oesophagectomy tomorrow

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Evening all 

I have used this platform on numerous occasions throughout my dads journey with stage 3 oesophageal cancer and it has always been an immense comfort so figured it may help for this next stage. 

My dad is booked in for his oesophagectomy tomorrow & I am so worried about complications / what this is going to look like. He is 57, in great shape & has done wonderfully so far so I know he has a lot in his favour. But, never the less, saying goodbye to him yesterday has left me in immense worry of the “what ifs”. 

I’m not even sure what the risks are (and have avoided google at all costs), I just feel very in the unknown and not sure what to expect. 

anyone with any coping advise or words of encouragement / their experiences are so welcome. Thanks as always 

  • Hi I’m in the same boat as you …. It’s very worrying isn’t it! My dad is stage 4 advance and he’s just had his pet scan today so we are waiting on the results now before an op! 

    I did end up googling everything as I wanted to know the ins and outs but that’s just to help me understand and know what’s coming next.

    this group is so good for support and advise so keep reaching out hun! I hope your dad is ok after his op as I’m literally dreading my dad going through it too!!! 

    Stay strong , and keep positive that’s all I do to try and get through  it…or else I’d be in a mess daily -  take each day as it comes HeartHeartHeart you’ve got this!! And your dad can do this!! Thinking of you both xxxxxx

  • Hi,

    I had mine done in Feb 2023. I was stage 4, 12cm tumour, 54 years old. I did everything to try and avoid it as I thought permanent surgical procedures should be last resort, so I looked at proton beam options, continued chemo in hope of becoming NED but it became evident it was the best path. I wasn't scared or overly worried until the epidural went in and one hand started shaking uncontrollably.

    I woke up with some surprise at still being alive. I have no idea why as I was told I was in good enough shape and my lung function was excellent. I was walking the next day, the only thing that stopped me walking more was sudden energy drop. The second day I didn't have to stop walking. I was ready to come out of ICU after 4 days, released from hospital day 8.

    Never used feeding tube, was eating almost normally a couple of weeks after op. Today, you'd never know I'd had it apart from ordering kids meals at restaurants and a dairy intolerance. Oh, err, he might fart a lot more than before...sorry.

    I'm sure he'll be fine. Royal Surrey did a fantastic job with me, I'm sure other facilities are equally competent.

  • Hi Christina

    If you posted last night I guess his op is today. Mine is tomorrow Jan 5th and will be almost the same op. I am 58 and fairly fit too but obviously still a bit anxious.

    When I talked to my surgeon he said age and fitness was on my side so very encouraging.

    He said there will be side effects like uncomfortable stomach, possible reflux, problem swallowing and possible chest infections amongst others. He did say they have options for all these and pain relief is closely monitored.

    It is a big op for sure but it has to be done for any chance of being cured so I'm as ready as I can be.

    Will still probably have to have some chemo afterwards but op first then worry about that after.

    I'm sure your dad is in good hands too so try not to worry. These surgeons are brilliant and technology has moved a long way so all should be ok.

    Best of luck to your dad and stay strong for him, he will need lots of support after.

    Best wishes


  • Hi Christina, 

    I hope everything has gone ok today, as best as it could be, 

    There is very little anyone can say to stop our own anxiety, but I hope by the time you read this message, you have found a better place within yourself and the anxiety has eased.  


    Call the helpline for free on 08088080000, 8am to 8pm everyday.
    Tomorrow is not promised but it always has potential. Aim for your potential!
  • Hi Christina. I also used this site a lot, daily for the first few months after my diagnosis, and found comfort in reading the stories of other people who were fighting this disease. I chose to tell very few people and this site gave me the connection with people who were in a similar situation to myself. I was diagnosed with SCC May 2023, Stage 3, aged 63. I went  through Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy and then had the operation (3-way open surgery) 31st October (9 weeks 2 days ago). I feel that the operation wasn’t as massive as I’d imagined it to be. Obviously I slept a great deal especially for the four nights in ICU but was up with the Physiotherapists the day after the operation. Once I’d moved to the less intensive ward on day 5, I was able to shower and walk around on my own. I left hospital Day 9.
    Since leaving hospital, I continued with the feed tube for 2 weeks just to help keep my weight up. I have been able to exercise by walking every day, eating small amounts and often, not had too many episodes of diahorrea. I took paracetamols four times a day and used the morphine usually twice a day (but sometimes not at all). About four weeks ago I felt that the painkillers weren’t doing an awful lot so I stopped taking them. The worst pain for me was from the scar on my back, which radiated through to the side of my right rib cage and under my right boob area. I still have some discomfort but it’s bearable and usually feels better when out walking or being active. I sometimes still take a nap through the day but is getting less and I have generally slept well at night. I did buy a wedge pillow (Dunelm) which I have found useful in supporting my back and also keeping me propped up.

    I hope both you and your Dad find my account of the operation useful. I did feel nervous going into hospital for the operation, and giving my daughter and my husband a huge hug made me cry, but the practicalities take over and before you know it, you’re waking up from the operation and relieved it’s all over.  I have now written a blog about my experience, in the hope that it gives others some comfort and the realisation that you are stronger than you know. Please use all the help you can get; I found all the medical professionals wonderful and caring. Sending you love, Julie 

  • Hi Dean. Good luck for tomorrow. Hope it all goes well and will be thinking about you. Best wishes, Julie 

    1. Hi dean 

    I read this last night & knew I wanted to send you a message as soon as I heard good news about my dad to hopefully give you a little boost. 

    my dad is now in recovery, recovering well & I am sure you will absolutely be the same this time tomorrow. 

    Wishing you the very very best. It will be a long day for your loved ones, I encourage them to use this forum where I would happily talk to them if needed. 

    Thanks for taking the time to ease my worries yesterday - please let us know how you are getting on when you can! 

    you’ve got this!! 

    all my love 

    CB x

  • Ok so op is done was 8hrs in surgery, stomach and tumour. Feel very sore and on double pain relief but managing pain just. Now for at least a week in hospital 

  • Hi CB thank you so much very much appreciated. Op is done and feel very sore indeed but at least the tumour has gone along with my stomach. These surgeons are miracle workers. The outlook looks quite good with a CT scan on Tuesday to see what's next, probably more chemo to hopefully beat it once and for all

    Best wishes.Dean

  • Hi Dean

    I ve been thinking about you a lot recently and hoping that everything has gone well with your operation.

    Please keep up with the posts if your able as I am interested to know what Ive  got coming

    Many thanks and I hope you have a speedy recovery