Cmurphy's Journey with Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Esophagus Ca...

Spouse/Partner: Esophagus (Esophageal) Cancer > Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Patient Info: Living with cancer as a chronic illness (undergoing adjuvant therapy), Diagnosed: over 6 years ago, Male, Age: 78, Stage IV

  1. 1
    • Cmurphy
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Carcinom...
    over 4 years ago
    Cmurphy's Avatar

    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    My husband had a liver resection as a hail Mary to try to cure the cancer as all other sites were clear at the time. The surgery was difficult and the cancer spread dramatically within a month after surgery.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  2. 2
    • Cmurphy
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Carcinom...
    over 4 years ago
    Cmurphy's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Some chemos were more difficult than others. Xeloda has been the easiest to tolerate. Folfox was stopped due to neutropenia. Carboplatin/taxol worked twice - until it did not.

    Easy to Do: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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  3. 3
    • Cmurphy
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Carcinom...
    over 4 years ago
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    External radiation

    Radiation

    It worked to blast away the primary esophageal tumor but was difficult. Later radiation to stop pain in bones has been terrifically helpful.

    Painless Experience: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  4. 4
    • Cmurphy
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Carcinom...
    about 4 years ago
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    Oh No

    My husband was tentatively diagnosed with esophageal cancer in September 2010 but, bob being Bob, put off a definitive diagnosis until after two vacations. We traveled to San Francisco for an aggressive biopsy where squamous carcinoma with mets to distant lymph nodes were discovered.

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  5. 5
    • Cmurphy
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Carcinom...
    about 4 years ago
    Cmurphy's Avatar

    Celebration

    My husband underwent radiation and chemo at UCSF beginning in January 2011. By spring we were told that there was no evidence of cancer in the PET scan, a result that also held in early summer.

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  6. 6
    • Cmurphy
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Carcinom...
    about 4 years ago
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    Decision Point

    We chose initial treatment at UCSF based on information derived from our local oncologist. We wanted to go to a comprehensive cancer treatment center with an excellent reputation. We were talking to MD Anderson and Mayo when we decided to go to San Francisco both because of convenience and because we had the name if an excellent radiologist there.

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  7. 7
    • Cmurphy
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Carcinom...
    about 4 years ago
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    Cancer is back/Recurred

    Oh No

    In September of 2011, after more than six months of clean scans, we learned that the cancer had returned in his bones and liver.

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  8. 8
    • Cmurphy
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Carcinom...
    about 4 years ago
    Cmurphy's Avatar

    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    Bob had a liver resection, which was highly experimental in esophageal cancer patients whose cancer had metastasized to other locations, i.e., his bones. However, the chance was taken because the only remaining cancer had been beaten back to two small tumors in his liver for several months. Unfortunately, the labs came back with a positive margin indicating a tumor had been cut into and some remained in the retained liver. The cancer roared back into the remaining liver and bones.

    Went as Expected: Not Specified
    Minimal Recovery: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
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  9. 9
    • Cmurphy
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Carcinom...
    about 4 years ago
    Cmurphy's Avatar

    Decision Point

    By September 2011, no one was offering a cure so Bob opted for a standard chemo regimen of carbo/taxol every three weeks to facilitate traveling. We arranged for treatment by oncologist in Palm Desert as well. We were freed from weekly trips to SF.

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  10. 10
    • Cmurphy
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Carcinom...
    about 4 years ago
    Cmurphy's Avatar

    Decision Point

    While the carbo/taxol knocked the cancer way back from September 2012 to November 2012, the cancer found a work around and was spreading quickly by February 2013. Bob has decided to begin a trial at UCSF of MM121, Cetuximab and irinotecan. He still is engaged in life and feels particularly well as one must stop all other chemos for a coupe of weeks to begin the new regimen. We are waiting for the dates so we can plan our trips to Arizona and, later, Minnesota around treatments. It is going to wreak havoc to the March trip to the desert. We remain hopeful, as always. We have remained more correct than the various prognoses given at different times.

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