I was diagnosed with Stage 4 oesophageal cancer in March this year. It had metatisised to my liver and lymph nodes. My initial CT was on the 16th March. At this stage I had pain around my liver and some difficulty with swallowing. I had to wait 6 weeks before chemo started and during this time I lost weight and my appetite as well as my strength. I could barely have a shower without getting tired out.
Once chemo started my condition improved. My oncologist told me to have half a steroid tablet a day to help with my appetite, which seems to have done the trick. I have had very few side effects from the chemo overall. Some red spots on the back of my hands and loss of taste, especially salty. I was on one round of cisplatin and xeloda tablets for two weeks with a weeks rest between sessions. Last visit to the oncologist and he has changed me to oxilaplatin, which I immediately felt the side effects of not being able to touch and drink anything cold without getting pins and needles sensations. I have also noticed that my lower leg muscles cramp quite regularly at the moment.
I had a follow up scan two weeks ago. This showed that one of the larger tumours in my liver had reduced but another had grown. Also the scan has picked up metastisis to my T9, T2, T3 and T12 vertebrae as well as some possible lesions on my sternum. Since there was such a big gap between the first scan and chemo I believe that the cancer worsened in that time and could, in fact, be getting better. My oncologist is in the same mind and has ordered another CT scan for 5 weeks time. Hopefully this will show some changes.
As I feel generally quite well, I am able to stay positive and feel like I don't have a disease that is very likely to take my life prematurely..
It's wonderful to read how your coping and staying positive, none of us knows what the future holds, we just get on with it. I wish you positive vibes on your net scan. I'm happy you feel well in yourself, stay positive as my Surgical Oncologist said to me once we will deal with it when the time comes no use worrying about it until then, life is too precious to waste worrying what could or could not be going to happen.
A good philosophy to live by. That's why I ignore the five year survival statistics and don't want anyone to give me a prognosis of life expectancy. Live each day and hope to live long and make the best of what you've got. I guess because I generally feel well it helps maintain a positive attitude. Perhaps, if I was in pain and feeling the effects of chemo it might be harder.