Esophageal Cancer + secondary lung tumour

Hi everyone

I am new to this forum so forgive me.

Out of the blue my husband was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in December 2022.  

In February 2023, he began radiotherapy and chemotherapy to reduce the size of the tumor prior to surgery.

He went through an esophagectomy at the end of April 2023.  No-one could have prepared us for the hell that followed after the surgery.  My 16.7 stone husband shrank away to 12.7 stone in a matter of weeks.  He was absolutely unable to eat any kind of solid food or even to drink sips of anything.

He spent all day, every day in bed for months feeling wretched, weak, tired, and desperate for a flicker of light at the end of what was a very long tunnel.

The recovery from such major surgery was challenging to put it mildly.  But after 2 endo-stretches, at least he was able to eat some food, even if in small amounts.

We had hoped that would be the end of the word cancer but no ... in December 2023, he was told "over the telephone" that he had an inoperable tumor in his lung.  

Devastated does not seem to cover all the emotions we felt and are still feeling.

He is now on a 6-cycle chemo regime.  It is grim for him.  He has overwhelming fatigue and weakness.  He still spends most of his time in bed.  I realise some of this is because he is depressed living with the cancer diagnosis.  Being told he cannot be cured, only treated to hopefully provide a better quality of life and a longer life.

But as things are, this is not a better quality of life.  It is no life at all.  For either of us.  I work from home so that I can be with him all the time.  And of course, to avoid mixing with people to avoid germs and infections.

We see no-one from one week to the next (save for hospital visits).  We just have each other.  I feel useless and unable to help him.  I just watch him day by day find it harder to cope.  And he is still losing weight which is very troubling.

I completely understand everyone is different and reacts and responds differently to treatments and medications.  

But all we both want is just a little bit of normality to be able to feel that we are "living".

My heart goes out to all cancer sufferers.  It is only when you either experience it or witness it firsthand and live it every day, that you can take on board the enormity.

 Love and hugs to all.


  • Hi Jane.

    Am new to this community as well but my heart just goes out to you and your husband and all those living with cancer.. it truly is a horrific disease and I sometimes feel the cure is worse than the disease.

    I have just found out my close friend has stage 4 cancer and will only have palliative or end of life care which at 55 is just so shocking and unfair.. I do hope your husband and you can see a light at the end of this dark tunnel.. and get support from wherever you can!

    Take care


  • Thank you.  My husband can only be offered palliative treatment i.e. no cure and no surgery.  Currently he has no life (and nor do I) and if I read about his particular diagnosis, there is no light and no long-term future.  Its gut wrenching.  As I am sure everyone feels.  My husband has just had his 69th birthday.  Neither of us have even retired yet.  Although of course, John is currently on sick leave and I am working from home so that I can be here for him.  It is frightening being a witness to such suffering.  As you will understand from seeing your close friend go through similar.  It is also a very lonely situation.

  • i feel you hubby was diagnosed nov  2022 so around the same has spread to his lung but the chemo completely got rid of that and it hasnt come back..touch wood....his original tumour shrank to less than half the size with the chemo and herceptin [targeted therapy] and has remained the same since....he started not being able to swallow again when his chemo stopped after 6 months in he was given some radiation and that helped a small amount...however he started not being able to swallow again this year and in march had a stent fitted.....omg this has been an absoloute nightmare and still is.....constant acid reflux and feeling sick ...although he can now eat properly he ccant a lot of the time due to the nausea feeling sick and acid reflux....he has lost a stone and a half in 9 weeks and didnt weigh much anyways....he now tends to sleep when it hurts and i find this carry on very stressful but have to keep 'up' for him...i find it an all day every day stress trying to get him to eat....he is on and has been on nearly every anti acid treatment invented and we have appt again tuesday with his consultant ...god knows what im going to say this time......i send you love and hope for better times in the future...i have to stay positive or i would go down too....jayne xx

  • Offline in reply to jayall

    Hi all. I’m sorry to hear your stories and send my regards.
    My dad was told yesterday that he has Esophageal Cancer. I was with him when the consultant told him the news after seeing a cancerous tumor after his endoscopy. He had his CT scan today to see how far gone he is. Now we have to wait.  I’m aware that once the symptoms show it’s usually too late. He also has a hiatus hernia which could have hidden his cancer symptoms for some time. 

    He’s only 68, non smoker and rarely drinks. Always trained and been very fit. It’s unfair to say the least and I’m absolutely devastated. He’s my hero. 

  • I do understand what you and your husband are going through. I've posted on other chats about oesophagus cancer with my Dad's situation. Again I'm not exactly sure what palliative care looks like apart from a prescription for pain killer and a visit from a Community hospice nurse once a month.  When you have a dad who wasn't keen on accessing any other support when it was mentioned it feels like you may just as well be on another planet. I appreciate the community nurses have lots of patients to monitor. I don't know what to expect going forward over the next few weeks with his illness.