This is my first post as I found my situation very hard to talk about in the beginning but I am interested to see if anyone else is in a similar situation to me.
In April 17 I was diagnosed with stage iv cancer of the stomach, which had started to encroach the oesophagus and had spread to the abdominal lining which made it inoperable.
T4a, N1, M1 (peritoneum) poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma with signet ring cells.
My situation wasn't great and I quickly started E.O.X chemotherapy. I was hospitalised twice with the side effects of the chemo and had constant nausea - but I had a really supportive Oncologist and I managed to keep going, completing 6 cycles in total.
I started to look into clinical trials half way through my chemo treatment and was surprisingly offered a place on a trial in USA which offered a gastrectomy with HIPEC (a new procedure where chemo drugs are pumped into abdominal cavity and heated in the hope it will kill the cancer in abdominal lining)
After asking my Oncologist for advice, he suggested I have a repeat staging laparoscopy and endoscopy to see how my cancer was responding to the chemo and he would then be in a better position to advise me with regards to the clinical trial. I was also having second thoughts about having major surgery so far from the UK.
Long story cut short but as a result of the second laparoscopy/endoscopy and CT scan and the fact that my cancer had responded so well to the chemo, I was offered surgery as an option in Aug 17. The whole MDT agreed with this and I am booked in to have a complete gastrectomy and the removal of the bottom part of my oesophagus in mid October 2017.
I have been told that my situation is unusual and the surgeon has said that he cannot offer me a cure with the surgery. It's a wait and see what happens situation. He has also said that if they open me up and find anything suspicious, then the main surgery would not go ahead.
My fear is that I will have the surgery, with the long recovery period and challenges and then have the same outcome as deciding against surgery. Although I understand that nobody has an answer because everything is unknown.
I also live on my own (I am 48) and I am concerned that I will struggle on my own after the surgery.
Any advice or support would be great right now.
Sorry about the long post!