Recurrent esophageal cancer

Cometsmom Member Posts: 13 Member
edited April 2 in Esophageal Cancer #1

Hello to you all. My husband was initially dx w/stage IV EC in April 2018, at age 55. After 2-1/2 years of aggressive chemo, he's been in remission since mid-2020. He was declared NED and we were elated!! Other than neuropathy in his feet which is quite bad, no swallowing problems or other symptoms.

He had a routine surveillance endoscopy in late February. Bx showed the cancer has recurred. Met with the oncologist, had the PET scan which didn't show anything outside the esophagus thankfully and he's going to have a consultation with radiation therapy to see if he's eligible for that this time (did not have radiation the first time). He's scheduled for the port placement this Thursday. He's completely asymptomatic, although has been less active for the past 5 months or so due to fatigue (looking back).

He is a survivor of a major heart attack at age 48 and has cardiomyopathy and other complications from that. I'm concerned about him having radiation...the tumor abuts the right atrium of the heart. RT is considered very cardio toxic and I'm afraid about this. It would be horrible if he ends up having another heart attack after going through all this. I feel like this is a very aggressive plan.

Has anyone had this experience? Any cardiac problems after RT? We meet with the oncologist Monday and he's going to go over our options. I guess I'm just getting anxious and need some reassurance and answers.

Thanks in advance for any replies, and best wishes and prayers to everyone dealing with this

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  • Cometsmom
    Cometsmom Member Posts: 13 Member

    Just an update: we saw radiation oncology yesterday. He wants a diagnostic laparoscopy (which they did at his initial dx in 2018). Biopsies at that time were positive for spread to the peritoneum and other areas n the liver, lymph nodes, etc. The CT scan and PET were both negative then, but then this was found at time of laparoscopy. His CT and PET were also negative this time but because of the mets found before, he's going to repeat it. If positive for mets, the treatment plan will probably go back to palliative chemo again with no radiation. We see the surgeon tomorrow to discuss next steps. He was supposed to start chemo on 4/10 but I think that may get pushed depending on how quickly they do the laparoscopy.

    To add to the saga, he woke up with terrible tooth pain today necessitating antibiotics and probably tooth extraction Thursday. The dr said this has to be under control before surgery.

    I'm frustrated and anxious about all of this. He's overwhelmed by all the phone calls, voicemails, be here, be there. I'm feeling a little hopeless even though he's beaten all odds by surviving this far. Just feeling scared and down. Thanks for letting me express myself here. I appreciate any comments.