Oesophageal Patients Association
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post op ECX chemo

Hi I started my post op ECX chemo 1 week ago and found it was a lot worse than pre op. I experienced vomiting 24/7 for the first 5 days and my taste buds have gone. I have no appetite and cannot even graze now. I am constantly even more tired than before and feel poorly a lot but i don't have a temperature. I have considered stopping the chemo this time but my family keep asking me to carry on. I do want to finish the treatment but i hate the vomiting and then i think it's a small price to pay to have my life, does anyone know if there is a solution to stopping the vomiting?

regards Marg

6 Replies

Ther are several of us who stopped the post op chemo myself included.initially my surgeon advised against it but I decided to have it but made me so poorly,more so than the chemo before up.Its used for a belt and braces idea but the statistics show that it only helps 2 to 4% of patients.I had to stop it cos thought It would kill me so phoned hospital and they said they expected a call!.I am now 16 months post op and doing well.Only you can decide.Solution to vomiting is anti sickness stuff from GPs.it will be difficult to eat for some time which is due to the op too.



Hello Margie. Hang on in there girl - you will get through it and enjoy life again! I'm three years post op - and had the same experiences as you with ECX. Post op the Chemo was a nightmare!. Tried the usual prescribed anti-sickess tablets - but they just bounced straight back up! Eventually a locum GP prescribed ' Zofran Ondansetron' - in 'melt' form. You put the tablet on your tongue and it disssolves there - so nothing to throw up! This help enormously. Do keep on with the Chemo - you've had one session, just two more to go!!! .


It is often the case that people do feel like giving it up. It is almost as if the treatment is geared to drag you down to your lowest so that it zaps the cancer-ish cells at your expense.

Your own doctors will tell you the best perspective on prognosis, and there may be some medication that helps. Meanwhile try and keep as positive as you can, because your morale and stamina do make a difference.

The medication probably will zap your taste buds, but they usually recover.

Ultimately though, it is your decision!



I'm 12 months post op and had ecx pre and post.I am pleased to say that despite the trials and tribulations my life is now quite normal.

Pre was a lot easier than post which was quite debilitating. I ,too have read the stats that say its proven advantages are limited but my philosophy was that as long as it was just bearable then the few weeks that I would suffer would be compensated by the rewards. So see that beautiful bright light at the end of the tunnel, batten down the hatches for the storm and gear yourself up for the last part of the voyage . Be practical expect your life to be awful for the next so many weeks, calculate that every extra day that you can bear might increase your survivability, no matter how small it might be and feel good that you have done your best for your family and they love you and respect your courage and application.

Take whatever measures you need to get by and get you through these weeks . If it means drinking only 1 cup of soup a day then so be it, if it means all you can eat is chocolate....then enjoy. Indulge yourself in whatever you wish and remember you've come so far you can probably now finish the journey. You might lose a lot of weight, you are in a temporary phase and life will be very abnormal for a short period.

Best wishes



Hi Marg,

I too had the same problem. Ended up only using 1 of the three chemo drugs and also got a 24/7 sub cutaneous pump which contained the anti sickness drugs. This is then delivered under your skin. A nurse came every day to set the pump up, and since it was small and battery powered I could walk around. Nosinand drug via pump really helped. Speak to your nurse specialist.


Hi Marg

I was too ill after the op and gave up on the chemo which was the right decision for me, I will be 5 years post op in April. From my research I could find no evidence that post op chemo makes any difference to outcome. It is a decision only you can make and your choice will depend how you are coping.

Take care,



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