New Member - coming to grips with gastric cancer

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New Member - coming to grips with gastric cancer

All, I am a 50 year old male with three young children (6 and 3 year old twins). This came as a bolt out of the blue as I was assured it was likely just an ulcer. Within a week, I have had Cat Scan, Pet Scan 3 times gastroscopies and a laproscopy. Catscan was clear (didn't even show my gastric cancer) but I see my oncologist on Friday for the rest of the results. He has already told me its 3 courses of chemo, full gastric resection and then more chemo. Still coming to terms with this if thats possible.
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Re: New Member - coming to grips with gastric cancer

I have strated my chemo ECF. Have the 24/7 pump attached. When I visited my oncologist he told me my petscan was clear including the gastric cancer. It would seem my cancer grows at the same rate as normal cells so we have lost one of the better tools to see if it has spread. Very frustrating! Has this happened to anyone else. To Quote Pink Floyd, IS THERE ANYBODY OUT THERE!
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Re: New Member - coming to grips with gastric cancer

Hi Joffa Ok, so it sounds like the good news is that your cancer hasn't spread beyond the primary site? Did you get your results on Friday? Or is it this Friday...? My husband is having his PET on Friday, he has oesophageal cancer. I'm glad you could get all of your appointments so close together, we're waiting a week between each test and the results, it's frustrating. Coming to terms with it is... well, impossible. There is SO MUCH that goes through your mind, it consumes you completely. CC
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Re: New Member - coming to grips with gastric cancer

CC, it does consume all your thoughts. Especially with a young family. Our three kids are all similar ages. My wife struggles at time and is trying to stay extremely positive. My worst days were when there were no tests going on but I discovered that behind the scenes they are frantically looking at the "staging" of the cancer and get the best minds to look and discuss. Yes mine is operable but it will be a full gastric resection but that is to increase the life expectancy rather than have a partial stomach which would be riskier in my case. My oncologist is supposedly one of the worlds best for oesophageal/gastric cancers. The first thing he told me was the stats are dominated by men a lot older and unable to tolerate big doses of chemo. Mine is an "unusual type of gastric cancer" but is most likely genetic as only people with blood type A tend to get it. Yes said I am very much at the young side having just turned 50 so your husband is a baby. So he said his believe is the stats are much more promising for us young people starting the journey. Once i started treatment, its been a bit of a relief as in my mind the fightback has started. Also having ECF means you get a day every three weeks when you sit in the chair for 8 -9 hours and bombard you with the E & C chemo drugs and then flush you out. One of the men I did education with is suffering oesophageal cancer and he is also on the ECF regime. AT then end of the day they hook up you pump for 5 FU and you wear it 24/7 for the next three weeks with 2 pump changes. We call mine BOB (Bottle of Brew) but like the builder called Bob, our kids have been told "Can Bob fix it, Yes he Can!" Keep in touch. Happy to help or just lend an ear/eyes. We are Victorians who live in Melbourne but the old family farm is up in Northern NSW near Inverell.
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Re: New Member - coming to grips with gastric cancer

Hi Joffa, Sorry to hear about your diagnosis - I was also being tested for an ulcer and it turned out to be Stage IV oesophageal cancer. That was January 2013, I was 49 years old. The primary tumor is at my oesophagus/stomach junction and it has metastisized to my liver. I initially had 6 cycles of ECF, it was a gruelling regimen, but all tumors shrank. Since then there have been a few changes to the chemo drugs, and currently I'm on carboplatin 3 weekly and 5FU weekly. I'm feeling well and am enjoying life. Yours does sound like an unusual gastric cancer, I've not heard of a similar situation. I wish you all the best with your treatment. Kathy
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Re: New Member - coming to grips with gastric cancer

Hi Kathy,sounds like we both copped the wrong side of the karma bus but I am heartened by your experienced as per Carboplatin and 5FU. I have just completed my first week and 2 of the days (4 &5) were horrible but the rest tolerable. Just trying to get used to the fatigue thing. Its hard to explain to 3 young kids why daddy can't do certain things. I would love to keep in touch. Geoff (Joffaboy)
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Re: New Member - coming to grips with gastric cancer

Geoff I'm 48 and have bowel cancer, have finished resection surgery, chemo and radiation on the initial cancer (and all clear there now). Unfortunately I now have mets on my lunga and I'm back on the 5FU, but with Oxiliplatin and Avastin now. I also have the 5FU pump this time but only 46 hours/fortnight. I love that you gave your pump a positive name, I call mine Sue (the bitch with my Dad - the poisonous thing that I can't escape!). Maybe I should change my mindset!! It's working though - 1 down, 5 to go. I named my tumours too, they are positive to the KRAS mutation, so mine are the (mutant) ninja turtles. It's easier to talk about :) I don't know about your cancer but I know a little bit about chemo now, over 18 months for me. It is hard and very tiring but get as much sleep in as your body needs. I know it's frustrating that you don't have the same energy for your family but hopefully this will be a short term thing for you and with a few small adjustments you can feel like you are not missing out. If you really can't do something, don't do it! Your body is not the same at the moment, take care of it so you don't end up sicker. Stay positive and if you are having bad side effects let your chemo team know. There are many anti nausea drugs available, it might take a while to find the one that works for you. I actually have 3 and I take them at different times - some I have to take with the chemo, others I take depending on how I feel. It does take a little while for your body to get into "a routine" with chemo I think. My first couple of treatments this time were brutal but I have my anti nausea drugs sorted now and I do sleep much more throughout the day and I find that I don't feel very sick at all thankfully. If I'm having a bad day I let my family know and they will help out more and I will stay at home and rest while they go out. Take it slow and easy, listen to your body and help it heal by resting when you need to. Good luck with your treatment, keep fighting. Kim
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Re: New Member - coming to grips with gastric cancer

Kim, Thanks for the post. Yes I am settling into a routine. I have my next BIG MONDAY next week which is timing as I have my oldest sons 7yo birthday party this weekend! I have just started back at work but on reduced hours (and responsibility) which has been good to focus on "normal" things. Saw my oncologist on Tuesday and my cytoplasmic wash came back all negative which is a bit of a relief but then he brought me back to earth with its all really going to depend on the ECF and its effect on my "curious" tumor. So the gastric resection is booked in for the first week in Feb and all will be revealed then. So thanks again. If you don't fight you lose so keep punching! cheers Geoff aka Joffaboy
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Re: New Member - coming to grips with gastric cancer

Hi Geoff, How are you doing? Have you had a few cycles of chemo by now? Are you coping with the side effects ok? Kathy
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Re: New Member - coming to grips with gastric cancer

Hi Geoff, How are you doing? Have you had a few cycles of chemo by now? Are you coping with the side effects ok? Kathy
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