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my wife

Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2014

my wife has stage 4  esophageal cancer she is only 42  She is very weak all the time can't seem to get her out of bed what do you think of her beating this very nasty thing.she has don  two chemo treatments doctor said he was doing this to maintain the quality of life does this mean what I think it does

paul61's picture
Posts: 1250
Joined: Apr 2010

I am so sorry to hear of your wife’s cancer diagnosis. Chemotherapy can be very debilitating. I addition, many people become depressed after receiving a cancer diagnosis, so this may also be contributing to your wife’s fatigue.

I assume your oncologist’s statement about “maintaining quality of life” indicates that your wife is receiving “palliative” chemotherapy focused at reducing the symptoms of esophageal cancer. You will find other Stage IV survivors here living with cancer

Unfortunately there is no “cure” for Stage IV esophageal cancer but some survivors have many years of “quality” life with the support of palliative treatment.

Sending positive thoughts that your wife will feel better as treatment progresses.

Best Regards,

Paul Adams

McCormick, South Carolina

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


Cisplatin, Epirubicin, 5 FU - Four Year Survivor

Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2014

wss told by oncologists that she could have a year and doctor that did her port for chemo said same thing to me it sound like no hope



Deathorglory's picture
Posts: 186
Joined: Jul 2013



The 1st thing I'd recommend is find out if your wife is HER2+.  If she is, there's a treatment that can be very effective in dealing with EC.  As mentioned above, Stage IV is not considered curable, and the standard treatment is for pallative care to manage symptoms and possibly improve life expectancy.  Another standard course for Stage IV is to recommend clinical trials.  I think that is largely b/c they know that current approved treatments don't have great success, so why not try something new.


Sounds like your wife's chemo is beating her up pretty good.  There are dfferent chemo regimens that have different side effects.  Also, each individual will have their own reactions.  My doctor was very concerned about managing side effects and she was very good at it.  Keep your doc apprised of any/all effects and ask about different ways of managing them.  Hopefully they can come up with a plan that works to alleviate the downside of chemo.  


As far as being given a year to live, I'll offer up my story (the short version) to show that there's some hope.  At 40 I was diagnosed with Stage III EC.  I was treated and told that I had a "complete response".  Two and a half years ago (at 44) I was dignosed with a recurrence in my lung.  Now I was Stage IV and I learned all of the grim things you're finding out about.  I was told that 7-8 months was about how long I could expect to live.  Turns out I had a greatly better response to treatment than was expected and had another "complete response".  I'm still getting tests done that show no evidence of disease.  Granted, I'm a statistical anomally, but I still exist.  I'm here two years after my expiration date and I'm doing as well as possible.  I wish you similar success.


Best wishes on your journey,





Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2014

thanks for info the only hope my wife beats this she has had no energy to fight this poor girl is stuck in bed does not even have the strength to get out of bed to go to her son's graduation from middle school I think chemo doctor is going to change out chemo and she is going to use pump for chemo



Posts: 136
Joined: Jul 2012


First I'm so sorry to hear about your wife, EC is a rollacoaster, often its one day at a time.

My husband was Stage IV wiith mets to liver. We found we had to push the doctors, if you can, make a list of your wife's goals, share them with all your doctors and nurses. write them down. for example, getting to graduation or a summer weekend together. Doctors seem to rally to the goals.

My husband's story was he got very sick from liver, after 2 doses of Chemo he started feeling better. He had chemo cocktail with 2 day pump. Everyone is different, but we had great moments and some special amazing times.  Put on your armour, fight for what you can, basically in the name of "love".  Reach out to others, if you have family and friends, it takes an army, but keep trying.

Where are you being treated, are they EC specialists ?

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