I am new here by the way and would like to hear from other patients with this problem. In the first posy-t I forgot to mention that I am approaching my 77th. Birthday and this might be relevant for some people.
I suffer from Oesophageal Cancer and was diagnosed in September 2014 by Mr. Diarmuid S O'Riordain in the Beacon Hospital following an OGD.
He referred me to Prof. John Reynolds in St. James Hospital in Dublin. I also got a second opinion from Dr. Justin Stebbing in Harley Street in London who confirmed the first diagnosis.
What is interesting about my case is that my youngest brother died from Adenocarcinoma of the Oesophagus at the age of 44- I have the Squamous variety which appears to be more slow growing. In addition, I have 3 first cousins, all on my Father's side of the family, who have had the same condition- that is 5 in the same family.
I have recently been to see a geneticist, Dr. David Gallagher in the Mater Private in Dublin and he is going to examine bloods to see if there is a genetic factor at work here.
My inital treatment consisted of a 7 week stay in St. James Hospital in Dublin where I undertook Radiation almost every day and Chemotherapy (with Taxol) twice per week.
I had very little or no reaction to either, other than perhaps two or three days of extreme tiredness and had only a minimal Hair loss !
I also had very little sickness during this period and was able to continue to run my business from the Hospital bed with minimal difficulty.
Once the Radio and Chemo had finished I was sent home for 6 weeks and was brought back in on 30/4/2015 with the Operation taking place the following morning.
I was held in Hospital for ca 6 weeks after the Operation and then allowed home once my Bloods were reasonably satisfactory. After a week or ten days at home I developed Pneumonia and this proved quite difficult to clear and had to have both Lungs drained of large amounts of Liquid.
It took several weeks to recover from this as the first lot of Antiobiotics used did not work well !
Once I got home I was forced to have almost monthly OGD's to have the Oesophagus "stretched" but once I had passed the year after the operation I have not had a stretch for about 8 months now and this means I am eating again, almost normally.
I do however suffer from a DUMPING syndrome and also have periods when I experience "Light Headedness", which I cure by eating large amounts of sugary things like Ice Cream or Toffee/Chocolate etc.,
I am shortly going to have a Pump fitted to measure my sugar levels to see if diet can be changed to alleviate this situation.
I get occasional periods when I suffer from Acid Reflux but this is mainly caused when I slip off the 3 Pillows I use at night and I generally cure this by taking some Andrews Liver Salts in water.
I have lost about 15-18 kilos and monitor my weight on a regular basis and seem to have settled down in the range of 74 to 75.5 kilos (naked weight) and I am definitely NOT losing weight now.
In general I have to say that I have never felt as healthy as I do now and I really mean this.
My experience has been a really positive one and I would be more than happy to discuss my case with anyone about to undergo an Oesophagectomy or anyone who feels nervous and worried about the problem.
My advice would be to keep positive, think positively and act positively also.
The photo shown here was taken before I was diagnosed and when I was a bit overweight !!