my dad has oesophageal cancer

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i just made this account today. my dad got diagnosed with oesophageal cancer, which we then found out he also has cancer in this liver and his lung. we still haven’t even had the PET scan and i’m scared it’s spread more. it’s been like 2 weeks and it’s getting worse everyday. i just want to know how long i have left with him. i’m not ready for him to go but his strength is so weak. he doesn’t want anyone to know so it’s so hard because i barely have anyone to talk to. everytime i’m alone i just break down because reality hits. i’m 19 and i’m at university, he wants me to do well but it’s so hard. i don’t even know how to deal with anyone of this because talking doesn’t help, no one can get rid of it. they have told us they can’t operate which is not a good sign. he keeps throwing up, not eating and i’m dreading the PET scan because i feel deep down it’s spread more and stage 4. but is it normal to assume the worst? am i making it become worse the more i think it is? 

  • Hi .Sorry to hear about your Dad’s situation .My heart goes out to him , you and your family …Right now you’re in shock and who wouldn’t be ? It’s a lot to take in . You’re right when you say talking won’t take it away ..of course it won’t but talking to someone about your worries and fears will eventually help you to process what is happening now  ..Just by joining this group is your first step to offloading those worries and sharing them with others going through a similar situation to yours ..Most University’s have a Student pastoral support dept too ..If you haven’t already been given a phone number your personal tutor will help to point you in the right direction …You don’t have to deal with this on your own .

    Your Dad will be in the excellent hands of his specialist team ..they will do everything in their expertise to help him . Never give up hope …..We all assume the worst ..It’s perfectly normal .We worry and panic..The reality is no matter how much we worry and panic the situation is going to go the way it’s destined to regardless . Whether  that be in a positive or negative direction no one can predict …It’s a tough card to be dealt with either way but once you overcome the shock  I’m sure you will find the strength to support your Dad through this .

    sending positivity and strength 

    Regards J 

  • Hello Ilmdaisstlhinr.  My elderly father was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer earlier this year.  He is 87 and was offered no treatment, it was thought best.  He did have a stent fitted in the summer to help with swallowing, which it did.  However this last week he is not swallowing well.  Any lumps are being brought back and we are now giving him just soup or nutritional milkshakes.  He doesn't want to talk about it, and I feel we are now heading to his decline.  He is in no pain, but distressed when he is sick.  I know how sad it is to watch, and I sympathise with your young position and being away from home.  It would appear that, now as a family, we just have to help Dad be comfortable whilst he wastes away.  We have been told he will sleep more....and I sincerely hope so.  He has been such a magnificant Dad it is hard to watch his demise.

  • Hello 

    I'm so sorry to read of your dad's sad situation. It's hard on you, being so young and dealing with this on top of your studies. It's undoubtedly alot to cope with. My dad had an OC diagnosis in March, but luckily he was eligible for surgery, so not exactly in the same boat.

    However, I've found this forum can help, talking to people and their families who are going through a similar journey. The Macmillan support line is also a good means of support if you need it and there are trained nurses on the line who will listen and advise too. It's natural to think the worst, but treatment has come a long way in recent times and there may be treatments that could help your dad. Once you have the PET scan results, chat with your dad's doctors to see what can be done. I'm sure they will do everything they can to try and help your dad

    Sending you strength and positivity in this difficult time. Take care x

  • hello, honestly reading these replies has made me feel so much better already. it’s so nice to have someone who can relate much more. thank you for your advice. i did email my tutor but had no response but i will look into it more. i want to have hope but i just fall back into these negative patterns. he was in a toxic relationship with a person who i thought would be good for him. i told him to take her seriously and he made it official with her that night. since the relationship he got so ill bevause he was so stressed. we then obviously later found out it was cancer. i just hate myself for it. but i know it’s normal to look for someone to blame out of anger in these situations but i just can’t help it. but you are right, what will happen will happen. it is the circle of life after all. 

    thank you for your response, for listening and advice. take care, 

    S

  • hello farmer, i’m so sorry to hear you are going through the same thing. i bet it makes you feel at peace he is in no pain, although this does not take away from the mental pain from your father himself and your family. it must be hard that he doesn’t want to talk. i wish you and your family the best, stay strong x

  • hi, im sorry to hear about your struggle also. it has helped so much you are very right. i feel no one can truly understand except you guys. thank you for the positive viewpoint. take care of yourself also. is your dad okay now? 

  • Hi,

    My dad is making a steady recovery thanks but still undergoing chemo. He's starting to experience changes in taste like before, so this will make the eating harder, which is what he's been dreading. He still has a jej feed tube so if he needs to go back to having it every night then that's what we'll do!

    It really is a day by day process. How are you and your dad getting on? Sending much strength and positivity. Take care x

  • that’s great to hear. is it that he doesn’t like the taste of food so doesn’t want to eat? at least you have options! yes i can empathise with that. my dads health is declining everyday it’s still the waiting game to be honest. he really isn’t eating much and feels like he gives up sometimes but it’s only the beginning :/ thank you! you too x

  • hello,

    My dad was diagnosed with oesophegeal cancer stage 4 4 months ago and we were told he had months and it was definitely inoperable. It has been a lot of ups and downs but we have tried to stay positive. He also didn't want us to tell anyone at first which was really difficult esp as I (24) don't live at home and was starting a new job the week after I found out. Not being able to tell anyone can feel really lonely but I have found the Macmillan support line or therapy can be really helpful. Is your dad going through any treatment?

  • hi beth,

    i’m so sorry to hear that. staying positive is hard but you can only to your best. they not wanting people to know and the intial diagnosis is definitely one of the hardest bits. i also have found talking to people like yourself helpful. he is having 2 forms of chemo and also a tablet form which apparently works well with the type of cancer he has. they are doing an update scan in 4 months from when he starts chemo (which is tomorrow), if there is no improvement then he will be left to fight it on his own until his time is up. i’m trying to be positive in hoping it will work but i can’t help but try and prepare myself for the worst. he is throwing up almost everyday now and barely eating. how are your dads symptoms?