Recently diagnosed at 30 year old!!!!

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RE: Recently diagnosed at 30 year old!!!!

by RiverRain on Sun Apr 01, 2012 05:13 PM

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sorry to hear, but it doesn't matter how much you smoke. best of luck. my husband diagnosed with Stage 4 Brain Cancer Glioblastoma Multiforme. He has never smoked a day in his life. We have 2 toddlers. NOT FAIR.

RE: Recently diagnosed at 30 year old!!!!

by Savvygirl on Wed Apr 04, 2012 07:30 AM

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On Mar 28, 2012 2:54 AM melsy814 wrote:

Hello All:

My name is Michele and I have recently been diagnosed with stage 3 esophageal cancer and am completely in shock to say the least.  Where do I start...... Well, I'm 30 years old.  I have smoke for 18 years of my life but I'm not a heavy smoker (work 10 hour days and mostly smoke 8-10 cigarettes a day).  I drink occasionally and am very very athletic and active (I'm 5'3 and weight 128 lbs).  I am to start chemo/radiation for 5 weeks hopefully to be followed up with surgery.

My CT scans, endoscopy biopies and Pet scans show squamous cell cancer in the esophagus and two gastrohepatic lymph nodes as being positive (they can't necessarily say whether those nodes are malignant but are erring on the side of caution)  but all other organs are labled as remarkable with no sign of disease. 

I can't eat a thing.  Usually whatever I do eat I vomit up.  I have lost already 9 lbs (used to be 138 lbs).  I can't even keep liquids down at time.  I throw up every blessed thing I eat. 

I am the mother of a 13 year old.  I am a law student and currently work as a law clerk for a prestigious law firm in Center City Philadelphia. 

I am tremendously scared of the unknown.  The doctor's say that because I am remarkably healthly all around that I should bounce back quickly and that I have a 70% chance of beating this but after reading about it every where I am not 100% convinced.  In fact I think my spirits have been bruised a little more when I read more about it on discussion forums.  Can anyone help me by giving me their stories and prepare me for what I am up against. 

Hi Michele, I'm reading all your responses, and I too am so sorry of this news. I am 41 and was diagnosed with throat cancer at 40. Life was great and then the diagnosis. It was hard...everything moves so fast & the decisions you have to make so vital! Someone sugusted getting a Peg tube...I agree! At some point you may not be able to get the proper nutrients from eating & you'll need all of them to fight the cancer, treatments, doctors and life! 

I'm here for you...please add me as a friend so we talk more.

Thanks

Savvygirl

RE: Recently diagnosed at 30 year old!!!!

by DanFromAUS on Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:03 AM

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Hi michele,

My name is dan and i was diagnosed at 35 just over 18 months ago with stage 4 esophageal cancer with distant metasis in my lymph nodes and no other organs were affected....I smoked and drank heavily since my early teens and realistically i wasnt that surprised my swallowing problem turned out to be a little more serious then i thought..Im sure cancer is a combination of many different things and circumstances,your lifestyle,genes,family history,stress who knows???I tried my hardest when i was first diagnosed not to blame anything as all it can do is give you regret for the choices you have made in life.Did i do this right?why did i do that?I should not have done this!blah blah blah.

A cancer diagnosis is NOT a death sentence.I nearly went insane reading statistics over the internet and i really advise against it as everybody is different.I think the average age of a person with this type of cancer is 60 so all them statistics that are out there are based on people twice your age.

I was never offered a cure and the tumour was inoperable and to be honest the doctor didnt really give me much hope except to give me more time....I guess in a way the doctor has to tell you the worst possible outcome.Well i had 28 days of radiation and two 5 day treatments of chemo(one at the beginning of radiation and one at the end)I also had a feeding tube put in wich i never needed after all as i forced myself to eat throughout and i guess because of my age i didnt really get any side effects from the chemo and radiation apart from a bit of nausea.

Well here i am 18 months,actually nearly two years in june and no sign of cancer,absolutley none.My swallowing dramtically improved straight after treatment back to where i wouldnt even notice i had anything wrong with me.The doctor says he is astonished at the outcome so far and says the longer i go without recurrence the better chance i have of long term survival...WHAT!long term survival?Who would have thought?lol...I actually gave away and sold a lot of my possessions 18 months ago and now i bloody need them...haha.The funniest or should i say the silliest thing is that i have smoked and drank through the whole thing,i even drank after going to the radiation a few times but this is highly discouraged!we all make our own choices right?I know many people would say im crazy and should be thankful etc and shouldnt smoke or drink and i should change my whole lifestyle but thats why we have free will.

Against all odds,statistics,advice from doctors im still here and cancer free...imagine my chances if i was physically fit and changed my lifestyle.....hmmmmm maybe 99% survival rate :)

RE: Recently diagnosed at 30 year old!!!!

by melsy814 on Tue Apr 10, 2012 04:28 PM

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Hey Dan wow what a story. I am on the same treatment plan as you 28 days radiation. 2 rounds of 5 day treatment chemo. However I am not stage 4 and they want to operate on me. I don't want the operation because I don't want to have the Basically performed bariactric surgery on me at 31 yrs old. I weight 123 lbs now and like u I'm forcing myself to eat. Once the surgery I'll lose tons more weight bc you can't eat whole foods for 3 weeks after. I'm not really feeling sick at(started first round of chemo this week). We'll see how it pans out. I stopped smoking but not completely and I drank some wine before treatment but nothing crazy since I can't swallow anyway. Thanks for checking in and sharing your story. I look forward to hearing from you. Michele

RE: Recently diagnosed at 30 year old!!!!

by Aoife on Tue Apr 10, 2012 07:07 PM

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The surgery is not easy and it does take a few years to get back to normal but there are ways of getting the calories in.  I had the surgery and you do get your life back.  If you are offered the surgery serously consider it.

RE: Recently diagnosed at 30 year old!!!!

by esophageal on Tue Apr 10, 2012 08:44 PM

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On Apr 10, 2012 7:07 PM Aoife wrote:

The surgery is not easy and it does take a few years to get back to normal but there are ways of getting the calories in.  I had the surgery and you do get your life back.  If you are offered the surgery serously consider it.

Hi Guys.

I was a stage III had had chemo, radiation and surgery. We formed a foundation that helps patients through the recovery process. If you have the time please look at www.fightec.org

Surgery is major but it takes the tumor and the remaining tissue around the tumor out. If you don't go through with the surgery the tissue where the tumor was is now weak and it can come back and at a young age it could come back quicker because your body works faster then older people. 

Don't just dismiss the surgery but look at it and make a good educated decision for yourself

 Bart

RE: Recently diagnosed at 30 year old!!!!

by NorwegianG on Thu Apr 26, 2012 09:51 PM

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On apr 10, 2012 4:28 melsy814 wrote:

Hey Dan wow what a story. I am on the same treatment plan as you 28 days radiation. 2 rounds of 5 day treatment chemo. However I am not stage 4 and they want to operate on me. I don't want the operation because I don't want to have the Basically performed bariactric surgery on me at 31 yrs old. I weight 123 lbs now and like u I'm forcing myself to eat. Once the surgery I'll lose tons more weight bc you can't eat whole foods for 3 weeks after. I'm not really feeling sick at(started first round of chemo this week). We'll see how it pans out. I stopped smoking but not completely and I drank some wine before treatment but nothing crazy since I can't swallow anyway. Thanks for checking in and sharing your story. I look forward to hearing from you. Michele

Hi,

Did the 3 x 5 days CiFu chemo and radiation prior to my operation of EC.

I underwent the operation in feb 2011, started to eat bread and solid food 4 days after the surgery. The only drawbacks for me is some dumping symptoms when eating to much, and of course getting used to the "child portions". The heavy sauces and fat food are also excluded.

I went up 5 kg's the first quarter after surgery, and keeps stable with no hard efforts, just regular varied meals.

Just to state that surgery can give various results for different people:-)

 

Good luck in your choice, NG

RE: Recently diagnosed at 30 year old!!!!

by klamp0922 on Fri Apr 27, 2012 01:17 PM

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Hello Michelle,

My wife was 38 when diagnosed with Stage 3 Squamous cell EC.  The first few weeks were a numb blur as you first hear the words, then start to get a picture of treatment and worse, when you look up chances of survival online.  What we learned in time was that there was a whole different way of thinking of people like yourself who are young and without the typical life history of this disease.  The location and the type (high up in the esophagus and squamous cell) may also be more easily treatable.

It seemed we hit major obstacle after major obstacle.  We found that the tumor had grown out of her esophagus and into her trachea, making it inoperable.  It also made a tracheostomy necessary.  So she had both a breathing and feeding tube inserted.  I think a lot of people lose faith then but she kept on believing in what they told her.  She was never given a prognosis by her doctor, just a promise of her intent to cure her.  So she kept on keeping on.  When surgery was taken off of the list of options, they changed her chemo and upped her radiation which brought new problems.  Her hearing was greatly diminished with 2 treatments so the last 2 chemo cycles were changed also.

All of this was 5 years ago.  On Monday, we head to the doctor to see results of her 5 year scan.  Docs say that it is attributable to a strong-willed and committed patient and maybe to genetics of this specific cancer.  We know that being in a world class medical facility that treats many patients with this disease and having a doctor that was just as committed as the patient was had just as much to do with it.  Please make sure that you are in a major cancer center that sees this often.  It's not good enough to be close to one.  If we had taken treatment at our local hospital that is a satellite of a major center, my wife would not have survived this.  It's really important.

Good luck to you.  Keep your head high, take a deep breath and get at it.

Peace, Love and Positive Thoughts,
Kevin

RE: Recently diagnosed at 30 year old!!!!

by doggone on Mon Apr 30, 2012 04:06 AM

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If you go on chemo and radiation treatment simultaneously, you may shrink the area affected fairly quickly, so that you will be able to eat and drink. Don't waste time.  Good luck!

RE: Recently diagnosed at 30 year old!!!!

by judys909 on Tue May 01, 2012 12:30 AM

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My husband was diagnosed March 7, 2012. Squamous cell, esophageal cancer. By the time he had his PET SCAN it was in his upper stomach. They can't say that it is malignant but it looks contained. No nodes show any cancer. He has completed 1 round of Chemo and 2 wks of radiation. He is able to eat better and swallow seni solid foods. He lived on protein shakes from Feb - March. ocationally some blended banana with milk. He has lost 23lbs and has gained .5ils last week. I understand the part that you can.t keep anything down. Take spoonfulls slowly, like melting ice, water, He did well with warm tea. Must keep the fluids in. He gets hydrated by IV to help the Chemo side effects. He was motivated because he didn.t want a feeding tube.

He is doing better than both of us expected but he still feels the pain and the eating part is very hard. We have a surgical consult tomorrow.

My huband is 62 and we have been married for 38yrs. It is hard watching him suffer like this.

His treatment is 3 rounds of CISPLATIN/ 5FU IV and he gets  pump for 4 days and 25  Radiation treatments Mon. thur Fri. for 5weeks. This seems to be a common treatment from the blogs I have read.

This is also my first time posting. I wish you well ask any questions. I will keep you in my prayers.

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