shoch's Journey with Adenocarcinoma, Stomach Cancer

Patient: Stomach Cancer > Adenocarcinoma

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: over 6 years ago, Male, Age: 39

  1. 1
    • shoch
    • Experience with Adenocarcinoma, Stomach ...
    about 5 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    After ~10 mos of noticeable wt loss and 2-3 occurrences of vomiting due to satiety, a biopsy of a "benign looking" ulcer confirmed gastric adenocarcinoma. CT scans and an endoscopic ultrasound pointed to Stage II.

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  2. 2
    • shoch
    • Experience with Adenocarcinoma, Stomach ...
    about 5 years ago
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    Cancer has spread/Metastasized

    Oh No

    1 mo after initial diagnosis, I had a laparascopic exploratory surgery in preparation for a total gastrectomy. Spread of tumor was visible almost completely covering the outside of the stomach (explaining gastroparesis) and several "implants" around the peritoneal lining ("innumberable" was the word I believed the surgeon used in his notes). At this point, no further options were available to me in Indianapolis, IN, and I was given a median 6-12 mos with chemotherapy. My son was 1 yr 8 mos and daughter 8 mos.

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  3. 3
    • shoch
    • Experience with Adenocarcinoma, Stomach ...
    about 5 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    This 9-week course prior to my surgery consisted in Oxaliplatin & Epirubicin (~3 hr infusion) and Xeloda (2 weeks of pills). Side effects minimal.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  4. 4
    • shoch
    • Experience with Adenocarcinoma, Stomach ...
    about 5 years ago
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    spiritual

    Other Care

    A few weeks after diagnosis of Stage IV cancer, travelled to Cuernavaca, Mexico to meet a priest in his 80s, ironically originally from the US. He had build a reputation in the state of Veracruz over 20-30 years for praying for healing. I was able to meet him even though he was recovering from several surgeries. He told me I was healed and that the docs would be surprised at what they saw upon the next checkup. In the weeks following, I was able to begin gaining weight and had no further complications with fullness...my stomach appeared to be regaining some function.

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  5. 5
    • shoch
    • Experience with Adenocarcinoma, Stomach ...
    about 5 years ago
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    Clinical Trial

    Skipping a lot of steps here, but I did a work-up for, and qualified for, a trial called GYMSSA (randomized trial comparing the benefits of surgery in advanced gastric cancer compared to chemotherapy alone) being conducted at NIH Clinical Center, Bethesda, MD. Another pre-surgery laparoscopy on January 10, 2011 at NIH. The surgeon described all visible lesions as having the appearance of "dead" or "dying". A couple of weeks later I was randomized to the "surgery arm" of the trial. With the help of supplements and sheer determination, I continued to rapidly gain weight. On February 2, 2011 I had a total gastectomy, duodenectomy, peritonectomy, and a few other things taken out here and there. Pathology would later show that at this point about half of visible lesions had "died" and half were viable. 6 of 14 lymph nodes were positive. Recovery was fast (home in 2 weeks). On a return visit around beginning of March, lead investigator of trial said I was ready to begin my 12 rounds of adjuvant chemo. This consisted in Oxaliplatin, 5-FU & Leucovorin, Irinotecan. This was a very tough regimen for me. By August, I dropped from 153 lbs day of gastrectomy to 110 lbs. I began TPN which helped me reach 145 lbs in December 2011.

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  6. 6
    • shoch
    • Experience with Adenocarcinoma, Stomach ...
    almost 5 years ago
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    Birthday

    Celebration

    Made it to 34 on 12 May 2012. Was 32 at time of staging in Nov 2012 and not given much hope that I would make it this far. Most recent CT was 6 Apr 2012 - clean. I started TPN in the fall of 2011 during intensive chemo, then stopped in Dec 2011 (1.5 mos after ending treatment). My weight went steadily down from Dec 2011 to Apr 2012 due to (1) not eating enough, (2) trying to overcome an Oxycodone addiction which made me nervous about eating large amounts w/o the med, not to mention the effects this kind of dependency can have on weight and bowel function in general. Have renewed my effort to eat and gain weight and gained 2 lbs between 23 Apr 2012 and 14 May (current BMI 17.8).

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