Gullet (oesophagus) cancer

A group for anyone affected by gullet cancer (also known as oesophageal cancer) to get together, ask questions, share experiences and support each other.

Recent Diagnosis of Gullet Cancer

No. of entries: 10 | Posted on 6 Jan 2013 8:54 PM

Recent Diagnosis of Gullet Cancer

  • Hello, I am joining this site to help me accept what is happening to my mum. She was diagnosed on Friday with this awful disease and has to start an 8 hour session of chemo on Tuesday. The consultant told us things were bad and the cancer was inoperable as the cancer has spread to her lymph nodes and small spots on her lungs. He said he would show us the scans but they were on and off so quick that it didn't give me anytime to look at them. What I did see were large areas of white and not sure what this means. I asked the consultant what the prognosis was and he wouldn't say. I would like to know as we feel if the chemo is only prolonging her suffering, we feel we should be allowed to make a decision as to whether the chemo is worth going through? This has been an awful weekend as we have so many questions unanswered and wasn't expecting to hear that the cancer has spread. I would be very grateful for any advice whether good or bad to help me come to terms with this. She is 74 years old and has been widowed for the last 45 years and has always been fit and healthy.Thanks.

  • Hi.. I have sent you a friend request so I can message you x x
  • Hi Alison, I have just accepted, thank you.

  • Dear snow Firstly I am So sorry about your mothers diagnosis, buy hey she has survived 45 years of widowhood and has my huge respect as I am amazed that I have survived four months. With those credentials she will survive as long as is humanly possible and is she hasn't said she wants to die then to live is what she wants to do and that is why the medics won't give you a prognosis. They don't know. Is she wants to go for treatment then that is what she wants and it can and will prolong her life, even though it might cause damage. It is her choice to allow them to give you a prognosis and I suspect she has decided against it for her own reasons...maybe not to bring you down or rather to surround herself with positive vibes. She isn't young so growth could be slow and she could have years. I can tell you from experience she could still play sport, exercise, work, travel , do or be anything she wants. How lucky she is to have you caring about her and any possible damage ruining her quality of life. Peoplewho want to live will manage with less quality if they want to live. Trust me. With you behind her can do it. The damage from chemotherapy can come in the end (I know personally) but the end can be years coming. I hope I have been able to give a positive perspective on things. We are all on the same journey. It is only a matter of time...the later the better. I do know this is hard for you but it is possible to make your remaining time together wonderful and value periods between treatment periods by planning simple but special things for the good days in-between. It's a bit late now so the ramble will end now but my thoughts for you and your family will carry on. Sue X
  • My mum had her first 8 hour session of chemotherapy today and I am pleased to say she doesn't seem to be affected by it. It has not made her feel sick or diarrhoea but has been given tablets for both in case. She also had a series of tablets to start taking on different days? Is this normal for her to feel OK?

  • Think everyone is different.

    My brother had his 3rd chemo today and so far he hasnt been very sick etc either. I was surprised.
    But thats a good thing... For him and your Mum.

    take care.

  • Everyone's reaction is quite different, so in one sense there is no normal. Great to read that your mum felt well yesterday. Some side-effects may kick in a little later, but that is perfectly "normal". The best thing to do is to take it day by day, and when side effects do occur, take a note of them, so that you can develop an idea of what to expect for the next cycle, although again cycles can differ in how people feel. If anything occurs that you are worried about, make contact with your medical/oncology team, and don't worry about asking any question, no matter how small. Hope your mum continues to do well xx  

  • My mum was OK for the first day but the second day, it really hit her. She was very
    poorly for the next six days constanly being sick. One the second day, she was
    very sick and fainted. We contacted our macmillan nurse who advised us to call
    the doctor which we did. Our local GP reluctantly came out and gave mum
    diarolyte to take for two days. After the six days , she had a couple of better
    days without being sick but the last two days have been worse again. She cannot
    eat anything but has been trying to sip on Fresubin. Everytime she has a sip,
    this comes straight back up, so for two days has had nothing to eat and very
    little to drink. She has no energy and looks tired which I guess will happen
    because she is not eating. Can anybody advise if this is a side effect to the
    chemo or could the cancer be getting worse? She is always holding her chest
    when she talks and is constantly belching?

  • Hi Snhow, 

    Sorry to hear about your Mum's bad reaction to Chemo. Can you ring the hospital for advice? They normally give you a number to ring into either a hotline or ward if there are bad reactions to chemo. If your Mum is not eating or drinking much please take care to avoid dehydration.  

    Wease x

  • My mum was admitted to hospital yesterday for dehydration. Very poorly and lost over a stone in weight in the last 11 days. Any advice gratefully received?