Junction Cancer/Oral Chemo advice xxx

Hi <3

I hope it's ok posting here as a relative?

Mother in law has recently been diagnosed with a Junction cancer x

We were told T3, N2, M0 which I am seeing as positive because it hasn't spread to other organs xxx She started her oral Chemo on Friday & is doing ok xxx

i'm looking for positive, practical ways to support her through the chemo from other peoples experiences xxx Gastrectomy is apparently happening in February xx

Can anyone share their chemo/junction cancer experiences? I've bought her some fancy water bottles & cashmere hats <3 and spending as much time as possible making tea :P xxxx

6 Replies

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  • Mine was in the centre so oesophagectomy for me. I was able to wear long wolly hats as mine was also in winter. I had one week in four of chemo and had a good week before the next chemo in which I ate a lot and got ready for the next one.

  • Hi i had the same this time last year. Try make her eat well before op if possible as weight loss is a big thing after op.managed to in the first rounds of chemo. Go for walks even if tired as it helps with feeling sick. I had ginger Gin Gins from Holland and Barret that help with sickness. Hair starts to fall out towards end of first round to 2nd round. Some hospitals offer wig service she may be entitled to a free one. I had my head shaved , your head gets cold and feels like needles sticking in. Hats/scarves or wig a must. I had quite a few of side affects. Feet blistered and peeled moisturizer well. Hands blister use hand cream. The sickness is like being pregnant and you go off alot of things like a good old cup of tea and food. You get a metallic taste in mouth!! Break down the treatments into bite size bits. Concentrate on the chemo first, then the op then possible clear up chemo after. Remain positive. Make sure you do every thing they tell you after op. It is a journey i am out the other side now and recoverering well. There is support meetings with the OPA as well as this site. Never worry about contacting your CSN nurse if you have an symptoms you are worried about, I came out in a rash and had to stop chemo after 2 weeks of each cycle. Good Luck

  • Reactions to chemotherapy seems to be such an individual thing, according to how each person tolerates it. You are right to think positively about the lack of spread. If she ends up missing out one or two chemo cycles towards the end it may well not be significant, subject to the research that the oncologists team might explain.

    Trying to build oneself up (Get fit; get fat) before the surgery is what some people advocate, but do not push this beyond what seems reasonable.

    You might try encouraging her to get used to eating food that does not have too much sugar content, as this might be something that she would need to adapt to afterwards, but having said that, things that you enjoy in life are to be savoured whilst she can.

    It is a time when there is a lot of mental processes going on in order to come to terms with the diagnosis, so talking honestly together is one of the most valuable things that can happen, according to how she feels about this.

  • Alan's advice is spot on, as usual. But I'd just like to add that it helped us to have things to look forward to during the better weeks off chemo - have friends round, go to the cinema, anything you think your mum would enjoy.

    One more thing: plastic not metal cutlery.

    Good luck and best wishes.

  • I'd like to re-emphasize what Alan had to say about the individual nature of the reaction to chemo. I had eight weeks of chemo and then two weeks off followed by six weeks of chemo (the same two drugs) and radiation at the same time. Never lost any hair or experienced inflammation in hands or feet and in fact felt pretty darn good the whole time except the last week of chemoradiation. My taste and hunger was and is still somewhat lacking now a year after Ivor-Lewis surgery but eat everything except sweets that have no fat with few problems. The eating part is also individual and has to be experimented with. Lifting light weights is a good variant to walking to stay fit for the surgery.

  • Ask about use of 'Cold Cap' during chemo. This is a latex cap frozen to -40c that helps stop the chemo attacking hair follicles. Not pleasant to wear, but helped me keep my hair, although it did thin. Only needed during particular infusions. Apparently not all hospitals offer it though. Good Luck

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