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Oesophageal Patients Association
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Sickness

Hi all as you all know my mum had the Ivor Lewis operation back in May few complications ... She lost a lot of weight which I know is normal after this operation .... It seems like she does really well with eating and gains weight then about 3 weeks after doing well she has about 5 days of being sick and feeling really unwell ... It has hit her hard this time and I think she is going through depression where she thinks she is getting better then all of a sudden she feels terrible again has anyone had this before on here ....

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She needs to see a doctor, there must be a logical reason for this, shame it is holding her back. Good luck.

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The nurse seems to think is can happen as she has been through so much trauma ...

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Hi is she on chemo again? If so it is harder than before op and if it follows a pattern it is fine. I wrote down each day and checked each cycle.

Best wishes

Debbie

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Hi Debbie ... No the chemo done nothing for mum before the operation so she just had the op .... She goes through stages of feeling great then she has a week of feeling sick and can't eat nothing and no appetite... Spoke to the nurse and she said this can happen as her body has been through so much ....

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Hi, my husband is 8 weeks post Ivor Lewis and he had similar sickness after eating well but was told he was eating too much even though they were tiny portions. He was advised to eat even less but more often, like every 2 hours. This has helped him. It is worth checking with your own specialist nurse or medical team though. Really hope your mum starts to feel better soon. It is awful seeing them so poorly. Best of luck. Emily

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Hello Calboy, I agree with the other replies recommending seeing a doctor about the sickness but you also mention you think she may be depressed. I certainly suffered a bout of depression at about the same teime after the operation as your mother is after the Op. I run a oesophageal cancer support group and depression around 3 to six months after the op is not uncommon. It's not surprising because we have all just been through such an extremely difficult time both physically and mentally. ( some people say we're experiencing something akin to PTSD). One of the best courses of action is to try counselling. Many cancer support charities provide this . I went to a Macmillan counsellor who gave me six sessions ( free) and it really helped. Our support group sessions, while concentrating on advice about diet etc...also have evolved into a sort of group therapy and it's always heartening when we have a new member that opens up about their feelings and after the session you can see the feeling of relief at unburdening themselves of the feelings, fears and anger that have repressed ( probably for the noblest of reasons) during their ordeal.

Good luck to her and to you with your difficult task of supporting her.

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Thank you for ur reply she is having counselling next week hopefully ... The nurse did say it's not uncommon for this to happen ... I think the main thing that is getting her down is that she feels so well for like 3 weeks then all of a sudden feels so unwell for like a week

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Check with the CNS but it is not uncommon, often it is because you are eating too much, I am now 8 years post op and have found that it takes a long time for your digestive system to recover, basically the vagas nerve has been cut so it is relearning to work, small tiny portions all day is best. I found that even tho sometimes my system coped with pasta another day it would find the carbs too much and I would get dumping, if I ate one mouthfull too much I would feel very sick and often throw up, the whole process seems like a one step forward two steps back but it is progress and if you look at little children starting to eat they do the same get overconfident and throw up, or as I found I forgot to chew properly and then my gut would complain.

Depression is not uncommon and I certainly suffered from it, one thing I found helped was Imade a diary of what I could do and what I ate, even though I felt I was not improving when I looked back at it after two weeks, I was making steady progress, just not back to where I thought I should be 6 months on (fully recovered obviously!) I also saw a counseller from Macmillan and he helped me realise that It was ok to be depressed, I went to meet up with other patients and found that actually i was doing very well.

its a big change, takes a lot of adjustment both mentally and physically, takes a bit of getting used to, good luck and a big hug to you both Cheers Lizzy

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Awww thank you for your reply .... I will let my mum know all of this information ... Thanks again

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Hi PeanutPickle's comments sound very true, in the desire to put on weight it is possible to eat too much at any one time, don't forget the stomach is much smaller. I have fallen into this trap, enjoying a meal and having two forkfuls too much, suffering later with indigestion and sometimes sickness.

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Yea we was told about the dumping problems ... But my mum has never been a big eater and doesn't really eat big meals so don't think that's the issue ... I think it's mainly still from the operation as it was only 4 months ago

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We have to remember that it is a big operation and takes a lot of adjusting to. I have been very lucky and have had few major problems but if you forget the routines you still pay the penalties. I find the worst times are when socialising over meals when you get caught up in the conversation, swallow too much and end up in the loo choking, being sick and feeling like a chump. My poor wife is used to me now and says across the table - take your time, chew your food. Mind you every day is a bonus. Off to a grandparents lunch tomorrow at their school when we sit on (tiny) chairs and join them in school lunch, first one since the op, I'm sure Catie will explain to all her friends what is wrong with grandad. They will be expecting something dramatic, I'm hoping for something totally normal.

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Awww I'm really happy ur on the mend u seem to be doing really well

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She quite likely is depressed, properly, not just sad. It happened to me. It wasnt easy to get help for this but, once mental health services got involve , i felt huge relief. They have been good and nearly a year later are still iin touch. Ask for your Mum to have an assessment and make sure neither of you under state the problems. Keep pushing for it if needs be. It reached crisis point for me before I got help. Try not to let that happen. Still praying for you both x

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Thank u X

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