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Don had first post op CT scan last Friday

JReed's picture
Posts: 463
Joined: Nov 2011

Hi All-

Don had his first post op CT scan last Friday (6/22). We are scheduled to meet the Med Onc on July 6th. We have also chose not to call early for the results. The last time we called early for the results which was right after surgery - the news wasn't very good if you remember.

I am hoping that no news will be good news and the onc doesn't call us before the appointment to have Don come in earlier. Other than a cough that comes almost immediately after he eats, he is feeling pretty good and looks good. He did tell me on the way home from Charlotte, NC last Thursday that he has been having a few pains in his stomach area and that it hurts for him to sleep on either side. I pray this is either scar tissue or the healing process is continuing from surgery.

Two weeks ago Wednesday his stepmother (who is the 'mom' to us) fell and broke her back, laid there for over 45 minutes because Dad doesn't hear well. He took her to the hospital and while in the ER there, they managed to spill hot tea on her and she received 2nd degree burns - so they shipped her off to Chapel Hill Burn Center near Raleigh, NC (3 hours away). We found out about this Thursday morning and made arrangements so we could drive through the night to get there on Friday morning. Don's dad has dementia - so he should not be driving - he forgets things immediately and man did we have our hands full. We got arrangements made for both of them to be looked after (Home Instead) and a nurse comes in each day to change the dressings for her. Also stepbrother arranged for AlertOne for them in case there should be another fall.

We had to drive home Thursday so Don could have his CT scan on Friday morning. On Sunday, mom told Home Instead they didn't need to come back because she really doesn't have anything for them to do. (laundry, making bed, cooking, assistance with shopping, running errands so Dad won't drive, feeding her two cats, cleaning litter box, etc. - oh my Lord - I can't believe she did that). She is 85 and dad is 84. Stepbrother Ron owns Mountain Stream RV Campground in Marion, NC so his hands are full with their high season.

It was a very stressful time but I'm glad we could be there to help them and wished we could have stayed. If Don's results come back ok - he will probably go down again. If mom should fall again, that would be a disaster and we'll have a hot mess to deal with. Needless to say, the nerves are raw and I'm not going to push for what may not be good news - I'm ok with waiting and hoping the onc doesn't call us.

Hoping that each of you are enjoying the sunshine and summer season - we are getting on the bikes when we can and though we have cleaned the pool several times, we have not yet been in it - I need to purchase a floating wet bar and just get on my floating recliner and stay there for an entire day! LOL

So we're keeping everything crossed for both Don and his stepmom and praying for good results for Don and speedy recovery for mom.

Hugs and FEC,

JimboC's picture
Posts: 270
Joined: Mar 2011


I understand the stress of the wait. I also understand not wanting the results early. I'll keep you guys in my prayers for good results. My gosh, we've had our quota of bad results, it's about time for some good results. :)

All my best!


Posts: 665
Joined: May 2010

If you didn't have enough to deal with with EC. Prayers for you and your family. Hope you get good news. BMGky

captdave's picture
Posts: 168
Joined: Feb 2012

Judy and Don, Wow sounds like you have had your hands full to say the least. They say patience is a virtue, something I'm slowly being forced to learn, so hopefully waiting for the call instead of making it will pay off. Know that you guys are in Edie and my prayers daily. So sorry to hear about Mom. That is horrible but first alert is great for her to have. My mom and her soon to be new husband both have it and we all sleep more comfortably knowing they have a secure and sure way to summon help. As for the cough Don has, mine persisted for a while after I was home and was "dry" and hurt my throat from the dryness. Drinking water helped make it feel better and reduced the coughing. I also had some pain in my right side that occasionally made it difficult to sleep on my side. I found that sleeping on the wedge kind of focuses the body's weight to one area and I tend to get sore and have to switch from side to side during the night or to my back to redistribute the weight loading.

Take care and get that pool bar set up. I can still lift a drink.


Posts: 179
Joined: Feb 2011

Judy, you really do have your hands full. If we lived anywhere near you, I would offer to help. I don't blame you for not calling early. Just try to kick back, relax and enjoy the upcoming holiday!
Meanwhile, I'll be sending lots of positive mojo to you and Don, hoping that you get good news. As always, you will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Sending hugs and love,

Ginny_B's picture
Posts: 543
Joined: Sep 2011

Isn't it crazy, girlfriend, that life gets in the way of life! It's not like you don't have your hands full already. Well, sweetie, you two just hang in there and keep on riding!

paul61's picture
Posts: 1255
Joined: Apr 2010


Wow you guys have had your hands full over the last few days. My mom has a "FirstAlert" pendant. She lives by herself and it makes us more comfortable that she will get help quickly if she needs it.

Tell Don my cough lasted about 8 months after my surgery. I am sorry to say that to this day I still can't sleep on my side. For some reason it hurts when I lay on my side. Particularly the right side where the large incision from my surgery is located.

I hope the fact that you have not heard from Don's oncologist is good news.

Hope you both have a great 4th.

Best Regards,

Paul Adams
Grand Blanc, Michigan

DX 10/22/2009 T2N1M0 Stage IIB
12/03/2009 Ivor Lewis
2/8 through 6/14/2010 Adjuvant Chemo Cisplatin, Epirubicin, 5 FU
Two year survivor

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance!

AngieD's picture
Posts: 504
Joined: Sep 2011

Oh, Judy, it sure seems like EC is enough for any couple to deal with, but we know that's not the way things work. I'm praying for great results on Don's scan and Mom and Dad keeping it together so she can heal properly. Remember to take good care of yourself.

BobHaze's picture
Posts: 162
Joined: Sep 2011

Hi Judy:

I sent you a PM earlier about Don's scan, but that was before I read your post, which answered my main question. The stomach pain must be disconcerting, to say the least, but I hope you can both not worry about it until you talk to the doctor.

For what it’s worth, I know Dave and others complain about elevated sleeping, but I’ve been using my wedge pillow since my surgery in September, and I don’t mind it a bit. I never did sleep on my side, so sleeping on my back all night is nothing new anyway. I don’t sleep as long as I used to – 4 or 5 hours most nights – and that gets kind of old, but then again I’m getting older too (62) and my PCP says to get used to it. Easy for her to say! lol Thank God for Unisom, which I take once a week or so, so I can get a full night's sleep once in a while!

I can relate to your dilemma with Don’s parents. Mine are both 85, Mom has Alzheimer’s and Dad has trouble walking and falls a lot, occasionally hitting his head. Dad’s a stubborn old coot who won't use his walker, but a few years ago my sisters and I finally talked him into a LifeAlert bracelet (only because I paid for it!). But the problem was that my mother can’t remember how to use it and if he hits his head and is unconscious, the LifeAlert is useless, so he got rid of it. They remind me of one of my favorite bumper stickers of all time which reads, “Avenge yourself: live long enough to be a problem to your children!”

Good luck with everything, and please stay in touch!

Dx 8/3/11
MIE 9/23/11

TerryV's picture
Posts: 916
Joined: Jul 2011

I'm finding solace in family (and alcohol) right now, so my typing is comprised. But I want you to know that I'm thinking of and praying for you both!

I understand the parent with demenia. Nick's mom had a health issue some time back that has left her in a state similar to alzheimers. We met tonight with the pastor to iron out the services and she got angry at something I said. She broke down and then demanded to leave as she could not stand the frivolity occuring. Then she told me that it would do her good to see me feel some pain. I was only trying to smile through my pain at the moment, and she and I have cried daily so she has seen my pain. But, needless to say, I felt like quite the *** and regretted every word that made her hurt.

Anyway, enough of me.... This is about you and Don. Praying for EXCELLENT results and anxious to see some good news. Please bring it to me.

You know you are in my prayers,

PROUD wife to Nick, age 49

FEC, FEC, FEC!!!!!

jgwright's picture
Posts: 252
Joined: Oct 2011

Terry, m'dear... Your MIL would hate me, I'm afraid. I look at almost everything with humor. Mostly dark humor, but one needs must be twisted to handle something as stupidly irritating and debilitating as esophageal cancer.

That comment about "doing her good to see" you feeling pain is a horribly selfish and brutal thing to say. Yeah, you don't want to cause others pain, but obviously she doesn't feel the same way. She has lost her son. You have lost your husband. Which is worse?? The Bible says "and the two will become one flesh." So there you go.

You take care and remember you have a bunch of friends and supporters. Humor dulls pain. And pain dulls the ability to think.

My love and prayers go with you.


TerryV's picture
Posts: 916
Joined: Jul 2011

My 10 y.o. old said something to the effect of if I were to make him walk a long distance and then swim, it would kill him. Well, we were meeting with the pastor to tighten up plans for Nick's service. The pastor is an old friend as well as a former classmate. I asked him if he would give me a deal on a double service since my son said that would be the end of him. My friend replied that he was sure he could cut me a two for one deal. We giggled, but my MIL was offended beyond belief. But she's in her 80's, and quite old school, so my dark humor was more than she could bear.

Thank goodness for the alzheimer's effect though. After 15 minutes she had completely forgotten the incident and life continued on. Wish I could get it out of my mind as easily....

Thanks, Jerry! Your words are appreciated.


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ritawaite13's picture
Posts: 249
Joined: Aug 2011

I think it's time for you and Don to catch a break - a BIG one! Something like a clean scan would be perfect. Here's to just that (raising my coffee cup)!!

Hugs to you


Posts: 377
Joined: Oct 2010

Waiting and going from wanting to know results to not wanting to know results were so hard for us.

I pray Don will have a great report. Enjoy the bike. I so miss my riding the Gold Wing with Vince.

Much love


jgwright's picture
Posts: 252
Joined: Oct 2011

Crossing my fingers, toes, and eyes that you'll have good, no... GREAT... results.

Arrrgh. Broken back and idiots who spill tea that is SO HOT that it creates 2nd degree burns??? Incredible.

May the good Lord gift you with the ability to handle all this dumb stuff!!!

Your friend and companion in this journey I certainly never wanted to take!


ryckej1's picture
Posts: 29
Joined: Jun 2012

God Bless you both. I know it is going to be good news!!
Just curious, why is the wait so long between scan and visit to Oncologist?
If I have my scan on a Monday, I meet with my Oncologist on Wednesday at the latest. There is no reason to make you wait for the result. To me, the not knowing is just as stressful as the cancer and everything else.
Great Luck.

JReed's picture
Posts: 463
Joined: Nov 2011

I am not really sure why the wait, but perhaps the oncologist was on vacation or something. Whatever, the reason, it's ok - this time. Actually, in a weird way, it is not all that stressful waiting. Maybe that's because after the surgery we were told they did not get all the cancer and I'm okay with waiting for what could possibly be bad news? I don't know why I feel this way - it certainly is not my normal to be this patient or wanting to delay any test results. Probably a new 'weird' side affect of scanxiety?

Thank you everyone for your well wishes and positive thoughts - we'll be sure to let you know what we find out.

Hugs and FEC,

tmcjay's picture
Posts: 40
Joined: Jun 2012

Wishing and hoping for good news.

nickgunboat's picture
Posts: 37
Joined: Dec 2009


Wow. You guys have been through and are going through so much. Just know that you aren't doing this alone. I will keep you and Don in my thoughts as you get closer to results day. Until then, get in the pool with your favorite cocktail and try to let it all go when you can....


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