CrazyCatMan's Journey with Esophagus (Esophageal) Cancer

Family/Friend: Esophagus (Esophageal) Cancer

Patient Info: Currently in active treatment (initial surgery, receiving chemo rounds/radiation), Diagnosed: over 5 years ago, Male, Age: 70

  1. 1
    over 5 years ago
    CrazyCatMan's Avatar

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    My dad, the CatMan, was diagnosed with esophagus cancer in February of this year. In a way it wasn't a surprising diagnosis-- the CatMan has been a lifelong cigarette smoker. Of course it was devastating nonetheless. The CatMan has had some rough times this year and the end of last year, starting with a triple bypass heart surgery in August 2011, a nasty bout of pneumonia in December, and then a vicious infection in his incision wound from the heart surgery. For almost all of December and January, we took him to the doctor office for twice daily IV antibiotics. Then after that, there was hernia surgery in February. Can't the CatMan get a break?! Since February, it has been a constant "OH NO!" I can't even count the number of "OH NO!" tabs our family would have to add to our list. Between diagnosis, seeing him get thinner and thinner as the tumor blocked his passageway and he stopped eating, the IVs he's had to get for dehydration... yeah, esophagus cancer is one big, humongous "OH NO!" ~Becky, spawn of CatMan

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  2. 2
    over 5 years ago
    CrazyCatMan's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    For this site to even suggest that chemotherapy is easy is ridiculous. Anyone who has had a taste of it or seen someone go through it will tell you in a heartbeat that chemotherapy is not easy. The CatMan was very nauseous and very tired. He could barely eat, and when he did eat he mostly threw up. He did chemo for one week solid. He carried a little pouch around with him that was hooked up to his arm, and the little machine inside the pouch pumped it into him 24/7. Then he would take a break for a week, then do the whole thing again for another week. We tried to keep light about the whole ordeal. We teased him about his "man purse" and told him he took the Teenage Girl Bulimia Award. That's how we make it through in my family: inappropriate jokes. ~Becky, spawn of CatMan

    Easy to Do: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  3. 3
    over 5 years ago
    CrazyCatMan's Avatar

    Internal radiation

    Radiation

    Radiation was actually very easy compared to chemo. The CatMan was mostly just tired from it. ~Becky, spawn of CatMan

    Painless Experience: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
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  4. 4
    over 5 years ago
    CrazyCatMan's Avatar

    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    As of 5/8/2012, the surgery hasn't happened yet. We loaded up the family and drove to USC in Los Angeles yesterday for a surgical consultation for my dad, the CatMan. Living in Bakersfield, LA is about a two or three hour trip for us, depending on traffic. At this consultation appointment, we learned that esophagus surgery is apparently very complicated, involving three different incisions: 1) Hack open the side of his chest to pull the esophagus out and chop parts of it off 2) Open up the abdomen to move the stomach up further towards to chest and connect it to the shortened esophagus, and insert feeding tube 3) Make an incision in the neck to remove lymph nodes Assuming there are no complications, the doc said the surgery will take a minimum of 7 hours and require at least 2 weeks of hospital time at the USC hospital in LA. Again, that's assuming everything goes right. The more I research and read people's stories about esophagus cancer and this type of surgery, some have said that they've been in the hospital for up to 2 or 3 months! I don't even want to think about how our family is going to deal with that. ~Becky, the spawn of CatMan

    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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