I've sort of stumbled across you (I run the new BHF community) but wanted to post here to share a bit of my story.
My Dad was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in 2008, in his mid 50s. Luckily it was caught relatively early, as he had Barrett's oesophagus and was having regular check ups (which he hated...)
After a massive operation to remove a large portion of his oesphagus and stomach, and a grulleing year of hardcore chemo, I'm really happy to say he's still with us. His life has changed a huge amount since being diagnosed - he suffers from pretty bad peripheral neuropathy in his hands and feet, he lost about 5 stone in weight (fortunately he was a BIG guy), and he'll never eat the same foods (or the quantities...!) that he used to.
I know when we found out about his cancer that I did the thing you should never do: I Googled it. The stats were terrifying and made me fear the worst. It was difficult to shake that dread once I read more about the typical stats.
So, I guess really I'm posting to say to anyone who's reading and feeling that same dread, that there is hope and every case is different. I hope that people are finding communities like this, because at the time we didn't and we just sort of muddled through as a family without any real support or counselling.
Wishing everyone out there all the very best,