In December I started chemo-radiotherapy for squamous OC.  I had already lost the ability to swallow and keep anything down the month previously.  My oncologist said my swallow could come back after the first chemo.- it didn't. I am now 7 weeks post treatment and I still have no swallow.  Will it come back?  Anyone else had this jssue?  Now I'm this far does it mean it's unlikely?  I'm trying to keep positive and hope my throat will open up again, but I am losing hope.  I really don't think I can spend my life with a RIG.  I am T3/N0/M0.  Thanks

  • What's a RIG please? Sorry for my ignorance.

  • Similar to a PeG.  Feeding tube that goes into my stomach through my stomach wall.

  • I would love to know a positive answer to this too.  I am having the same treatment, and swallowing/eating is becoming more difficult. I'd love to know I might be able to eat proper food again one day.  It seems trivial compared to some of the experiences so many people on the OC forum are going through, but it's really getting me down. My thoughts are with you.

  • Hi Lizzie, of course you will be able to eat normally after.

    The problem I assume is that the tumor has increased in size and has restricted your Oesophagus making it difficult for food to pass by. 

    I think they overcome this with a feeding tube for a short while until the chemo has worked to shrink the size. Then you can go back to food I think until your operation. Once recovered from this, providing no problems, you gradually go back to normal food. If you have to have some of you stomach removed, I assume it will affect how much you eat before feeling full and will probably mean eating little and often.

    I sound like I know what I'm talking about but haven't gone through it yet. I'm just using what others have said in their posts. Be guided by the medics and you'll be fine.

    Best regards Geo.

  • Hi Lizzie ..It isn’t trivial at all ...eating and drinking is a function we all take for granted and when it’s taken away it’s devastating ..During the early days of my husband’s  illness and diagnostics he couldn’t eat or drink orally for six months ..he couldn’t even swallow his own saliva and it impacted his mental health …All his nutrients and fluids were put through his JEJ tube fitted into his duodenum during that time ..He went through a totally different treatment route to you and the chemotherapy did improve his situation before he had surgery ..He actually cried the first time he realised he could eat soup ..However he didn’t have radiotherapy but from what I’ve learned from a friend who has for a totally different type of cancer ..radiotherapy can affect the digestive system and my friend had difficulty swallowing for a few months afterwards ..I must emphasise though I’m not medically minded and certainly not  a specialist in these matters.. it’s only what my friend experienced . I would suggest having a chat with your specialist nurse or consultant to see if they can shed any light on the problem you’re experiencing…I really hope matters improve for you and Mellabs very soon …regards J 

  • I'm due to have a stent fitted on 31st May as my throat hasn't reopened.  I am not having surgery.  Whilst the tumour has shrunk it is so far up my oesophagus the only option I have is for a stent   I really hope it works. Just swallowing my saliva will be a positive let alone a cup of tea!