We met with her oncologist today and got a lot of clarifying news.
The official title is “Adenocarcinoma, the most common form of esophageal cancer” they believe the source is a tumor in her GE Junction (Gastro Esophageal). Essentially where her stomach and esophagus connect. From here it leaked into her lymph nodes and spread to her lungs and heavy into her liver. There are other spots in her abdomen but not the focus, they don’t impact treatment and will be covered with the same treatment. Because it has spread this makes it Stage 4 and incurable, the goal is to slow the growth down and provide the most comfortable extension of life possible. I will talk about that further down.
So, what’s next? Tomorrow I am taking her to Regions Hospital to have her chemo port surgically placed. Friday I am taking her to Chemo Education that will teach us the side effects and expectations. Here chemo regiment is call “FOLFOX” The main drugs are Folinic Acid, Fluorouracil and Oxaliplatin. It is a combination of in day patient infusion and home infusion. Her first infusion is Tuesday May 1 at 9:30am! It takes about 5-6 hours and they will give her a fanny pack pump that will continue to provide her chemo for 46 hours. We take her back to have the pump disconnected. This repeats every 2 weeks for a total of 4 sessions.
After 4 sessions they will repeat a PET scan to determine the effectiveness of treatment. Based on the results of the scan will determine the course of action along with seeing how well she tolerates chemo. I can personally tell you Chemo is a bitch! Her doctor said FOLFOX will not be nearly as toxic or painful as mine. Small blessings, right?
Now to discuss the not so fun prognosis. Deep breath…… 9-18 months with treatment, without treatment it’s months. These numbers are only statistically based and not specific to her and there are so many factors that impact these numbers.
* Potential complications from treatment, making life worse.
* She is able to tolerate treatment, but treatment is not effective.
* She is able to tolerate treatment and treatment IS effective.
* She is unable to tolerate treatment regardless of effectiveness.
Our focus moving forward will be focused on her wellbeing both physically and emotionally. We are here for her and will do whatever it takes to get here the proper care she needs and chooses. She has such a beautiful soul and deserves the best treatment and comfort.
Thank you to those that contacted me for offering rides, I think I will probably do a group facebook chat then posting when I need help then anyone can speak up based on availability.