While in a conference meeting for work I had a coughing spell that started making my right rib area hurt. After a day and the pain not going away I went and got an X-ray at hospital and they saw nothing. I also made an appointment with my gastro dr as I have had Barrett's Esophagus for a few years and colon polyps. And I wanted to know what was causing the pain in my side. Gastro dr did a colonoscopy and an endoscopy on me and then called me in for the bad news. They found adenocarcinoma at the EC Junction and then he referre me to MD Anderson for follow up. I also met with an Orthopedic dr who took an additional xray and found a hairline fracture that was causing the pain in my side but if not for that pain in my side I'd never have gotten the colonoscopy and endoscopy as I was not having any symptoms with food or my throat. Tests, and tumor board meetings decided I was stage T3N1M0 or stage 3 cancer. The protocol used on my would be 5 1/2 weeks of combined chemo (oral pill xeloda 5 days a week along with my 5 days a week of proton radiation). I also had a Docitaxol and steroid drip each Monday for the 5 1/2 weeks as well. After about 10 weeks I elected to have the Ivor Lewis Modified Esophogectomy n November 2012. A J-Tube was also installed during surgery and while I was in the hospital they taught me how to use the Jtube. I was released from hospital after about 10 days and could only use J tube until I had a successful leak check of my surgery site at day 14. I was then allowed to start eating , slow at first and continue making up nutrition with my J Tube. I was not able to maintain my weight without supplementing through the J tube until almost 2 months after surgery at which time I was able to eat enough to maintain my weight and the J tube was removed. Scans were scheduled every 6 months for first 2 years and an annual endoscopy to look at the surgery site for any problems. I've been fortunate in the fact that my complications have been minimal compared to others. I did grow some adhesion at my surgery site to my diaphragm that took some physical therapy to take care of.. I am on a yearly scan cycle now and I'm due for my 3 year scan in November 2015. I've been blessed beyond measure. Eyes have been opened to hope fragile and important our lives are. I volunteer with a group that pairs survivors and care givers with people that are starting this journey and it's really sad when I become friends with them and then months or a year later their Cancer returns with a vengeance. I've lost too many friends that I have met through the different EC sites and I try to tell everyone I know to PLEASE GET CHECKED!!! Early diagnosis can save your life.
Years since diagnosed:6