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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Exhale, Waiting to Inhale

Sitting in an uncomfortable swivel chair in something akin to an old-time phone booth, but with suction-and-vacuum-sealed doors, I had to inhale, hold my breath, hold my breath, hold my breath, exhale, then inhale and exhale rapidly as if I were trying to hyperventilate myself.

That was just one of the tests by the respiratory therapist earlier today.

I also had a few X-rays of the lungs, which showed up clean (whew!), and a good chat with the doc.

Dr. Sigfredo Aldarondo said my coughing might be caused by acid reflux. Since my reshaped stomach (now in my chest) is so close to the smaller esophagus and since there's no sphincter to keep stomach fluids from the esophagus, that could be the problem.

He prescribed a new med to replace the Pepcid I've been taking.

We'll see if that helps. I'll keep you posted.

Checking In With The Doc

I'm going to see Dr. Sigfredo Aldarondo (pictured at right, from the Florida Hospital Web site), the ace pulmonologist, for a checkup scheduled months ago.

Dr. Aldarondo first treated me while I was in the step-down unit at Florida Hospital. He was very comforting and assured me that my breathing difficulties post-surgery would wane. He was not wrong.

But it's a good thing we made the appointment soon after I left the hospital because off all my post-surgical issues -- other than the pain -- my biggest problem has been breathing, or, more precisely, coughing.

Dr. Z and Dr. Pfeiffer concur in their opinions that my persistent coughing was caused by the radiation treatments that saved my life.

It will be good to hear what Dr. Aldarondo sees as the proble, and whether it should be treated in any way.

I'll be back with an update this afternoon, after my visit with Dr. Aldarondo.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

12,000 and growing

It took a lot to get here. But here we are. Since launching a lot has changed. Much of it for the worse, but it looks like things are picking up.

I say that because of the reunion via phone last month of the Kohn siblings -- Amy, Dan and myself. Meeting Tracy, my other sister, is yet to come and I look forward to it.

But much has passed since the blog went up. I went through seven weeks of intense chemotherapy, six-plus weeks of radiation at the same time, surgery and the recuperation one needs to get over all that -- if one really gets over it at all in a deeper sense.

Then there were the eight-plus months Mom went through, along with the rest of the family, as she wended her way through horrible medical issues that eventually took her life last month.

Which brings us to here, to now. I've begun to develop a relationship with my new family, and we're all documenting it at

And in that time, as of this morning, May 7, 2008, 12,004 page hits have been recorded on the two blogs. I'd like to reiterate it's probably the same few dozen people checking out the progress on both fronts, and you're very welcome to continue stopping by.

While you're here, click on an ad or two as you stumble by them. The money raised -- so far about $15 -- will go to the Florida Hospital Cancer Institute, the place that helped save my life.