Yesterday (Tuesday Jan 25), I had a consult with a Radiation Oncologist about a program of radiation treatment in addition to Chemotherapy that would be Round 3. The news was very discouraging. The treatment area that would need to be done is much longer than that of the typical Esophageal Cancer patient. Because Lymph Nodes up high effected, Lymph Nodes down behind stomach effected, and the tumor which extends down into my stomach. Because of this, treatment of the stomach area will cause more sickness. Also, major side effects with the radiation hitting at least one of my lungs causing major scare tissue which will leave me short of breath for life by climbing one flight of steps. The radiation will also hit my heart and cause unknown damage to my heart with scare tissue. About 2 weeks into treatment, my esophagus will swell and become so sore that I won't be able to eat. Food my also get stuck in my throat. Will have to eat something even if liquids because many get hospitalized with dehydration and weakness. If I am not able to eat, I would need a feeding tube put into my small intestine because they don't want to damage my stomach with a hole since later it will be moved in surgery. I will get burns on my chest that will actually blister. They gave me special cream for this. I would need 25-28 treatments of radiation. I would go everyday Monday Friday for 5-6 weeks. This physician stated that after 1-2 weeks of treatment, there would be no possible way I could work for 2-3 months during this radiation. She said weakness, pain and infection to big of a problem. This also did not fit into my planning for this year. Please pray for this.
I am planning a "heart to heart" talk with my Oncologist today at Chemo to discuss whether this radiation treatment is absolutely necessary for my success or if we can get there with Chemo. I trust Dr. Marquinez more so on this topic.
Brian & Carol, I need some help with this decision effecting my lung. I know Brian has seen this and does he think it is significant to refuse this treatment? I know I have to make the decision but any help you facts or help you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
Heidi did not sleep last night. She is very unset with this news on the radiation. Please pray for her to get rest, eat well and remain strong!
I am going for Round 2 of Chemo today. So, I am expecting to be sick for 7 days beginning Friday/Saturday. Please pray for my sickness to be minimal if that is possible. Heidi is going to Chemo with me today and she baked the staff there some Brownies!