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New to the group - Dad diagnosed with EC

Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2012

Reading through the discussions, made me realize I might need "help" in the ensuing months. My beloved father, a retired Naval Captain, age 85, suddenly fell in June. The following week, EC was diagnosed, and since then, it has been a nightmare, pure and simple. My dad has had a very healthy life, cheated death during the Korean War, and been an inspiration his entire life. So, this has been a shock to our family, with no experience of cancer. My mother, with mild dementia and a history of mental illness (manic/depressive) has blown our world into flying bits of insanity. She is healthy, in body, but home alone, far from family and refuses to enter an assisted living facility or move in with one of her children. My Dad, oh dear, what a disaster!! Since June, his tumor has shrunk, some, BUT he has battled the following, both in the hospital and rehab: UTI infections, pneumonia (3 times), Merca, ongoing C-Diff, gout (something he has fought for years), irregular heart episodes, stomach tubing, plus a myriad of lesser issues. He can't seem to get ahead. Nor has he given up. After 4 months of this, his team approached him with the idea of hospice, and he has refused. He is crusty, to say the least. Oh yes, need I tell about his horrendous care at Portsmouth Hospital, New Hampshire????? All I can say, is don't get old in this society, as it has little concern about the eldery. And Medicare? What it doesn't cover?? WOW! My folks are now concerned about money, and they have been financially comfortable for years now.
I myself, have been through hell, with my husband, who dropped dead, with sudden cardiac arrest, at age 55. My life has been one upward, lonely battle since then. Now, to watch my Dad suffer. One can see why people have religion, as life sure can throw some tough curves at you, time and again.
Anyway, he is stage 3. Is this typical for stage 3? Will his life basically be one of fighting battle after battle, often not directly related to his cancer? And going in and out of the hospital, back to rehab, back to hospital? We feel like our lives are a merry-go-round, and we can't even predict what will happen tomorrow???? I run a small horse farm, in northern Maine, and trying to leave it to visit Dad, or to operate things in Maine, has been a tremendous challenge in itself.
Anyway, thanks for listening. Just to be able to talk to people who have experienced some of this will help.

TerryV's picture
Posts: 916
Joined: Jul 2011

I'm so sorry to have to "Welcome" you here, but welcome it is, as this is one of the more knowledgable sites regarding EC on the Internet. Another quality forum is www.esophagealcancerfighters.com. Both sites have people that have experienced the EC beast from many different angles. Both sites have survivors and current patients, widows, current and former caregivers. You can't beat the words of experience.

Please tell us a bit more about your dad. You've said that he is Stage III, but yet hospice is being recommended. That seems odd to me. What has his treatment been so far? Is surgery recommended for him (as it is more most Stage III's) or has he already had surgery? Did he receive a 2nd opinion? I ask to be certain that he has been properly staged. The recommendation to hospice has thrown me for a curve. Perhaps the local VA hospital or something in a larger community if your dad can travel might be an option for EC care? There have been others on here that sang praises of their local VA care, but if I recall correctly, they were West Coast residents.

{hugs} to you and yours. I know well the battle you now face and my prayers are with you. If you wish to know more about me and my husband's battle with EC, please click on my User Name and read my "About Me" page.

Others will stop by to "Welcome" you and provide additional information. Please don't be offended if we ask a lot of questions. We try to learn as much as we can in order to provide the best information from our well of experience.

With prayers,

PROUD wife to Nick, age 49
lost battle to EC, June 19, 2012

Posts: 120
Joined: Jun 2012

Hi Amy,

Just a quick note to say hello. I'm not going to be around much today, but would love to write more later. Just wanted to let you know that you have found a great group of caring people who are here to listen, guide and help both you and your dad down this path.

Hang in there! I'm sure alot more of us will chime in shortly.


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