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Hi, my 82 year old active mum was diagnosed with squamous cell Oesophagus cancer on 4th January. She experienced trouble swallowing a few weeks before which prompted her to visit her GP and was referred for an endoscopy. Everything has been a whirlwind since then with CT scan, PET scan and meeting with the Oncologist.

The tumour is high up and 7cm. Stage is T3/N1/M0. Surgery isn’t an option due to her age and the position of the tumour. She has been offered radiotherapy and chemotherapy (Paclitaxel and Carboplatin), but she is really reluctant to take it due to the side effects.

I can’t  bear the thought of losing my mum as we are really close. The news has rocked our small, close knit family to the core.

How can I encourage her to really consider the treatment being offered without upsetting her and causing distress?

Thank you for any advice you are able to give.

  • Treatment is tough - but that is much better that the consequences - preserving one's life is so much more important. Encourage her to be strong and to opt for treatment of any kind. I know the side effects can be horrendous - but my mum gave up on treatment during COVID and she is no longer here.  She couldn't fight it anymore and I didn't get to say goodbye. Boris put paid to that. Tell your mum to have the treatment and be strong for her.

  • Hello there. I was diagnosed with Squamous Cell Oesophageal Cancer in May last year. 
    I was given Cisplatin (infusion) x 4 times in total (every three weeks), plus Capecitabane tablets twice daily for 11 weeks. I started Radiotherapy at week six for five weeks (25 sessions in total). 
    I found that I had few symptoms other than tiredness and lethargy and hope your Mum can take comfort from this. I appreciate that my treatment used different drugs to your Mum but I was also warned of many side effects, which thankfully didn’t occur. 
    if it helps, I have written a blog of my story, which can be found by clicking on my Username.

    i hope that you can find reassurance from this site and that you can provide your Mum with some hope that it may not be as bad as she imagines. It’s important not to get too bogged down and to try and deal with each stage as it occurs. I found researching this site and reading the many different stories helped me to keep positive. 

  • Sorry to hear about your mum

    it’s hard to consider treatment when they have so much going though there head. 
    This time round my step dad has refused treatment due to the chemo 7 years ago really made him poorly. 
    Plus he is 82 now so 7 years difference makes a hell of a difference. 
    Hard for us as a family but we have to support his decisions and I don’t think he would have coped going to Birmingham every day for 15 sessions. 

    If you ever need to chat just drop a message 

    Rachel x