ogtxaggiemom's Journey:

Spouse/Partner: Esophagus (Esophageal) Cancer

Patient Info: Currently in active treatment (initial surgery, receiving chemo rounds/radiation), Diagnosed: almost 6 years ago, Male, Age: 60, Stage IV

  1. 1
    over 5 years ago
    ogtxaggiemom's Avatar

    Cancer diagnosed

    Oh No

    August 2011 my husband started having trouble eating...he thought he might have a hernia, we did test for that...no hernia. Middle of October he was really having trouble swallowing and had lost 30 lbs. He had not gone back to doctor but when I went for a visit the doctor asked how he was doing and I told him not well and I thought it might be his gall bladder. Doctor set him up for appointment but it wasn't that either. Then on Nov 11th, 2011 our family doctor sent him to have a scope inserted in his esophagus. After having this done the new doctor told me he thought it might be cancer but we would have to wait for the results to come in the next week. After having not hearing from him we then called our family doctor on Nov 15th and found out the bad news. On Nov 18th he had a cat scan and saw the Chemo oncologist on Nov. 21st. The oncologist told us it was caused by GERD which he has had most of his life. Evaluation and subsequently, he was diagnosed with GE junction adenocarcinoma on 11/11/11 throught ED. His initial stage was documented and as T3/Ta N1 disease and biospy revealed poorly-diferentiated adenocarcinoma consistent with esophageal primary. His CT scan also showed sucentimeter lung nodules and a small right hepatic lobe nodule as well; however, there is no obvious metastasis at time of diagnosis.

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  2. 2
    over 5 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    He had a Cat scan done on November 18th, 2011. We saw a surgeon on Nov. 30th and were told his cancer was in the lower part of his esophagus just above the stomach. He had a Pet scan on Dec. 1st. He had surgery on Dec. 2nd, and had a med port put in, they were going to do a feeling tube but could not get it in due to his esophagus being so small. His first day of chemo started on December 12th, 2011. We would go for chemo all day on tuesday, wednesday and a pack to take home and returned on friday to have it removed, then off for 2 weeks. e did three rounds of this. This ended on January 27th. My husband did very well. Some loss of appetite, very little nausea, no throwing up, some hair loss, a little loose stools, and tired. He went for blood work every week and it has always been good. And his weight stayed the same. After this his eating improved and his skin color and tone looked real good. Pet Scan again on Feb. 9th was done and the tumor had skrunk alot, everything looked wonderful. Then he started chemo once a week on Feb. 14th while he did radiation. He did this for 6 weeks with the last one on March 20th, 2012. He was treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy with Taxotere, 5-FU and cisplatin for 3 cycles, which was completed 01/24/12. Started chemoradiation on 02/20/2012 and completed on 03/29/12, with concurrent ciplatin for which he tolerated that very well.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Agree
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  3. 3
    over 5 years ago
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    External radiation

    Radiation

    Treatment started on February 20th. He had 28 daily treatments monday - friday but had to drive 1-1/2 hours round trip. He did very well with this treatment. No side effects, just tired. Last treatment was March 29th with concurent cisplatin or which he tolerated that very well.

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  4. 4
    over 5 years ago
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    Cancer has spread/Metastasized

    Oh No

    After chemo and after radiation was a time to rest and get ready for surgery. He had a have a dental issue taken care of and he healed great. He had a pet scan on April 19th. We went to see the surgeon on April 23rd and discovered that his third pet scan showed 6 cancer places in the liver...no surgery for the esophagus. We saw the chemo oncologist on April 27th and he will start new rounds of chemo. Not sure how this will work since he said the first chemo was his strongest stuff. Liver surgery does not seem to be an option either. His chemo will be one day a week, every other week. A Pet/CT was done on 04/19/12 which showed liver metastasis. Therefore, he was sarted on systemic chemotherapy with taxotere, 5-FU, and oxaliplatin. He progressed throught his regimen as well.

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  5. 5
    over 5 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Just started a new round of chemo...every other week, chemo all one day, wear pump home for 48 hours and then taken off. He will have four sessions of this and then they will scan to see if the tumors in his liver have shrunk, grown or moved.

    Easy to Do: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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  6. 6
    over 5 years ago
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    Other

    Side Effects

    He just went and had his second session of chemo yesterday and is wearing the pump until tomorrow. We have noticed that this chemo is different then his first type. He can not drink or eat anything cold while taking it. He has tingling in his fingertips. He has no appetite but is still eating well. He is sleeping alot but is very tired with no energy. We really do not know what they plan on doing after these four sessions of chemo. They said a scan but really not sure what that will mean. What side effects can we expect from the cancer now being in his liver? What should I look for? And what if it moves somewhere else?

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  7. 7
    about 5 years ago
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    Eli Lilly

    Clinical Trial

    Finished another round of chemo and the results were mixed. Looks like the tumor in the esophagus has died, three of the tumors in the liver has shrunk, three of the tumors in the liver have stayed the same, and three more have appeared. Cancer has not spread anywhere else as of now. We are going tomorrow to sign up for a clinical trial being done by Elli Lilly. Luckly we will be able to do this where we have been going for his cancer treatments and not have to go to San Antonio or Houston. He really does not want to leave home. He will have work up with EKG and lab done then he will have treatments for an hour on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday with a shot on Thursday to keep his white blood count up....then two weeks off. Then another round with two weeks off and then scan to see the results. He is really not so sure about clinical trials but we have no other options and it is worth a try, more pros then cons. Right now he appears to be in good health...very little side effects, good weight gain (had lost to 172 and now back to 190), did not lose much of his hair, and just tired most of the time. He is still working at the office instead of out in the field. Enrolled in[phone number redacted] study trial 5 mg per meter squared from day 1-3 every 21 days, for total of 2 cycles. Restaging CT scan on 12/27/12 continued to show multiple liver metastasis with no ovious evidence of reponse. Taken off clinical trial.

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  8. 8
    about 5 years ago
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    sent for an MRI

    Oh No

    Went to the doctor's office to deliver take blood sample and after being seen my our clinical trial nurse my husband had mentioned he had a headache and blurred vision. Our doctor then immediately sent us my husband to have a MRI to see if the cancer had gone to his brain. We have not gotten the results back yet.

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  9. 9
    about 5 years ago
    ogtxaggiemom's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Was switched to irinotecan and 5-FU every 2 weeks. He has had a total of 6 cycles with last being given on 03/27/13.

    Easy to Do: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
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  10. 10
    over 4 years ago
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    Cancer has spread/Metastasized

    Oh No

    We were told that if he stopped the treatment he is receiving that he would not survive 6 months. Had a restaging CT scan on 03/06/13 which show segment V liver is now 10 x 9 cm compared to 6 x 6 cm previously, a new 2.5 x 2.5 cm lesion in segment IV and alos with lesions in segment II and segment VIII. His CEA was also noticed to be trending up from 12.5 in 12/12 to 76 von 03/27/13

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  11. 11
    over 4 years ago
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    Either going to MD Anderson or UTSA San Antonio Cancer Center

    Decision Point

    Gary has had 4 lines of chemo and nothing seems to stop or kill his cancer. C-T scan on wednesday showed his 3 tumors in his liver have grown and he has a new one...Oncologist says they are not growing as fast but he has run out of options so he is in the progessive to getting Gary into MD Anderson and if he can't get in there fast enough then UTSA. He has lost 7 more lbs in the last two weeks and now doesn't like to get out and sleeps alot. I know this is partially depression and lots of medication. He has no appetite and has begun throwing up but not food just acid from his stomach...his acid reflux is in high gear. They say this is due to chemo and medications.

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  12. 12
    over 4 years ago
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    MD Anderson

    Other Care

    We have been accepted at MD Anderson and will spend a week there. I am excited in that maybe they can come up with something that will stop or kill his cancer. My husband fears it. He is at the point of being tired of being scanned and poked. Our Oncologist has worked closely with MD Anderson but it will be nice to get another opinion.

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  13. 13
    over 4 years ago
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    What to do next!

    Decision Point

    Option A: referral to Phase I group for Phase 1 trial consideration & gene scan. (He has particapated in a clinical trial and has not desire to do another one) (Not sure if he has any tissue left from biospy & if there was company that did his clinical trial has it so he would have to have another biopsy which he does not want to do either.) Option B. Best supportive care (acknowledging that a drug like Mitomycin-C could be used but the chances of benefit is 5% & will be toxic. Our doctor yesterday informed us that he did he gene scan and he does not have the HER-C which means it is not a option. So we have decided to try the chemo drug Mitomycin-C. We have been told Gary will die from his cancer but doing nothing he has less then 6 months. Our doctor says his insides are a mess but he looks too good on the outside not to give it a chance...so we are going to try it...what do we have to lose? It will be given once every three weeks and we will be able to tell how he reacts to it pretty fast. Wish us luck!

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  14. 14
    over 4 years ago
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    Loss

    Gary started the new chemo MD Anderson recommended, his doctor did explain that his insides were a mess but he looked too good on the outside to give up. He did the treatment on wednesday on by friday had the hiccups/burps awful. He got medicine for them to stop but it made him loopy (best word I can think of). By the next friday his pain got worst so the doctor doubled his pain medicine. On the next tuesday I went to work to let them know I would not be back to work until Gary was doing better since he had almost fallen while I was gone. On thursday he really was not feeling good and sleeping alot. On friday the 3rd I called and told them something was not right and was told to take him to emergency room. On the way he told me that we were now on the part of the journey where he would be in and out of the hospital (he has never been in hospital before). It was downhill from there and he passed away on thursday the 9th of May. I am glad he was active until the end but he made that turn for the worst so fast. At the end he was breathing very hard and we put his favorite song on "Freebird" and his forehead changed and his breathing slowed down and as the last note was played he took his last breathe. It was very comforting and we could not have planned it better for him or for me. The Lord works wonders even in the worst of times. Now to get thru all the paperwork. Thank you all for being here for me and helping us with our journey.

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