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Recently diagnosed with esophageal cancer
KismetII
1 Posts
Hello - I had a scope March 31 that revealed a mass on my esophagus. April 16 the pathology report confirmed that it was adenocarcinoma. CT scan shows enlarged lymph nodes nearby and something non-definitive on my liver (though oncologist and thoracic surgeon both appear to think it is likely still localized). Going for a scope/stretch/stent on Monday (I have considerable and increasing difficulty eating and drinking, and my muscles are wasting at an alarming pace), having a chemo port installed in two weeks, and am waiting for PET scan appointment. Tentative plan is to start 5 weeks of chemo shortly (no radiation), followed by 5 weeks recovery, followed by surgery. Pleased with how quickly the diagnosis and treatment is going - I first went to my GP on March 11 as a result of unaccustomed gastric symptoms.

I am a 61 year old male and otherwise in pretty good health (including no history of GERD prior to this year). Live in North Vancouver with my wife. Two young adult daughters away at university in Germany/Halifax. Busy winding down my business before I am incapacitated by the disease and/or treatment. Avid sailor (both coastal and offshore),

Value quality of life over quantity, and concerned about the impact of surgery.

Hoping to connect with people who have gone through this, so I have more information to base my decisions on (while recognizing that it is all probably a bit of a crapshoot).

Thank you.

Patrick

10 Replies
Brighty
6533 Posts
KismetII‍ welcome and sorry for what brings you here. Im glad you found the sight because it is a safe and very supportive community. My fiance had esophgeal cancer as well. His treatment regime was chemo,5 weeks of radiation followed by the surgery. Do you mind if I ask why radiation was not offered to you?
like you,my fiance had trouble eating and drinking and ended up having to get a feeding tube to gain calories,strength and muscles mass for the surgery. He consulted with the oncology dietician who was able to work out a plan with him...foods rich in calories, easy to swallow and foods that made him gain weight. In his case once he got the tube....they found various formulas to put through the tube with the correct amount of calories. You can even put meds through the tube. The most important thing is you must have strength in order to endure this type of surgery... so keeping your weight and strength up are key.
most people I hear about seem to do quite well after the surgery and i will connect you with 2 people I know off hand...and look up a few others for you to chat with. My fiance also did well with the surgery and was able to eat agsin. You can chat with @caregiverCal and @CD@traveller
I'm having trouble tagging on my phone so I will you transfer to my computer and try again from there.
Brighty
6533 Posts
KismetII‍ Hi there again! I found a few people for you to connect with on the site.
FWP
EB91
Tjphee
CDN Traveller
Hope you can connect with each other and support one another through this. We are here to support you KismetII‍ so welcome!
Boby1511
392 Posts
KismetII
Hi there,
My heart goes out to you and your family.
You sound very organized and proactive.
I value quality over quantity as well. This is something to discuss with your doctors.
Let them know you concerns at the start. They are there to support you.
I do not have this type of cancer, so I am hoping other are able to reach out to you.
The beginning I think is always the hardest.
Sending you best wishes as you begin treatment.
Boby1511
392 Posts
KismetII
I am also going tag HW123‍ who also has this cancer and has had surgery and now 8.5 years later.
Thank you HW123.
Tjphee
34 Posts

@KismetII Good morning I’m sure you are feeling all kinds of things. Esophageal cancer was nothing I thought I’d be facing. I was diagnosed with stage 4. Had a stent put in this meant I could eat! I’ve had three rounds of chemo and today go for my 4th. I had two spots on my liver but with chemo one has totally shrunk the other is smaller now and my main mass is maintaining. this will buy me more time and to be honest I’m feeling quite good! There are days I struggle but this community sends me positivity . Keep reaching out take all the help offered. Write to me anytime we are in this together!!!

JustJan
508 Posts
KismetII‍ Thanks for introducing yourself and telling us a little bit about yourself. I don’t have your type of cancer, but can certainly appreciate the anxiety that comes with a cancer diagnosis.

I see a couple of people have connected with you already.

Some information on esophageal cancer can be found at this link:
https://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-type/esophageal/esophageal-cancer/?region=on

It sounds like you are getting all your ducks in a row so you can tackle your treatment head on. I hope your love of sailing can be healing for you. Although not a sailor, being in, on, or around the water has an enormous therapeutic effect on me.

Keep us updated as you feel comfortable.
Lorin76
2 Posts
I'm so sorry to hear of your recent diagnosis Patrick. Keep the faith.....my brother was diagnosed 3 yrs ago at the age of 64 with the same form of cancer. He didn't get any radiation treatment as the oncologist said it was too risky given it was his throat; however, he was treated with chemo. He lost his teeth, but otherwise 3 yrs later is doing just fine. The key thing is to hold on to Hope. May God bless u.

Lorin76
Mammabear
140 Posts
This will be hard on the kids that are away from home.
My first cancer diagnosis my son almost flunked out of university he was so stressed.
When I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer my daughter flew home from Australia for a few weeks. But that was before we were in a pandemic.
You will have to msg the kids more frequently to reassure them.
Welcome KismetII‍ I'm sorry to hear of your dx. It's hard to express the shock and impact of receiving this dx, and all of the and complex emotions and decisions that follow. It is good that your timeline from dx to treatment is progressing quickly. I hope your scope / stretch and possible stent go well on Monday. I had a similar dx two years ago - treatment included 5 weeks of chemoradiation followed by surgery in August '19. I am now 20 months post surgery and overall doing well, considering the dx. I won't sugar coat it, the surgery is challenging and recovery is a slow process (6 months- 1 year), but I am now able to do most things I did before, eat most foods (smaller more frequent meals and snacks). Feel free to ask any questions, either through the digestive cancers forum or mail system; I have some resources about surgery prep and recovery that I can share / post that may be helpful. There are also several posts and discussions in the digestive forum that you will find helpful.
Best Wishes,
CDN Traveller
Arby1
2 Posts
Hi Patrick. Sorry to hear of your diagnosis. I may be in a position to share
some of my recent experiences with you.

I was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma on my esophagus in late November. Like you
I was surprised at how quickly the "system" moved once the diagnosis was made.
We live in Nelson, BC so my treatment was provided in Kelowna. After a CT scan at
our local hospital I had a PET scan in Kelowna. The thoracic surgeons proposed
5 weeks of chemo and radiation followed by surgery.

I started the chemo and radiation on January 4th and had surgery on March 15th.
I was discharged on March 23rd. Tube feeding started to be reduced on April 9th
and was discontinued completely on April 16th.

My current challenges include fatigue, lack of stamina and gaining back weight.
I'm making progress on all of these but it's going to take a bit of time.

If you would like more details regarding any or all of the aspects of the experience
I've had so far, please contact me via the Cancer Society mail system.

Best regards

Harvey










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