Please KIND Words. Very anxious

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Please KIND Words. Very anxious

by Tazbud33 on Thu Sep 26, 2019 10:01 PM

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48 years old. Stage 2/3. No spread. Near where stomach meets. Will complete 5 rounds chemo, 25 radiation. Then surgery. They will take part of esophagus and stomach to make like “a tube” is what the doc says. What can I expect for surgery and recovery? I understand there can be complications no one cab predict. But what are some MILD things that will probably happen? Let me hear some positive stories please from survivors. My anxiety is very high.

RE: Please KIND Words. Very anxious

by Fnixon on Mon Sep 30, 2019 02:05 AM

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On Sep 26, 2019 10:01 PM Tazbud33 wrote:

48 years old. Stage 2/3. No spread. Near where stomach meets. Will complete 5 rounds chemo, 25 radiation. Then surgery. They will take part of esophagus and stomach to make like “a tube” is what the doc says. What can I expect for surgery and recovery? I understand there can be complications no one cab predict. But what are some MILD things that will probably happen? Let me hear some positive stories please from survivors. My anxiety is very high.

I had the same treatment and procedure that you are describing, in 2014. I have been found desease free after five years. I did not have any complications and live a completely normal life. I take a pill to reduce acid production and I sleep on a six inch wedge pillow. I will never again have heartburn because that part is missing! My treatment and surgury was performed in Newmarket, Ontario in Canada. I wish that you will have a similar experience and feel free to ask me any questions you like.

RE: Please KIND Words. Very anxious

by Fnixon on Mon Sep 30, 2019 02:08 AM

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I forgot to mention that I didn't suffer pain from the surgery or other treatment. The only discomfort that I experienced was from the incision, which is pretty normal with any surgery that cuts through the muscle wall. that only lasted a few days, maybe a week.

RE: Please KIND Words. Very anxious

by Tazbud33 on Mon Sep 30, 2019 02:31 AM

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Thank you very much. You have no idea the amount of stress I’ve been having / still have. Your words are very comforting. Any other good thoughts would be appreciated.

RE: Please KIND Words. Very anxious

by Evergreen on Mon Sep 30, 2019 01:15 PM

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I had the surgery six years ago today and am continuing to celebrate that I made it past the five year mark. For me, the chemo and radiation were better than expected, but the surgery was a little more painful than I expected and the recovery a little longer, but it was still successful.

I found it helpful to do everything I could do to get a good outcome and I put my energy into that. To that end, I focused on getting the best surgeon who had done the most procedures with the best outcome. I also organized and simplified my life, focused on diet (vegan, ginger water, no sugar) and exercise (yoga), and utilized all types of complementary treatments including massage, healing and hypnotherapy. If nothing else, it kept me busy and kept me from worrying as much as I might have otherwise.

I also got my financial and estate planning affairs in order, including confirming guardians for my two minor children (single mom), so I was able to face the worst case scenario confidently.

I had stage three. I actually had a complete response from the chemo and radiation and so I questioned whether I even needed the surgery, but a review of the published medical papers on the subject provided by my oncologist confirmed his recommendation that I should go through with the surgery, although I didn't exactly want to be cut open.

After my esophagus, half my stomach and over 70 lymph nodes were removed, there was no evidence of cancer found by the pathologist.  

As far as addressing your anxiety, I found it most helpful to have a consultation with a hypnotherapist who made an audio tape for me. I would never have thought of seeking the services of a hypnotherapist, but when I asked my surgeon if I could talk to one of his patients who had already had the surgery, she strongly recommended a hypnotherapist if it was the one thing I did do to prepare for the surgery.  The morning of the surgery I was extremely calm and smiling and I had somehow programmed my mind for a good outcome. As I am one with a history of panic attacks, it was quite surprising I could face the 8-hour surgery with such a positive attitude.

RE: Please KIND Words. Very anxious

by Tazbud33 on Mon Sep 30, 2019 03:12 PM

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How old were you when you had the surgery?

RE: Please KIND Words. Very anxious

by Tazbud33 on Mon Sep 30, 2019 08:24 PM

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On Sep 30, 2019 1:15 PM Evergreen wrote:

I had the surgery six years ago today and am continuing to celebrate that I made it past the five year mark. For me, the chemo and radiation were better than expected, but the surgery was a little more painful than I expected and the recovery a little longer, but it was still successful.

I found it helpful to do everything I could do to get a good outcome and I put my energy into that. To that end, I focused on getting the best surgeon who had done the most procedures with the best outcome. I also organized and simplified my life, focused on diet (vegan, ginger water, no sugar) and exercise (yoga), and utilized all types of complementary treatments including massage, healing and hypnotherapy. If nothing else, it kept me busy and kept me from worrying as much as I might have otherwise.

I also got my financial and estate planning affairs in order, including confirming guardians for my two minor children (single mom), so I was able to face the worst case scenario confidently.

I had stage three. I actually had a complete response from the chemo and radiation and so I questioned whether I even needed the surgery, but a review of the published medical papers on the subject provided by my oncologist confirmed his recommendation that I should go through with the surgery, although I didn't exactly want to be cut open.

After my esophagus, half my stomach and over 70 lymph nodes were removed, there was no evidence of cancer found by the pathologist.  

As far as addressing your anxiety, I found it most helpful to have a consultation with a hypnotherapist who made an audio tape for me. I would never have thought of seeking the services of a hypnotherapist, but when I asked my surgeon if I could talk to one of his patients who had already had the surgery, she strongly recommended a hypnotherapist if it was the one thing I did do to prepare for the surgery.  The morning of the surgery I was extremely calm and smiling and I had somehow programmed my mind for a good outcome. As I am one with a history of panic attacks, it was quite surprising I could face the 8-hour surgery with such a positive attitude.

How are you post surgery?

RE: Please KIND Words. Very anxious

by Fnixon on Tue Oct 01, 2019 12:16 AM

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So as I mentioned, I live a completely normal life with no issues. For the first year after surgery, it was a struggle to keep my weight up. All that turned around at about the year's end and I am back to normal being careful not to put on weight. I have no acid  problems or any other issues. When I see people suffering with heartburn I tell them that I feel sorry for them having to deal with an original setup!

RE: Please KIND Words. Very anxious

by Fnixon on Tue Oct 01, 2019 12:20 AM

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Sorry I missed the question about my age. I was diagnosed  when I was 65 years of age and I am 70 now. This year we became grandparents so I am having a whole new experience in life! I am so glad that I am still gere!

RE: Please KIND Words. Very anxious

by Evergreen on Tue Oct 01, 2019 08:07 PM

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I feel very fortunate to be alive and functioning as well as I am. I am female, 61. I have a lot of little quirky issues that I could elaborate on and which I haven't completely understood. They inlude inhaling bile at nite, dumping syndrome, fatigue, burping and heart issues.

The good news is that I was off the feeding tube two weeks after the surgery. My hair all grew back and I look normal and my scars healed very well.

I just can't keep up with my contemporaries as far as energy -- while they are running marathons and working full time, when I go places in the heat, my daughter suggests getting a wheelchair as I can barely walk/breathe.

But if it is not hot I am much better.

I have seen numerous physicians to try to understand my symptoms, but becauses patients have such a range of symptoms after the surgery, I have not been able to find a good explanation or solution. I have found Cancer Compass to be helpful for little tips such as eating popcorn at night, which I have done for years and which really helps.

I just work around the sumptoms and don't go out in the heat, make sure I sleep somewhat upright and take precautions when eating. 

It could be a lot worse and I am very grateful for my quality of life as it is.

I checked out four different thoracic surgeons before I selected one and I think getting the best possible surgeon can make all the different.

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