we could for those few days.

    So again, Welcome, and I hope you feel free to ask anything that comes to mind. I guarantee someone here has been through whatever it is that's bothering you or can point you in the direction of an answer to pretty much any question you may have. PLEASE don't pay any attention to any statistics. EC is a dreadful disease and the statistics can be very scary. But each one of us is a statistic of one, and you and your husband should try to remember that.

    Tare care,

    dx 8/3/11
    MIE 9/23/11
  • JReed
    JReed Member Posts: 428
    Yes, this is a wicked beast of a cancer we battle - but battles are being won everyday by Stage 0s to Stage 4s. The various stages of processing this diagnosis by the survivor and their spouse, children, parents, and all of their loved ones is pretty much as you have described.

    Someone said it is the rollercoaster ride from hell. They are right. We are in this together on this site - we laugh, cry, share victories, curse the undesirable reports and celebrate NEDs all together here as though we were all one big family - we welcome you to join us.

    The pioneers here are the most awesome people you will ever 'meet' and read every post if you can - you just never know what kind of information you never knew you needed will be shared.

    Please let us know if you have any questions, or come back and just vent whenever you want. We'll be right here for you.

    Hugs from Michigan,
    Judy & Don