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Old 11-25-2012, 04:22 PM   #1
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50 year old cousin just diagnosed...

Hi Everyone,

My 50 year old cousin was just diagnosed with esophogeal cancer 2 weeks ago. Its stage 2B, T3 according to the endoscopic ultrasound. He is in good health otherwise, no drinking or smoking, father of 6 children. Tomorrow he has a consult with radiation at the Fox Chase/Crozer Regional Cancer Center in Glenn Mills, PA. Then on Tuesday, he meets with the oncologist, and then will go to Penn to meet with the surgeon and if he agrees with the plan, we are thinking there will be 6 weeks of treatment - daily radiation, weekly chemo - then a 2 week break and then surgery. He would get a Gtube very soon they said.

Will he be able to work through all of this? He is an optometrist with his own successful business, and Im so afraid he will lose all his patients if he has to close down - this is their family's source of income. Can you really not eat at all during the chemo/radiation or is this a precaution or toget his body ready for the surgery? will he need more treatment after the surgery???? I just dont know what to expect!!

Thanks, Wendy

 
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:46 PM   #2
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Re: 50 year old cousin just diagnosed....

So sorry to hear about your cousin. His staging is favorable, so hopefully surgery will be a success. In the meantime, they are doing the chemo and radiation in hopes of shrinking it to facilitate an easier surgery. The G-Tube is there for after the surgery and also in case there is radiation burn to his esophagus from the treatment. Some people are more susceptible to this and others aren't bothered at all. The chemo treatments can affect appetite but he should be encouraged to eat healthy as much as he can. Stay away from the sugars and sweets as they "feed" cancer. Take care

 
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:05 PM   #3
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Re: 50 year old cousin just diagnosed....

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Originally Posted by rudiraven View Post
So sorry to hear about your cousin. His staging is favorable, so hopefully surgery will be a success. In the meantime, they are doing the chemo and radiation in hopes of shrinking it to facilitate an easier surgery. The G-Tube is there for after the surgery and also in case there is radiation burn to his esophagus from the treatment. Some people are more susceptible to this and others aren't bothered at all. The chemo treatments can affect appetite but he should be encouraged to eat healthy as much as he can. Stay away from the sugars and sweets as they "feed" cancer. Take care
Thank you for the info - do you have a resource about the sugar and cancer? he is a chocoholic, and I would like to encourage him to avoid if it would help his treatment go better!!! Steve is a tough guy. Do you think he will be able to work during the chemo and radiation?

 
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:42 AM   #4
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Re: 50 year old cousin just diagnosed...

Simple sugars that are found in candy, cakes, desserts, etc. cause our bodies to produce more insulin and insulin encourages cell growth.....healthy ones and cancerous ones so it's best to try to limit the amount that we eat. To counteract the insulin production when eating sugars, try to make sure protein, fats, and fiber are eaten at the same time. Maybe some nuts with the chocolate or fruits instead of fruit juice.

Everyone reacts to chemo and radiation differently. Some are able to work in the beginning and slow down as the effects accumulate. Maybe even an abbreviated work schedule would be appropriate so as to not overly tax the immune system.

I hope I've helped a little Be sure to keep us updated on his progress and take care

 
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:03 AM   #5
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Re: 50 year old cousin just diagnosed...

Hi Everyone,
Steven got his Jtube last Thursday and is doing okay with it. He still enjoys eatinig, and as long as they calculate the calories he has eaten, he just supplements with the tube. Does anyone have some suggestions for meals/recipes for him? They say his treatment plans are based on his current weight which is about 227lbs and say he needs 2700 calories/day. He does have difficult swallowing some things and they warned him to be careful that nothing gets stuck behind the tumor.

He starts radiation on Monday. How long will it take before he feels a difference in the tumor size? or, will it be to painful to tell? I just dont know what to expect. His plan is to go to radiation before work each morning.

But any advice on meals that are soft and high calorie would be great as our church family is making them meals, and I want to make sure they are nutrient/calorie/protien rich for him. Steven is known for his love of food, so everyone is trying to please him!

Thanks!!!

 
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:23 PM   #6
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Re: 50 year old cousin just diagnosed...

I think casseroles would be a good choice, just make sure any meat is cut into small pieces so it doesn't get stuck. Ask that vegetables be incorporated in small chunks as well. Creamy soups, oatmeal, or cream of wheat would be good choices also. Everyone reacts differently to radiation. The tumor may or may not shrink rapidly. He should be able to tell by his ability to swallow. Some people experience burning from the radiation and this could inhibit his swallowing. Be sure he informs the doctor of any changes or discomfort. Take care

 
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:30 PM   #7
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Re: 50 year old cousin just diagnosed...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rudiraven View Post
I think casseroles would be a good choice, just make sure any meat is cut into small pieces so it doesn't get stuck. Ask that vegetables be incorporated in small chunks as well. Creamy soups, oatmeal, or cream of wheat would be good choices also. Everyone reacts differently to radiation. The tumor may or may not shrink rapidly. He should be able to tell by his ability to swallow. Some people experience burning from the radiation and this could inhibit his swallowing. Be sure he informs the doctor of any changes or discomfort. Take care
Thanks so very very much!! Has anyone added anything to foods to make them more nutrient/calorie rich? I was reading about adding instant milk powder to milk to increase the protein and calories? Any other ideas?

Also, He has high cholesterol and was just getting ready to start medication - would they recommend that he do this or skip it for now???? lol thanks!!

 
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:29 AM   #8
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Re: 50 year old cousin just diagnosed...

He might want to look into a liquid multiple vitamin. I would not recommend taking statin drugs for cholesterol at this time. His body is going to be working hard enough to fight the cancer and doesn't need more drugs in his system. High cholesterol is the least of his problems. Take care

 
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Old 01-12-2013, 02:27 PM   #9
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Re: 50 year old cousin just diagnosed....

Hi Everyone!

So Steven finishes his last chemo treatment on Wednesday, and his last radiation treatment on Friday! I cant believe he has made it through so far. He definately has felt the tumor shrinking, and is able to eat some more things recently. He hasnt got the terribly painful esophogas yet, but I guess that could come this last week? They are amazed he doesnt have it already! The week after they will meet with the surgeons again to plan for the surgery. THey wanted to give him time to get his WBC count back up and recoop a bit so we think it will be in 4-8 weeks. His WBC has been really good, he has gotten 2 colds, but has been able to fend them off - although they ran him down a bit more than usual -although the bugs around here are bad this year! So Im wondering what will happen after surgery? He has been able to work full time through this all, but I wonder how much time they will have him take off of work post surgery?

Thanks, Wendy

 
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:34 PM   #10
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Re: 50 year old cousin just diagnosed...

Glad to hear that he's tolerating the treatments so well. Hopefully he'll do as well with the surgery. Keep us posted and best of luck. He will be in my thoughts and prayers

 
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:38 PM   #11
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Re: 50 year old cousin just diagnosed...

Treatments are done and the Dr's said he came through it great! THey said he should start to feel like himself in 7-10 days, but that the esophagitis will be at its worse then.....anyone have experience with this?

Meeting with the surgeons on Tuesday to decide when the surgery will be. Do you think that because he is doing well so far and has stayed pretty healthy that they will do it sooner than later?

What is the surgery and recovery like? How can I help prepare to help them, and the kids especially during this time?

 
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:57 PM   #12
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Re: 50 year old cousin just diagnosed...

Hi Everyone,

how quickly things change. We thought he was doing so well, but on his PET scan, 3 spots showed up on his liver. They met with the surgeons yesterday, and they said he is no longer a candidate for surgery. They will meet with the Dr's at Penn on Friday to see what any other options are. Does anyone know if Cancer Treatment Centers of America does anything differently? I just cant imagine losing Steven!!! Can we still have hope?

 
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:40 AM   #13
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Re: 50 year old cousin just diagnosed...

Wendy,

I am so sorry for the bad report. My husband already had mets to the liver when he was diagnosed so surgery was never an option. He then received chemo and radiation treatments. I certainly would investigate Cancer Treatment Centers. I understand they use some alternative treatments in conjunction with standard treatments. He may be at his limit for radiation. I know my husband had reached his after his first series of treatments. They will probably try another chemo for your cousin to see if they can shrink the liver mets. Never give up hope! I will be keeping him in my thoughts and prayers

 
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