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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.

Eating and drinking

Sim10
Posted by

Hi guys my husband has just finished week 4 of radiotherapy for his tumor in the oesophagus. He's now really struggling to eat due to the irration caused by the chemotherapy. Is anyone willing to share their experiences and what they found easy to eat and drink without causing to much pain.

Thanks

Mickd31
Posted by

Hi SIM 

I didn't have radiotherapy just chemo and although I had no pain eating my appetite was non existent. I found cottage pie with plenty of Oxo gravy really easy to swallow and keep down. Anything that was soaked in gravy. Trifle pots were good as well anything that is not that good for you but soft to eat. I think most of the supermarkets do small pots of cheesecake in different flavours. Complan made with milk is good as well. It's not an easy time going through chemo about a week after the course has finished I started to feel a lot better and was eating normally again, my tuma had shrunk so it was a case of building myself up for the operation.           I hope this has helped if only a little bit but be sure that it does settle down it just feels like it's taking forever. I'm sure there are others who had radiotherapy on the site who have had the same experience. 

Good luck for the onward journey.    Mick

Sim10
Posted by

Hi Mick thanks for the reply yoghurt and trifle is about all he's eating at the minute. I made shepherds pie last night and he barely touched it. Even soup seems to cause pain at the minute and with another week of radiotherapy still to go I can see more problems in the future. He has already been in on Thursday for radiotherapy and they kept him there until 7 pm to give him 2 bags of iv fluids for dehydration and cancelled his chemo on Friday. As far as I know there is no plans to give him chemo at a later date he was to continue with his chemo tablets until the end of next week. We haven't had much information as to what happens next other than his nurse saying that they will see him again 4 to 6 weeks after treatment ends to give him another scan and endoscopy with another biopsy. So all a waiting game at the minute.

Simone

Mickd31
Posted by

Hi Simone 

I would think your husband will follow a similar route to me although everyone is different. After my chemo there was about a six week wait for the operation. I did have another scan to see how what effect chemo had on the tumour. Mine started at t3 and went to t2. It seemed that every step took an age waiting for results and appointments with the consultant. I was lucky that I could still work between chemo and up to the operation, I think that kept me sane. I went in on December 5, all I could do was lay back and put all my faith in the surgical team. They are the ones that know what they are doing. I said from the start what ever they said I was to do i would do it. I woke up in ITU and from then on it was a case of letting the brilliant staff do what they had to do and try the best I could to do as I was told. Not an easy time but I did seem to feel I was past the worst and had to keep pushing myself as much as they would let me. Once home for a start it was baby steps to get back to some sort of normality. I'm now eating normally and ready to go back to work when I'm allowed. My wife has had just as much of a hard time putting up with me being impatient, I was  hoping to have the operation and be normal again in a few weeks. Apparently it doesn't work like that. Your husband will have his own way of coping but for me it was a case of one day at a time. I said in my bio that from being diagnosed in July last year to now seems to have gone so fast and it has. There were times when I've struggled to do anything but the thing is it soon passes. Please be positive about what is happening, I'm sure any soreness is only temporary, you can always talk to your Macmillan team for advice. Since finding this site my mind has been eased knowing I'm not the only one going through this. I'm not sure how much help I can be but if my experience is in any way helping please don't be afraid to ask anything.                          Mick.

Sim10
Posted by

Hi Mick

From what they have previously said I'm not sure that surgery is top of the agenda. They graded the tumor as T3 with no spread to lymph nodes or other organs. So that in itself is good. My husband is much older than me and at 78 although very fit all his life does have some underlying health conditions which I think made them very reluctant to try surgery. They have said that they will do a scan and scope with biopsy in around 6 weeks to see where we stand although I'm afraid if he continues to loose weight they will say he's to weak for surgery and that might limit options for us. They did mention that there was a possibility of a feeding tube if he was unable to eat and drink enough but that's the last thing he wants. We just need to hope for the best and see what the future brings

Simone

Mickd31
Posted by

Hi Simone 

It's good news it's not gone anywhere further, radiotherapy wasn't an option for me just chemo, hopefully if your husband is having both it could shrink the tumour down. When I first got diagnosed I started to look things up and was amazed what could be done and the medicine's that are available to treat cancer. My father is 87 and just diagnosed with prostate cancer, all he needs is an injection once every 6 months and tablets. The more I read other people's stories the easier it makes me feel. Hopefully it won't take to long to sort out treatments for your husband. 

Stay positive.  Mick

JFD
Posted by

I am in a similar position to your husband, having had my last `radiation fraction' of a chemoradiation course todat.

Over the last week or so the pain in my chest has been more than I want to bear; it is particularly troublesome when I lay horizontal but eases off when I sit upright.

I asked for help and was initially provided with soluble Paracetamol which helped but only took the edge off the pain. Following another plea I have been provided with a supply of Co-Codamol which combine Paracetamol with Codeine Phosphate Hemihydrate.

These tablets are effective for a couple of hours, during which time I try to eat something. Unfortunately one is only supposed to take them at six hour intervals, and then only `as required' as they can be addictive.

Worth enquiring after!

I hope that your husband's treatment is successful. It is not easy but if it was one might fear that the treatment had missed the mark.

Best wishes,

John

Jackie007
Posted by

Hi it sounds very familiar to me the pain after radio therapy was quite bad I couldn’t even down porridge down just ice cream and trifle but I did have oramorph to take 10 minutes before trying to eat and it did help with the pain