Radiation recover

hello, I am new to this. My husband was diagnosed in June with UT3 N1 M1 esophageal cancer. He is 63 and had no symptoms; it was a chest xray showing enlarged lymph nodes that was the first clue that something was wrong. At this time, he's not a surgical candidate because of the lymph node involvement.
He had three treatments of chemo July-August and then just finished 6 wks of 5FU via 24/7 pump plus 6 wks of 5 days/week of radiation. The 5FU side effects, if any, were nothing compared to the radiation. He finished last Friday and besides constant nausea, weakness, extreme painful inflammation on his chest, his gagging and inability to swallow are even worse now. He just came from the doctor today with a new prescription to numb his esophagus more (had just been using the magic mouthwash but it's not doing it) so he can try to get some liquids in him without them coming back. Can anyone who has gone through this give me any idea of an average period of time before radiation side effects get better? thank you for any info. I feel so helpless and he's so weak. Laura


  • jim2011
    jim2011 Member Posts: 115
    swallowing problems
    Hi Laura,
    Sorry your husband has been having those problems. I also had some like you are describing that eventually put me in the hospital for 14 days. That radiation has a culmulative effect and burns the esophagus. I took about 20-25 days for me to be able to slowly swallow even water or ensure after the treatments ended. A straw helped. Gatorade. I noticed that you didn't mention that a JG Tube (feeding tube)was installed. I used to shoot water in the tube. I also went into the ocology office for fluids. That is a must do for you guys if he is not getting and keeping fluids down. I wish you the best.