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Clint's plan

jcarol's picture
Posts: 30
Joined: Jun 2013
We finally have a firm plan of treatment.  Clint is feeling well right now and we are walking daily for 2 - 3 miles.  In addition, he is using an "inspiration spirometer" to help maximize his lung capacity in preparation for surgery.  We have decided (after many doctor visits to Beaumont, Jackson, Munson and Ann Arbor) to have all treatment at the University of Michigan.  He will have concurrent chemo/radiation for approximately 6 weeks beginning this Tuesday.  We don't know how he will react to this program but we understand that this particular combination of chemo drugs (taxol and carboplatin) is generally better tolerated and is used in part to "activate" the radiation and make it more effective.  He will have radiation 5 days a week for 28 days and weekly chemo on Tuesdays.  After the treatment is done, he will have a recovery period of 4 - 8 weeks before THE (Transhaital Esophagectomy) by Dr. Orringer at U of M.  We both met with him and have great faith that we will get the best possible surgical treatment.  Dr. Susan Urba (oncologist) and Dr. Jim Hayman (radiologist) will complete the team.  We will meet weekly with both of them during chemo/radiation.
We hope to travel to our "Up North" home each Friday after radiation and come back to Ann Arbor on Monday.  It's a five-hour drive so it will depend on how Clint feels about riding that distance...hopefully he can just sleep if he wants.  I guess we are as ready as we can be for this very scary journey.
paul61's picture
Posts: 1260
Joined: Apr 2010


It sounds like you and Clint have a great plan. I had my chemotherapy and esophagectomy at Medical University of South Carolina but I have heard excellent things about Dr. Orringer’s program at University of Michigan.

The trip to Traverse City should be possible as long as you plan on doing most of the driving because Clint will be very tired. If you can schedule his infusions on Monday and perhaps schedule an IV hydration appointment on Wednesday that should help. One of the things they seem to forget to tell you is that hydration is very important during chemotherapy and radiation treatments. It is difficult to drink enough water to replace what treatment is removing; particularly when you are not feeling well and unfortunately a common side effect of many chemotherapy drugs is diarrhea, which just makes things more challenging from a hydration perspective. The good news is that with IV hydration, and prescribed medication for diarrhea, things can be managed well.

You may want to spend the first one or two weekends after chemo treatments in Ann Arbor to see how things will go for Clint. Not all people who have chemotherapy have nausea and diarrhea as side effects; but all of us have had fatigue as a side effect, so Clint will need your help with things he has traditionally done like driving.

It sounds like you have a great team and a good plan.

Wishing you and Clint the best as he completes treatment.

 I can tell you; after treatment and some time to recover, I am back to enjoying my retirement with the people I love.

Best Regards,

Paul Adams

Grand Blanc, Michigan

DX 10/2009 T2N1M0  Stage IIB - Ivor Lewis Surgery  12/3/2009 - Post Surgery Chemotherapy 2/2009 – 6/2009

Cisplatin, Epirubicin, 5 FU - Three Year Survivor

Posts: 24
Joined: May 2012


I live in Grand Rapids and had my treatments at Michigan with the same group. For the first two weeks I drove myself daily to Ann Arbor (two hours each way). By the third week I needed drivers as the fatigue set in. for the last 3 weeks I rented an apartment in AA as I needed hydration IV's two days a week in addition to the chemo infusions on tuesdays. 

My chemo/radiation was during June/July 2012 and my surgery was 9/11/12 with Dr. Orringer.

Recovery from surgery took 8-10 weeks. I was fortunate to find a Cancer Suvivors Fitness program through my local YMCA and the LiveStrong Foundation. It really helped rebuild my core strength

Dave McClain



Let me know if you have any questions.


luby's picture
Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2013

Dave, I wonder where in or near Grand Rapids you have found a cancer survivors fitness program.  My husband is so weak and has lost so much muscle strength that he really needs that.

Posts: 24
Joined: May 2012

The Spartan Stores YMCA in Wyoming MI offers the the Cancer Survivors fitness program . They are partnering with the LiveStrong Foundation this fall. website is GRYMCA.ORG. contact Justin Lyon at the Y.


LauraandLarry's picture
Posts: 184
Joined: Sep 2012

A plan is in place, that is great news. You will find U of M to be a wonderful team. Hopefully you and Clint will be able to attend the September Esophagectomy Support Group before surgery. You will meet some great people there. People that have all been through it. There is so much hope at the meetings and we learn so much more everytime we go. I hope all goes well during treatment. Keep us posted.

Deathorglory's picture
Posts: 200
Joined: Jul 2013

I had  similar chemo to activate the radiation before the surgery.  Then there was more chemo after the surgery.  I wish you well with it.

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