Hi, I went through radiochemotherapy last year for Stage1b squamous cell oesophageal cancer (no spread). I've been one of the lucky ones in that I'm currently in full remission.
Then the after-effects of the treatment began to surface:
Radiation scarring within the oesophageal causing stricture initially measured at 8mm (no wonder I kept choking on food!) - successfully treated after months of endoscopy treatments with dilatation, about 11 times in all) so I now have 16mm aperture and can swallow normally, thank goodness.
Hearing loss - I now wear hearing aids.
Osteoporosis - diagnosed recently after I sustained a fracture.
Short term memory loss and poor focus and concentration.
On top of all that, my last PET scan revealed calcification of the coronial arteries and mild lung effusion. I've been suffering from increasing fatigue and breathlessness and I suspect there may be cardiac damage from the treatment.
i don't get much support from my GP and have to push all the time to be heard and responded to. I'm looking around for a new GP but it's so hard when you're tired and can't focus!
My radiation oncologist is the only doctor I trust. I'm speaking to him soon and hope he will be able to refer me to the cardiology clinic at the hospital where I had my treatment. My GP did refer me but the Central Referral System refused the request. I don't have private hospital cover.
I am 68 and am rather sick of being informed that what I'm going through is just part of the ageing process.
Thanks for reading this. I just felt the need to unload!
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