Gullet (oesophagus) cancer

A support group for anyone affected by gullet cancer (also known as oesophageal cancer) to come together, share experiences and ask questions.

Hi Folks

Posted by

I thought I would introduce myself.  I'm Claire and my husband I are living with his parents at the moment. 

My father-in-law was diagnosed late february .  Hes had tests and scans over and over again and to date all we know is that they wont operate as the tumor is to close to his heart & lungs.  They seem to be taking their time deciding when they are doing his laperoscopy and what type of treatment they are going to give. 

Its so frustrating watching him wither away to a shadow of the man he was 6 months ago.  We fear he may get so weak that by the time they decide on a treatment that his body wont be up to it.

My mother-in-law is sick with worry and hasnt been eating properly either.  They wont let us come to any of the appointments with them and we fear they may be missing vital information as they are both a bit deaf.  they are both so stubborn and make us feel like were a prying when we ask.

I dont know how you all do it. Any advice you could offer would be great.  How do we help without coming over as interfering?



Posted by

Hi Claire, welcome to the group, although I am sorry that you have to find yourself here. The wait for a decision in treatment can be very frustrating and worrying, and the number of tests is exhausting. However, they are all vital to ensure that they arrive at the best plan of action for your father-in-law, and the timescale you describe seems par for the course. My husband was diagnosed at end of September, and did not start chemotherapy until early November. It's no harm to keep chasing them however to check on progress. I realise that this is a little difficult as you haven'y been able to attend appointments. Would it help if you explained how worried you and your husband are, and that you would like to be able to speak with the doctors for your own information? It might also be helpful for them to have a list of questions prepared for each appointment, so at least you can feel that a full conversation has taken place. 

If your father-in-law is having difficulty eating, he may need some additional nutritional support. There are drinks, yogurts etc. (Ensure, Fortisip) which the doctor could prescribe, and which help to maintain energy levels also. 

It is a difficult time, and I hope you have some progress soon on treatment. Take care

Posted by

hi claire,oh ive been there for 8months now,waiting and dad gave me permission to call his consultants secretary about appointments etc,and its a good job i did as there mix ups with appointments and so on,maybe you could do that,explain that they are hard of hearing,the waiting is so stressful,think ive aged 10 years so i know how you feel.i hope they ease your father in laws symptoms soon x

Posted by

Thanks Ladies,


We got news last night that he has to go inf or a Laperoscopy this coming Wednesday. We are hoping thereafter they will be able to get him started on the treatment route.

Hes not keeping even the juices/shakes from the dietician down :(