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JudyL 08-31-2006 07:25 PM

If your having problems swallowing please read
:angel: Hard time swallowing..please read


Hello everyone,
I have read alot of post here about people having problems swallowing.

I dont want to scare you but when it comes to this dont try and second guess whats going on.

If you haven't had a endoscopy or seen a doctor about should and heres why.

My husband who is 54 never had any digestive problems...occasional heartburn , no big deal, few times a year.
but one thing he did do a little more frequently was wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air as he was exasperating acid into his lungs.
would get up gasping for like 5minutes i would think he was having a heart attack.. he swore by alka seltza plus and would just take that.
Now that use to happen maybe 3 times a year.

Well when he went for his routine colonoscopy screening he told the gastrologist he was having a little bit of hard time swallowing off and on for about 5 months.
He said well we'll check that end too, while we got you under for the colonoscopy.
I have had digestive problems for 10 years and i mean chronic...and i know alot about the subject..i thought it was going to be a striture or something like that from his acid episodes.
Now remember this wasnt all the time it happened sometimes!!!!
Well he went for his test..they called me in after and we both waited for like 2 hours in this huge office room.
Finally the doctor who did the scopes came in and told us he had a tumor ..!!!
it was the size of a grape..he was sure they caught it in time.
but told us to he had already made appointments for him at this other hospital with a surgeon who specializes in thoratic surgery.
Long story short..most tumors are cancer and it was..
He had a radical sugery last year June 6th. 8 hour sugery..two surgeons.
they went in through his back shouldarblade area and up cut up from his belly button up and removed 1/3 of his lower esopahgus and some of his stomach, then they reattached the two of them.
Trust me on this dont want to have this sugery..its is dangerous number have to be in good health to have it..number 2.
and 3 its a long hard road back to health.
He had more tubes him that i wanted to know about..he came home with a feeding tube in his intestines..a nurse came to the house 2 times a week.
he lost 50lbs. had to eat 6 small meals a day..first soft stuff and liquids for like 3 weeks.
then after 2 months..chemo started and radation for 6 months. depression set in..he was in bed all day and was not fun.
We had just bought a home in SC one month before he was diagnosed.
We couldnt go ..we had to stay at our small lake cottage in mass. that is not meant to spend winters in for 9 months. it was horrible..
It was hard to watch and no one..not me not the doctors ever expected that he was going to have esophageal cancer.
Now of course he has to have p e t scans every 5 months for the next several this cancer becuase there are so many lymp nodes in that area can come back anywhere and if it does its usually in the first few years.
out of 3700 diagnosed with it every year 2700 will die from it eventually.
ONly good news is there making great strides in treating throat cancer..
So the future looks good.
Its been one year and 4 months almost since it all started..and hes doing really well.. he eats small during the day mostly fruits and vitamin waters and has a normal supper.
some foods do not agree with him now.its a matter of trial and error..and if he puts to much food in there he gets the shakes and feels sicks and lays down for about a half hour after supper...that is what they said would happen with this its not a fun thing at all..and he is very very lucky it was caught asap.
Scared me so much i went for a scope myself as i hadn't been in 5 years.
i went today..everything is fine..thank god..i acutally broke down crying when i got the i knew if i had what he had i'd never live through it.
Oh ya forgot to tell you one of the things that can happen with this surgery is you get pnemonia..well he did..3 days after surger..double about a tough tough deal.
You dont want to watch anyone you love go through this. can't tell you how much i cried..
So if your having problems swallowing and you aint seen anyone for it..dont listen to what other people say it might nerves, stress, strictures, ect.
we always look for the easy way out of our symptoms...when a simple test can save your life. there is a condition called globbus or globus that makes you feel like theres something in your can go look that up also.
Stress can make your esopahgus tighten up...but dont take these things for granted.
I have severe fibromylagia and severe gerd..actually a motility problem.
When he was sick..i had to put my illness on the back burner and jump to the plate to take care of him for a whole was tough........
Don't be stupid, get could save your life...
ps. remember he wasnt on any gerd never was a problem..
but he drank alot of beers more then i want to say..and the bottom of your esophagus just sits in that beer night after night while you thing you know cancer......
I tell you this long story..Cause its very serious and i dont want anyone to have to go through this ever if they dont have to..some people the doctor told us will keep cutting up there food smaller and smaller and smaller till they can't swallow anymore , then go for help..and by that time the cancer is all around the circumfrance of the esphagus and theres no hope at that point..

GET It checkED!!!!!

Good luck
Judy L

stressedtothema 08-31-2006 08:04 PM

Re: If your having problems swallowing please read
I am so sorry for what you went through. I pray your husband will be fine! My father was recently diagnosed with throat cancer in May - hypopharyngeal cancer. It involved the voice box and his first symptom was a hoarse voice. He then began to have some trouble swallowing and made an appointment with his ENT. He was immediately sent to a head and neck surgeon and by May 31st he too went through the most horrific 8 hour surgery - he lost his voice box and now has a permanent tracheotomy. The surgeon said that his tumor was enormous and has probably been there for three to four years. This cancer is usually caught in late stages. Similar to your husband - he endured the pain of radiation for 33 consecutive treatments along with a chemo-like treatment - they called it an antibody treatment. Three full months later - he has gone through far too much for a 74 year old man. The doctors and all research indicates that alcohol at night erodes the area and is the number one cause. They also said that acid reflux plays a significant role. I will keep your husband in my prayers - as well as you, being the care-giver is a very demanding role - it has taken it's toll on my mom. Good luck to you.

Isobella 09-02-2006 05:05 AM

Re: If your having problems swallowing please read
I'm very sorry for what your husband (and you) have had to endure and I pray it turns out all right in the end. They know so much more about cancer nowadays so there is always hope. And of course you're right to warn people not to neglect any symptoms - they should ALWAYS be checked out. But I'd just like to add that the majority of people with swallowing difficulties do not have cancer. I think it's important to say that as I'd hate people to be too scared to go to the doctor, thinking they would be diagnosed as having cancer rather than the more likely outcome of having something less serious. Please everyone, if you have problems swallowing or other symptoms, go to your doctor; most likely it will be something that can be dealt with (as in my own case - I had a stricture) so don't let fear keep you from going.

nanci2539 09-06-2006 11:26 AM

Re: If your having problems swallowing please read
I too am sorry to read about your husband. My good neighbor's 44 year old brother just passed away from eshophageal cancer.

But he was a fitness type person. Never smoked or drank to excess; ate very healthy and exercised daily. He was in the late stages when he was diagnosed. At first they thought it was something called deep neck infection and put him on antibiotics. It seemed to help some but then the swelling came back. They did a scope and saw the tumor. He lived about a year after treatment.

So, where alcohol and cigarettes may contribute, Tom was the picuture of health and did everything right.

If there are signs, even subtle, get it checked out and I agree, don't pass it off as stress or anxiety. It's a simple test that I feel everyone should have regardless of symptoms. To me, it's preventive medicine.

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