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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.

Surgery 17th January

Luv Chox
Posted by

Hi Deb

That's wonderful news! Wishing you a speedy and hurdle free recovery X

The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention
Posted by

That's great news Deb, you will be relieved to get out of hospital and back home. Did you get advice about sleeping like not to lay flat or on your left side? I still sleep propped up with a wedge pillow and some pillows to avoid any acid reflux. Also the diet can be trial and error, I found the information sheets they gave me weren't that helpful. There's a few of us here can help you with advice gained from experience about eating. I hope you have some people to help you when you get home and enjoy the naps in the afternoon. Don't overdo it and take care, good luck and kind regards Frank.

Posted by

Hi Frank

No one gave me any advice re sleeping. I couldn't lay flat at the moment if I tried, in fact I'm still sleeping sitting up (on the sofa) as it's just too uncomfortable any other way. 

Why no sleeping on left side? This would mean I have to sleep on my surgery side and I can't see that happening in a long time. I'm experiencing quite a lot of pain/discomfort in my right shoulder where they operated so to sleep on this side for me is going to be a big no no for a long time I would imagine.


Deb x

Posted by

Hi Deb, I'm sorry to hear that you have pain on your right side. I was quite fortune and only took dihydrocodeine for a few weeks after being discharged from hospital. My consultant surgeon explained that as  he removed the top of my stomach at the junction with the oesophagus, there was no valve to prevent acid flow. So if I lay flat the stomach acid would just flow up the gullet,and as my new smaller stomach was behind my right lung if I lay on my left side the acid would just flow up fairly quickly. I have experienced laying too flat and also laying on my left side, big mistake on both  occasions. It was a terrible burning sensation and also can get in your airway, I felt like I was trying to breath through a wet cloth. I had a drink of cold milk which helped to cool and soothe my throat. I slept propped upright with pillows for months but sometimes slipped down too flat and got the acid reflux. So I bought a wedge pillow and use that with some pillows to avoid slipping down. It was a long time before I braved trying to lay on my right side but I was tired of being on my back for so long. You can buy wedge pillows on the internet and if you look on the OPA Website you can get information on buying a wedge pillow from Putnam's with a discount. On the diet side sugary foods and drinks, easy to digest carbohydrates caused me quite a bit of food dumping issues. Anyway good luck with your recovery it does take time and don't be too hard on yourself. Kind regards Frank.