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doingfine's Message Board Messages

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RE: Problems after esophagectomy

by doingfine - January 26 at 10:58 PM

Get a second opinion and have them look over the x-rays.  They must have done an endoscopy.    If it was pre-cancerous it seems like he sould be doing better.  Use simethicone for the gas pains.  You can get simethicone in Multi-Symptom Maalox tablets.  You could ask the druggist for a liquid simethicone product.  Definitely get another opinion even if you need to go out of town.  Don't let the doctors intimidate you.

Hello Yoga.......I think everyone is very different, but this is how I coped 12 years ago.  I was staged and got my regimen from both my oncologist and radiologist. My surgeon gave me a port and took a look around.  THEN

Step 1.  I got a calendar and put a BIG red X on my last expected day of treatment (chemo & radiation).  Then I crossed off each day and kept telling myself that I was approaching the end of treatment. It lasted about 8 weeks.   Once that was over I faced surgery. 

Step 2.  My surgeon reasurred me that I would be given enough pain killers to prevent me from terrible pain, although I was scared to death of the surgery.  That was before non-invasive so I went through it the old fashioned way.  It was a pretty rough first month, but then it got better and better.  Surgery in May and feeling good by the end of October.  The following summer I swam, mowed the lawn (no rider), painted second story of house and by the following November we were on our way through a 7 week drive around the USA.  Went from NY to SF then southern route back to NY. 

Yes, we all have side effects and perhaps some unpleasant thngs to deal with, BUT we have LIFE!    You will get through this.  God bless you.

I am a 12 year survivor.  I was 58 when diagnosed. New meds and new surgeries are making this more manageable.  I was Stage 2B.  Try to stay positive.  It sounds like you have been diagnosed early.  You can have a great life after this is staged and taken care of.  No, You WILL have a great life.

Best wishes.

Similar story for me also. I had the injection that did not work, but then had the implant.  It greatly improved everything from breathing to talking.  I too recommend the surgery if you have vocal cord damage or vagus nerve damage in the throat.

RE: Chemo break?

by doingfine - January 04 at 12:10 AM

I don't know what the others think, but 3 days of side effects every other week is doing very well.  Many people have pretty awful side effects for the duration of their chemo treatment.  My treatment lasted 3 months and I was sick the whole time with everything from mouth sores to diarreah, vomiting, dry heaves and more.

RE: esophagectomy

by doingfine - January 04 at 12:03 AM

Being scared is normal.  I was scared out of my mind and then my surgeon told me she would give me enough pain medicine so that I could get through it.  It worked.  I felt really terrible, but with the pain meds and good care I got through it and am a 12 year survivor.  God Bless.  You will get lots of encouragement from this site.

I am so sorry.  I have a friend who had Stage IV ovarian cancer about 4 years ago.  It had mets to her lymph glands and spleen and the lining of her abdomen.  They scraped the abdomen, took out her spleen, ovaries, uterus, and she is doing very well.  She did have chemo by IV.  I think she is still on a chemo pill. She walks 5 miles every day and lives a great life. Get a second opinion perhaps from a Cancer Centers of America facility and see what they say.  Hang in there sometimes things turn around when you least expect it.

RE: Esophagus cancer

by doingfine - January 03 at 11:53 PM

Hello Robert,  Many of us do suffer from this but a few adjustments will help you from having it every night.   I am a 12 year survivor and still get reflux.   It is very important not to lie down flat.  I have an adjustable bed and sleep at an almost upright angle.  I also take 40 miligrams of omeprazole (Prilosec) twice a day.  In between I take Maalox multi-symptom tablets.  Ritz crackers absorb the acid and I have a flat, room temp ginger ale with real ginger before bed. Diet is especially important.  I get reflux and aspirate the contents into my right lung and then am on antibiotics for two weeks. Stress adds to my reflux so I wind up with aspiration pneumonia about 4 times a year, usually during the holidays.  You will figure it out. Cheese is a big offender because it is high in fat.   Best wishes to you.

Hello Bruno,

I had the same surgery as you and have about 1 inch left of the esophagus and 1/4 of my stomach is gone also.  My surgery was in 2004 and I am now 70.  I do have the tightness in my chest and it seems lately I am not able to eat as well as I did 5 years ago.  I wonder about scar tissue.  It is good to talk with a survivor who is way down the road like me.  I am glad I have had the extra 11+ years.  There is always the concern that cancer will strike again.  On my last endoscopy 18 months ago, the doctor did find polyps also.  I am due for another endo this spring.  

My surgeon told me that she watched my stomach because she did not want it too big.  Perhaps the tightness in your chest is just that you have some extra size to your stomach or perhaps there is scar tissue from your prior surgery.  I know side-effects from the esoph. surgery never go away.  Trust your heart doctor. 

Everyone is so different, I hesitate to write, but I also had infection.  I had a home health nurse come in every other day to pull out the dressings and place new one in until it eventually healed up.  I was also on antibiotics.  Regarding the nausea.  I was terribly nauseated for weeks and weeks.  I learned that following this surgery many people become lactose intolerant.  That is what it was.  I stopped ALL milk, no puddings, no custard, etc.  I even used chicken broth to mash my potatoes.  It worked and although still experiencing some nausea, life was tolerable.  It took me a good 8 months before I was what I called "good" and off the feeding tube. Took 2+ years to get over the lactose intolerance.  

My surgery was May 25,2004 and I was able to have 2 people in for Thanksgiving Dinner that year, but that was the first I could do anything.  After that it was smoother sailing.  I was still sick on cake, etc. in April 2015, but by November 2015 we took a 7,000 mile trip across the country through 22 states.  Life does get good again, but the healing process is slow.  Have him checked out and if they don't find anything, just know he will make slow progress and will be better by Thanksgiving.  Oh, be prepared for dry heaves, tons of mucous, lots of tickle in the throat.  I had my hubby get me gummy flavored life savers so I could get something to stop the cough without using lemon drops that I could suck down my throat while coughing.  Keep on this site also.  You will get lots of tips on how to handle some of the after effects. 

Best wishes.

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About doingfine

Survivor
Esophageal Cancer

My EC battle began in 2004. I'm still going and busy in 2016.

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