Starting treatment

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I've decided not to go for surgery. I'm 75+ and would have to have chemo and radiotherapy first, then 8 weeks break, then major surgery which would take probably the best part of a year to get over, so feel I would rather make the most of each day and what I can do for as long as possible.  I'm staring chemo in a couple of days - 2 fairly hefty cycles, then a break followed by 5 weeks of chem/radiotherapy with all fingers crossed.  Am very nervous about possible side effects.  Has anyone else been through similar?

  • I’m so sorry for you and yes it is a hard decision, I just wanted to say my husband had stomach cancer he had his stomach out in Jan, The hospital he’s under and the surgeon said they don’t give chemo to over 75s,( for that operation), I know of 2 people who’s 75+ who’s had Osophagus  operation and no chemo at the same hospital ,I am worried about what will happen but it is what it is and nothing we could do about it. His doing very well at the moment. He’s 80 by the way.  Take Care and good Sue x

    Sue Xx
  • I am 75 also and should have been diagnosed in december but they lost the biopsy report - or couldn't find it until exactly 3 months after samples was submitted.  Fortunately I had another endoscopy in February and cancer was identified immediately. Surgery is out for me because of other conditions so had my first round of Chemo on Friday (2 days ago) next chemo scheduled for 21st April. 

    My side effects are varied at this stage but the one thing I am experiencing is a lot of stress it does not take much to tip me over the edge.  Yesterday I wanted to know if I could have another Covid booster as I had been contacted by my GP practice and I ended up talking to a male nurse in Shropshire and had to give my full medical history, drugs etc it took nearly 15 mins for him to tell me that I had to have it exactly 72 hours before my next Chemo. I had been having a good day up to that point. Note - only contact helpline between 8:30 and 4:30 weekdays.   I also have a bit of a sore throat since yesterday evening but no temperature. 

    I have  been told I cant have Radiotherapy until I put on a fair amount of weight - at the moment I am 7st and they want me to target 8st and will be assessed after my second round of chemo is completed.  Trying to meet that weight target is also proving stressful - weight gain smoothies and protein powder and nuts. My normal weight would only be about 8st but had not been eating well for months. 

    I have had breast cancer and a full left mastectomy in 2013 no chemo needed but had Rad for 6 weeks.  Key with Rad is to take moisture cream with you and apply it immediately after treatment before you get dressed and then often during the day every day and night.  I didn't have any problems.

    PS My husband of 50+ years died suddenly in March last year and I had to clear a large house and move to a bungalow near my son (who is a paramedic). So how much all of that trauma compounded with the cancer diagnosis is increasing my stress levels, I just don't know but I was coping ok but pretty nervous about chemo effects if this is how I feel just days after my first dose.   Just wanted to give you the whole picture.   Let us know how you get on.  

  • Hi Lizzie, it’s all our choice what we want, I refused further treatment with my first cancer after the operation and that decision proved right as I would not be here today if I had due to my second cancer being OC and requiring just Chemo and RT to cure it, and it did thanks, you will find it hard going but you may be pleasantly surprised that it works, some Oncologists and Consultants I have began to think in this Cancer are very keen to operate, mine was determined that she could cure it with Chemo and RT only, I did put my foot down at the beginning that I did not want any operation and she confirmed she wouldn’t. The treatment plan you will be on is exactly the same as I was on, I was fine al the way through until the last 3 RT and to be honest I then just went flat on my back for 2 weeks and didn’t move off the settee but 4 weeks later I was back at work

    Hope it all comes together for you and you beat the C

    Take care


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  • Thank you.  All best to you and your husband.

  • What a horrendous time you've had! Wishing you well with your treatment too. It's a very emotional time anyway,  even without chemo,  so hope you've got support around you. This community is brilliant. 

  • Thank you Tony. I agree with you about the possibility of professionals wanting to 'prove' the surgery. Hopefully, things will work for me too without it. Best wishes.