Thallen84

Esophageal Cancer Diagnosis

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Hey Everyone, 

I’m looking for anyone with experience in this. I had gastric bypass in December 2016. During my pre-op endoscopy for the gastric sleeve, I was diagnosed with Barrett’s Esophagus, thus my surgery was changed to full bypass, thereby reserving my stomach for future needs, should the Barrett’s return someday and develop into cancer. I was told I would need another endoscopy 3 years post op. Well, over the summer I experienced some flare ups in conditions I had not had since my surgery in 2016. I knew something was off.

My surgery was a great success by all accounts. I lost 140 pounds within 18 months. My personal goal weight was, and remains 200. That’s where I think I look and fell the best. I got down to 189 at my lowest and was starting to get questioned about being sick because I looked gaunt. Fast forward to today and I’m sitting at 212. For 2.5 years I was able to maintain under 200 with no problem, and the sudden gain of 15 pounds was another indication of something being off. On a whim, during a routine visit with my PCP, I mentioned it was almost time for my 3 year endoscopy. I got the referral and scheduled it for 9/11/19. After the procedure, my gastroenterologist told me the Barrett’s had returned and was “slightly raised”. She said if all results from biopsy were good, she’d send me a letter. 

On 9/19/19, I got the voicemail I was dreading. My doctor had called me in the middle of conducting her patient rounds in the hospital. I knew immediately it couldn't be good news. She left me her personal office number. I, in turn, left her a voicemail with my numbers and times I was available, and waited for the call. About an hour later, she called. Immediately she said, "I'm very sorry to have to tell you this...” and just like that, I was diagnosed with early stage esophageal cancer.

I feel blessed to have found it early. The symptoms are not obvious, and in my case, I had none. It was some sort of sixth sense, that's I've always had and come to rely on, that told me to get this endoscopy done 3 months early. At worst, this has given me a 3 month jump on treatment, at best, it's possibly saved my life. I'm feeling very optimistic but only God knows the outcome. 

Monday, 10/21/19, I will have Endoscopic Mucosal Resection, in hopes of removing the cancer and getting clean margins. I’ll know sometime by Halloween, when pathology report comes back. If all good, it’ll be an endoscopy every 3 months for a year, along with Radio Frequency Ablation. If margins are not good, chemo and radiation will be the next steps. 

Through all of this, I’m afraid my eating habits have gotten off track under the stress and I’m trying my best. Anyone out there had this experience and care to share words of wisdom?

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No experience at all with this, but just wanted to send thoughts for the very best outcome.  Hope today goes well; you likely won't see this until it's all over, so I guess I should say, I hope all went well and that your recovery is smooth sailing. 

As far as eating habits go, this may reset some of that because I'm guessing you won't feel like eating much for awhile.  You will want to really focus on getting your protein and fluids of course because you need that for healing.

You can do this, how do I know that?  You've already shown you're a success story, and you still have the tool that got you there.  You discovered your cancer while it was early which is a real gift.  Take that gift and use it as motivation to live your best (healthiest) life!  You got this!

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I don't have any advice but just wanted to say that I am thinking of you and hoping that the operation went really well today. All the best for your recovery and for the next steps of the treatment. 

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Any updates? Did everything went well so far?

My yearly gastroscopy is due on Thursday and I have some flare ups as well recently (ok, admittedly I had residual symptoms throughout since my bypass 3.5 years ago). Last year everything came back fine (they didn't even take biopsies because everything looked just fine) but this year... I don't know. I'm always kind of nervous when the appointment is due but this time my anxiety's through the roof.

You have to deal now with what I fear most. I wish you all the best.

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Just had gastroscopy today. Luckily neither esophagitis nor Barrett nor something even more evil.  Pouch fine without inflammation. Anastomosis fine without inflammation.

I need another hiatoplastic with gastropexia though. Surgeon recommended it but doesn't see a need to rush it because see-gastroscopy-results-above. Alternative would be wait-and-see-how-I-can-cope and have control-gastroscopy in a year.

Hernia is back again. 

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I have LA grade C erosive esophagitis according to my EGD results from 6 weeks ago.  Is that ulcers  ?  I thought that was what I was told but I was out of it.  They upped my Dexilant back up to  60mg  and I will be having another EGD in a few weeks.  Anyone have an idea as to what it means ?

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Take a look https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esophagitis#Classification_by_severity:

Classification by severity[edit]

The severity of reflux esophagitis is commonly classified into four grades according to the Los Angeles Classification:[6][7]

Grade A One or more mucosal breaks < 5 mm in maximal length
Grade B One or more mucosal breaks > 5mm, but without continuity across mucosal folds
Grade C Mucosal breaks continuous between > 2 mucosal folds, but involving less than 75% of the esophageal circumference
Grade D Mucosal breaks involving more than 75% of esophageal circumference

It tells how much of the circumference of the esophagus has damaged mucosal tissue. Don't know if that helps?

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