Oesophageal Patients Association
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Reassurance needed

My partner has just finished 3x3 rounds of ecx chemo prior to surgery. After the first round he had to have a week's break because of his blood levels. He was fine and continued to eat just about anything. However, after only 4 days of being chemo free, he's started to have slight difficulty swallowing. Surely it doesn't leave your body so quickly. I've suggested he's just anxious about the coming ct scan but he says he isn't. Any suggestions?

8 Replies

Hi Jaydee,

When my Dad went for his CT scan post chemo, pre op, they explained that they weren't too worried about the tumour shrinking, but they wanted to make sure that it was localised and didn't spread before they did the op.

My Dad had a few issues with swallowing post chemo, but I definitely think this was anxiety and added pressure of thinking that the chemo must have worked so surely he must be able to eat.

As long as he is keeping fit and keeping his calories up somehow, the actual swallowing hopefully won't cause a problem for the op.

Towards 5-6 weeks post chemo, my Dad began to be able to eat all sorts again.

Tell him to give it time, I think we expect these things to be instant, and that's not always the case.

Good luck with the scan and the op.

Amy x


Thankyou so much for your reply. I've been following your posts on this and other websites. I know you're further on than we are but my partner feels that he knows your dad (I refer to him as the bloke who ate a wetherspoons breakfast) - and lights switch on in my partner's eyes! Graham, my partner has asked how your dad's doing?


Funny isn't it because I report back to my Dad with similar stories and will say things like that so he remembers who I am talking about!

Thank you for asking, he's doing ok.

He has been for a short walk today, he's still on medication for a chest infection and the district nurses are still coming out to see him daily, but he is managing a little more food and has started to request things like spaghetti hoops, puddings, choc ices, wotsits. Much like how he was before and during chemo.

My Dad definitely went through different stages of eating, and I honestly believe that sometimes, it was whatever he put his mind to.

I would also notice, if he had an appointment pending, such as a scan or oncology meeting, his eating would worsen, definitely due to anxiety.

Say hi to your husband from us!

He can do this, it's not an easy road, but it is worth it!

Amy x


I also found that swallowing became difficult post chemo and the doctors told me not to worry about it. Mine was definitely anxiety. I'm now ten years post op and still doing well.

Ask as many questions as you like on this forum. Someone will always have experience on most subjects. I hope all goes well.



Thankyou so much jay for replying. He's out at the moment, but I'll definitely show him your post. I know reading that you experienced the same and are now 10years post op will give him a boost.


It could be a number of things so he should ask at the clinic. Is his saliva OK?


Thankyou for replying. There hasn't been any change in his saliva and moreover, since I posted on this forum, his swallowing appears to have improved. I'm hoping it's anxiety and his surgery will still go ahead.

1 like

It can indeed sometimes be caused by anxiety. I cannot see that this in itself would delay the surgery.


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