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Hi!
Bobert
10 Posts
I just found out yesterday that I have cancer in the Esophogus. Still in shock. First appointment with a thoracic surgeon on Monday but sounds like it will take a month for CT scan. How do you manage the waiting? Any advice greatly appreciated!
20 Replies
Bobert‍ I’m sorry to hear what you’re going through. Indeed, it’s a big shock when you first hear the news that you have cancer and I can relate to what you’re experiencing.

The waiting is very hard. But what helped me was trying to think positive and have the family/friend support. There were times I’d talk on the phone for hours with a family member or a friend and the support made me stronger as a person.

Don’t forget to take care of yourself in the meantime. It’s important to try doing things that you enjoy to take your mind off things. I know with covid and restrictions it’s hard but little things like walking at the park helped me.

Brighty
6765 Posts
Bobert‍ welcome to the site!!! I'm So sorry to hear of your diagnosis. What were your symptoms thst led you to the doctor? My fiance had esophageal cancer so if you need any help or advice going through this let me know. Do you have a support system? Waiting is the worst, everyone here will agree. Members on here have tried many distraction techniques to help them cope. Hobbies, walks in nature, funny movies, chats or zoom with friends, exercise...yoga....meditation.
all kinds of things. We are here to guide you and be by your side. Please let us know once you find out more information and we will do our best to support you in whatever you need.
Bobert
10 Posts

Thanks! Walking is a good thing for me!

Bobert
10 Posts

Thanks so much! My symptoms are difficult swallowing and regurgitation. Just terrified right now! My wife is a great support but we are just feeling lost right now! Have been walking a lot since we got the news.

Whitelilies
1073 Posts

@Bobert Hello…..Yes waiting is difficult for all of us…we all wait for appts…wait for the results….wait to see the Doctor….wait for our surgery….the list is endless.

However……you can……be prepared for Monday!

Use this “free time” to your advantage:

write down all your questions for the Thoracic Surgeon…..the most important ones on top; in case time is tight. Ask if there may be any other “tests” to be done, while you “wait” for the CT? Blood work? etc….You are “in the system”…..this is all good.

Ideas: wash you car……vacuum the floor mats….go to Costco and shop for all the canned goods you need and then some…..watch movies at home…..and walk some more! Make this open time work for you!

Keep sharing…..we are here to support.

Regards

Whitelilies

Narges
32 Posts
Hi Robert, sorry to hear your story just keep in mind :
don’t google
don’t predict
keep busy
And share your feelings here
best wishes
Bobert
10 Posts
Thanks! Good advice! Too late on the Googling! Wish I hadn’t!

Is it common to suddenly be hyper aware of your symptoms right after the diagnosis? Everything seems to feel worse since I got the news.
Brighty
6765 Posts
Hi Bobert‍ you will probably want to meet with the oncology dietician. They will be able to give you advice on food suggestions thats easier to digest and still have enough calories . What types of food are you eating now?
Bobert
10 Posts
So far trying normal stuff but chewing it up a lot more. Just found out yesterday and haven’t spoken to anyone other than getting appointment for Monday with thoracic surgeon. Not much appetite but I’m guessing a lot of that is because of the shock and emotional upset. Eggs go down well as does yogurt and ice cream! Tried pasta with tomato sauce - not good! For the past few weeks it’s mostly at supper time that stuff didn’t always go down. That’s why I called my GP who got me in quickly.

thanks for the advice! I will ask about the dietician when I talk to Dr.
Brighty
6765 Posts
Hi Bobert‍ ..yes sometimes you have to experiment with different foods ro see which ones you can tolerate.. bUT the dietician will come up with a plan for you. I'm a bit curious why they refered you first to a thoracic surgeon before you even have an oncologist. ..or do you have an oncologist yet?
Brighty
6765 Posts
Bobert‍ ..there is also an oncology social worker who will deal with emotional aspect of things...a great person to talk to.
Boby1511
454 Posts
Bobert
hi there,
Sorry to read your diagnosis. Perhaps given your seeing the surgeon so quickly they may be able to get you a CT quicker as well.
I think the beginning is always the worst.
Sending best thoughts and wishes out to you.
JustJan
615 Posts
Bobert‍ I am sorry to hear of your diagnosis. Although I don’t have the same type of cancer as you do, I understand all the anxiety you are feeling. I will say that once there was a plan in place it did help me feel better. Although there were and continue to be anxious moments they aren’t nearly as intense as when I was first diagnosed. I think what you are feeling is perfectly normal and I’m glad you found this community to help support you. There is also a forum for caregivers that your wife may find helpful as well.

I am glad you have an appointment on Monday with the surgeon. Below is a link to a booklet that may help you formulate your questions. Do not be afraid to ask anything? If you’re thinking or worried about it, it is important.

https://action.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/resources/publications/questions-to-ask

I know for me, I was so anxious in the beginning that I thought I might explode. I finally did ask my family doctor for some medication. I had never taken anything for anxiety prior to this but they really did help. I didn’t take them all the time but definitely appreciated them when I really needed them.

I wi be thinking of you on Monday. Please update us on your appointment if you feel
comfortable.

#EsophagealCancer #anxiety
Narges
32 Posts
Hi Bobert‍ , glad you find it helpful. As I was diagnosed I found lots of discomfort from bowel movement to abdominal pain. I even thought my cancer got worse so I called the team and asked them to advance my treatment!!! The three weeks before staging was awful and the two weeks before treatment was overwhelmed. Feel free to ask about your concerns with specialist and don’t google anymore. There are lots of trustful information out there.
Best wishes
Bobert
10 Posts
Thank you so much! You captured my feelings well!! It helps me to know I’m ‘normal’!
Bobert
10 Posts
Thanks! This is really helpful! I will keep posting as things develop!
Bobert
10 Posts

Thanks Brighty. I will look into that as well. Really appreciate your support!

Bobert
10 Posts

Hi @Brighty ! Not really sure how to use this site so please feel free to correct me if I should do something different.

The Dr who found the cancer referred me to the surgeon as he felt strongly that I’d need surgery. I will certainly ask this question to the surgeon on Monday.

Brighty
6765 Posts
Bobert‍ im no expert but the typical treatment plan for esophageal cancer is 5 weeks radiation plus chemo...followed by surgery. They usually have to shrink the tumour first before they operate on it..depending on size and stage of cancer .of course every treatment plan is different.. .but you will find out more when you talk to the surgeon. Please keep us posted.
Bobert
10 Posts

I will for sure! Thanks so much!

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