Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you take anything for reflux (ie Prilosec)?

3/25/2009 9:50 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a distal pancreatectomy coupled with a splenectomy, gall bladder removal and partial liver resection for my pancreatic neuroendrocrine tumors (what Steve Jobs has, not what Patrick Swayze has) back in 2007. After I vomited blood (Mallory-Weiss Syndrome) last fall, they put me on Prilosec, up from Zantac. Supposedly, the proton pump inhibitors are better than the old Zantac type drugs at warding off reflux and other nasty side effects. I'd be up a creek if I had to sleep on my back as I have always been a stomach sleeper.

Good luck, Joel - from an ex-boomer sailor and ex-ET nuc

3/25/2009 9:41 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joel, I've been away for a bit. Please accept my heartfelt congrats on your successful treatment. Good job all around.

3/26/2009 12:32 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know damn little about subs... pardon the imposition. Why do some LA class subs have wing-things on the sail (stabilizers?) and others don't? Just wondering.

3/26/2009 2:15 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lift a finger, dude. There's this thing called Wikipedia? See: Los Angeles class submarine.

3/26/2009 6:17 AM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

1st Anonymous: Yes, I'm taking Omeprazole twice a day, which is supposed to be equivalent to Nexium.

4th Anonymous: Sail planes seem to allow for better fine depth control, but, as mentioned in the link provided by the 5th Anonymous, make the sail weaker. The Navy decided in the mid-80s that we needed to get our under-ice capability back. (Sail planes on 637 class boats could be rotated to vertical to surface through the ice, but those on 688s couldn't.)

3/26/2009 6:32 AM

Blogger beadlizard said...

Joel, glad you're doing better, and it sounds as if your positive attitude is helping. I hope your comfort level continues to improve and that your stomach gets back with the program soon. If your vagal nerve is inflamed, it might just take a little while to calm down -- it can be part of the reflux fun. Good luck! --Sylvia

3/26/2009 12:12 PM

Blogger morialekafa said...

Glad to hear you are hanging in there and doing as well as can be expected. Hope you will completely recover soon.

3/26/2009 4:16 PM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

wow. and wow. As the years go by and more and more contemporaries fall to various ailments I count myself as still lucky.

Joel, best wishes for continued victory over an insidious enemy.

3/26/2009 6:36 PM

Blogger Dr Kathy health forum said...

Oh,this is a good post

4/13/2009 12:35 AM

Anonymous Teresa said...

This will not have effect as a matter of fact, that's what I suppose.

8/24/2012 10:05 PM


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