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    mkrabbe shared an experience

    Procedure or Surgery (Surgery)

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      mkrabbe

      I had an esophajectomy so they removed my esophagus and part of my stomic and used what was left of my stomic to build me a new esophagus. I was in the hospital for about 2 weeks and 6 months latter I'm still recovering. I went back to work about 2 months after surgery and have been improving every day. Sometimes I don't notice the improvement from day to day but when I look back a week or so its easy to see. It took me a while to learn how and what to eat but I get better at it and it gets easier every day. I don't have the energy I had and I still have some bad days but they are fewer and farther between.
      I'm thankful and blessed to be where I am today. Cancer proved to be an insperational experience for me. It caused me to get my life in order and my priorities straight. I meet a lot of other cancer paitents that taught me more about living in 6 months than I was able to learn in the 54 years I've been here. I've always believed that God would be with me in times like this but now I don't just believe - I know! When I was at my lowest point and didn't know if I was going to make the turn and come back I was still alright. I just knew I was in good hands no matter what happened. For me it was easier to deal with fighting cancer than it was to deal with having loved ones fighting cancer. I take a lot of comfort knowing first hand that God is with us and our loved ones when things get that bad. I kept wondering why I wasn't a basket case and how I was staying upbeat and doing so well, then I realized this was one of those times when there were just one set of footprints in the sand. I will be going for my 6 month check up in a few days so I'll be praying for a good report and for all the cancer paitents still fighting this awful disease.

      over 4 years ago
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    Radiation (External radiation )

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      mkrabbe

      I had radiation 5 days a week for 5 weeks. The radiation, like the chemo didn't cause me any problems until the last few weeks. They told me the treatments would be cumulative and they were. The last few weeks of treatment took me down to the point that I wasn't sure I would be able to make the turn and come back. I had another pet scan after my chemo and radiation and the results were great so I was given a few weeks to get built back up and then it was off to surgery.

      over 4 years ago
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    Clinical Trial

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      mkrabbe

      The clinical trial seemed to work well because I had a good result from chemo but it did cause me to have acne real bad. They gave me meds to control the acne and it was a small price to pay for a good result.

      over 4 years ago
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    Drug or Chemo Therapy (Chemotherapy)

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      mkrabbe

      I took chemo for about 5 hours(including the trial meds) once every two weeks for around 12 weeks. At first I didn't get sick or have many side effects and my swollowing actually got better. Toward the end of my chemo and radiation treatment (last few weeks)I stayed sick, lost most of my hair, couldn't hardly swollow or drink anything, had acne real bad, and stayed run down and tired all the time.

      over 4 years ago
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    Decision Point

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      mkrabbe

      The two major decisions I made were, first going to MUSC instead of a local clinic and second, to participate in the clinical trial. Both proved to be good choices.

      over 4 years ago
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    Oh No

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      mkrabbe

      I was starting to have a little trouble swollowing so I had an endoscopy done. They said that they had a tool that could spread my esophagus while they were doing the test and that would probably solve the problem. After the procedure the doctor informed me that they found a mass, they took a biopsy, and they would let me know the results in a few days. I guess I did as most do, I went home and started searching on line. I didn't find any good news and knew that if it was cancer, at best I had a rough road ahead. In a few days they called us in and told us it was cancer and they made me an apointment at a local cancer clinic. I was worried but hoping for the best. I met with the doctor and they told me I could be treated with chemo, radiation and maybe surgery but I needed a pet scan before they could be sure of my treatment options. In the next week I went for the scan and spend some time looking into options on my own. I found MUSC in Charleston SC and was impressed with their program so I decided to make an apointment with them and had my test results sent to them as well. They set me up for an ultrasonic endocopy so when I met with the doctors they had the results of it and my pet scan. The bad news was it was stage 3 but the good news was that it hadn't spread much and I was a surgical candidate. They had a clinical trial available so I decided go with chemo, the trial drugs, radiation, and hopefully surgery. My cancer experence was about to begin.

      over 4 years ago