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Dr. Luketich

Betty in Vegas's picture
Betty in Vegas
Posts: 311
Joined: Jul 2009

I have a question...with the minimally invasive surgery, do they take the lymph nodes? I am more concerned about the nodes than I am about the esophagus...since it appears what is in the esophagus is dead, but the nodes is how everything moves throughout the rest of the body. IF our hospital doesn't do the surgery, then I'd like alternatives, but we are looking for en bloc surgery, so I thought I'd ask.

MOE58's picture
Posts: 649
Joined: May 2009

Even though we did not have the invasive surgery we had the other surgery we did have 12 lymph nodes removed and Jeff is doing great no signs of anything. Yes the esophogus might be dead but in reality it isn't as they build a new one in Jeff's case and Kitten"s case, but everyone fights different. Your best bet to talk to is William Marshall, he has already had that done, and AL (mumphy's husb) is about to enter that surgery. I wish you luck and hope and lots and lots of prayers.

Please pray for Kitten too while she fights this ugly disease we call CANCER, and while the other tests are being ran.

Lori aka MOE

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Betty in Vegas's picture
Betty in Vegas
Posts: 311
Joined: Jul 2009

but it is our understanding that en bloc includes not only the esophagus, but also the lymph nodes. Layne had some nodes positive prior to his chemo/rad, so we want to ensure we get those out as well as any near them.

Our rad doc is saying that she would seriously consider if we should even DO the surgery, because she believes we will be cancer free at the restaging, and she thinks it will stay that way. She's one of the best in the world, but that nagging fear really gets to us...and we think we want to opt for surgery anyway if it is offered.

Better safe than sorry when you still have kids to raise, we figure.

I believe MD Anderson only does the invasive surgery, but we'll be asking about the other, as well. (If they say we can have it.)

I will certainly ask about MIE.

Thank you for all the information. Isn't it amazing the things you learn going through this?

We got done on the 28th of Aug and we go back the 28 of Sept for restaging. Layne feels amazing, he has been working every day and he is really feeling the best he has in over a year. We are amazed at how well he has done through the entire thing, and we are thankful for those blessings.

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Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2009

Betty, I am in the same boat as Layne's. I have stage 4a (distant LN in abdomen lit up on initial staging). I am 40 yo and underwent 12 cycles of chemotherapy followed by proton beam/chemo at MD Anderson, which I finished July 22. I had restaging with biopsy done 4 weeks after treatment and everything looks great. I am in a holding pattern right now. My next scans are on Oct 14th. Basically, since everything looks great on scans, my chances of being cured is 30-40%, which means that I have a 60-70% chance of not being cured. There are basically three roads that are my future:

1. Scans continue to show no evidence of disease,and I will continue to watch.
2. I have a recurrence at the GE junction, which if it does return there (most likely spot since that is where the majority of tumor burden was), I will undergo esophagectomy at that time.
3. "New" metastatic sites pop up (which is unlikely, but if it does, then the operation was for nothing, and we will try to control the beast with chemo/etc).

They have offered surgery if I want to, and lump 1 and 2 together, which would give me an 80% of being cured, but the operation is big, and life altering. My oncologist at MDA also recommended the watchful waiting approach, and she has assured me that surgery is always an option down the road if my I should have a return at my esophagus. If I don't have to undergo it, I would be thankful to the Lord and give Him all the glory. I will be closely followed for the next year. My thought that throughout this journey, God has made His recommendations through the doctors I have met and seen, and I have had a great response.

kitten0385's picture
Posts: 278
Joined: Apr 2009

If surgery is an option, I would suggest highly considering it. There are many people on this site that have had successful stories, or know of wonderful success stories. I am dealing with reccurrence myself at this point, but scans did not show how big my tumor actually was or I would have had pre-op treatment. I recovered from surgery quite nicely, and I had open surgery. William on this site had MIE surgery and recovered very well! With that much of an increase in survival rates, I just can't see where at least considering surgery would not be in the back of your mind. This is strictly my opinion though, so I am in no way giving advice on what you should choose as an individual.

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