Carolj0205's Journey:

Survivor: Esophagus (Esophageal) Cancer

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: almost 9 years ago, Female, Age: 67

  1. 1
    • Carolj0205
    • Experience with Esophagus (Esophage...
    almost 6 years ago
    Carolj0205's Avatar

    Swallowing problems...EEK...not stress, not going away

    Oh No

    I had swallowing problems that emerged on vacation with my husband, who, had lost his bladder function for a few days...( he broke his back years ago)...so, I thought my symptoms were stress related..not anything as serious as esophageal cancer

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  2. 2
    • Carolj0205
    • Experience with Esophagus (Esophage...
    almost 6 years ago
    Carolj0205's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    I was given six months to live, as a Stage 3 when diagnosed, with one lymph node involved. I was given aggressive therapy, with two chemotherapy meds ( oxalyplatin( every two weeks) 5FU ( 24 hrs day in pump), and radiation five times a week at the same time. I was very sick, and nauseated, and was supposed to have " two mop up chemos" after this treatment and after surgery. That almost killed me, so I refused the second "mop up" chemo treatment after surgery.

    Easy to Do: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  3. 3
    • Carolj0205
    • Experience with Esophagus (Esophage...
    almost 6 years ago
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    External radiation

    Radiation

    Virtually painless when given, but the aftermath was experiencing nausea and weight loss and extreme fatigue. Given the same time as chemo, it was hard to differentiate between which treatment was responsible for what symptom.

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  4. 4
    • Carolj0205
    • Experience with Esophagus (Esophage...
    almost 6 years ago
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    Esophagectomy, splenectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Well, surgery went well per my excellent DR., however, I have had side effects ...like, now I have "chemo brain" and severe degenerative disc disease requiring strong pain meds. A spot showed up after surgery in my left lung that did not grow until ten months after my surgery, so I had a lobe tommy on my left lung as well. I sleep sitting up due to the esophagectomy, but the weight goes to my lower back which hurts. I truly am doing pretty well, in that I have learned how to take care of myself. No I have a spot of " inflammation" on my right lung, so my CT scans have been uped from every six months to every three again. I experienced chest pain, bottomed out twice during surgery on the table, and got a collapsed lung on my second surgery.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  5. 5
    • Carolj0205
    • Experience with Esophagus (Esophage...
    almost 6 years ago
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    Chemo brain

    Side Effects

    I have chemo brain, fatigue due to chronic insomnia, severe degenerative lower back disease, anxiety disorder, occasional " on fire" burning in my chest, urgency with bowel movements, and medication side effects. My eyesight close up is worse, but far away is back to normal. I have to watch what I eat as I don't do spicy or anything that irritates my stomach. When I eat too much my stomach doesn't pouch out like before surgery, but, my chest cage expands now! I have some difficulty with bowels.

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  6. 6
    • Carolj0205
    • Experience with Esophagus (Esophage...
    almost 6 years ago
    Carolj0205's Avatar

    Body part/function

    Loss

    Of course, lost esophagus, spleen, and half of one lung. Was depressed for awhile, but no more. Lost my job as they were kind enough to keep me for six months without replacement, but I still had. Feeding tube then. I have retired now. I do not drive when I feel tired or impaired, nor do I drive long distances. I am now retired, miss work, but have problems remembering and concentrating, and can't work full steam for eight hours anymore, nor can I stay in one position for long.

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  7. 7
    • Carolj0205
    • Experience with Esophagus (Esophage...
    almost 6 years ago
    Carolj0205's Avatar

    I am alive

    Celebration

    I am alive...try and walk three miles every other day. Wear cushiony shoes..Can be with my wonderful family for more time !!!!

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  8. 8
    • Carolj0205
    • Experience with Esophagus (Esophage...
    almost 6 years ago
    Carolj0205's Avatar

    Live life to the fullest

    Decision Point

    Try and live life to the fullest, do my bucket list as best as I can,

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