GMA Covers Esophageal Cancer
"Good Morning, America" today had a very informative segment on what they called America's "fastest-growing" form of cancer, that of the esophagus -- they type with which I've become very familiar over the last five months. If you're in your 40s or above, you should read the article to become aware of the symptoms of this type of cancer.
[Note to my regular readers: This post is mostly for those who come looking for information on this cancer and its treatment from search engines -- there won't be any submarine stuff here.]
It's been five weeks now since I had the life-saving surgery to remove the tumor from my G-E Junction, called an esophagogastrectomy. I was able to return to work (although at a reduced energy level) 20 days after surgery, which was a week after I got out of the hospital -- my stay there was a little longer than it needed to be because I developed pneumonia. I'm still getting most of my calories from tube-feeding, even though I moved from the "pureed" diet to the "post-surgical soft" diet about a week ago. There are two main reasons for this: 1) My stomach seems to have problems re-learning how to digest, so I'm vomiting a lot, and 2) everything just doesn't taste very good. My doctor said to expect the problem with food tasting different, and that it should get better over time. Also, the surgery results in the patient having lifelong acid reflux, so I find that I can only sleep on my back now; any other sleeping position results in really bad reflux attacks. This is all a small price to pay, however, for the complete removal of the cancerous cells from my body that the surgery provided. If you're looking into this surgery, make sure to ask your doctor about the post-operative side effects, but don't let them deter you from getting the treatment.
For another testimonial, here's a story from another survivor who had the surgery 15 years ago and is now doing great.