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Monday, July 28, 2008

14,017

I am flattered and honored that there have been more than 14,000 visits to my blogs since I launched CancerVivor.blogspot.com in October 2007.

Since then, I also created kohnzone.blogspot.com after discovering a piece of my family I never knew existed.

Throughout, I have tried to warn anyone who would listen about the dangers of ordinary heartburn and acid reflux. Most recently, I logged into Facebook and soon was chatting with a friend from high school whose longterm domestic partner has been having acid reflux for years. She and her partner live offshore, so he hasn't been receiving the type of care we expect here. I implored her to force him to see a doctor and I hope she's read through this blog and forced him to read it too.

That's because heartburn can cause cancer, which can cause death. It's that simple.

So if you or someone you care about has longtime heartburn, reflux or the like, please, please have that person see a gastroenterologist. Soon.

Time is important because this is a dangerous cancer and you don't want it to spread. That's what could make it fatal.

Please keep reading and I'll keep writing. And I hope that helps save a few lives in the process.

Another procedure

Dr. Styne's office called earlier today to let me know he's out of town until the middle of next month. I figured, no prob, I'll wait. But Catherine wasn't thrilled with waiting. So I called Dr. Z's office to get his opinion.

Turns out, he called Dr. Styne's group and spoke with Dr. Henry Levine, (photo from the Center's Web site) who founded the Center for Digestive Health. I guess it's better to be safe than sorry, so I'm going to have the endoscopy with dialation on Friday morning.

I have to be there by 6:30 a.m. and the procedure is an hour later.

I presume they'll just go in, widen the stricture I've mentioned earlier and send me home a short time later.

At least, that's what I hope.

The Incredible Shrinking Man

I know it's bizarre.

First I found out several months ago that I'm no longer 5 feet, 10 inches tall. I'm now 5-9 1/2.

OK, so joints in the spine thin out over time. I can live with that.

Then, after my surgery I determine my size 12-wide shoes are too wide. I'm 12-medium.

OK, less fat on the body means things get narrower. Cool.

Now, as of Sunday, I find out my shoe size is now 11 1/2.

Oh well, I guess I have to buy a bunch of new shoes. Worse things could happen.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Not quite sure what's up

I spoke to Dr. Z on Thursday because I've been having awkward feelings at the top of my throat. Sometimes it's nothing, others it's tough to swallow.

Dr. Z said it sounds like there's a stricture -- or narrowing -- in the upper esophagus. Of course, there is no lower esophagus so where else could it be.

Once he mentioned that I realized that while in Florida Hospital after the surgery I remember the doctors mentioning a stricture. This was when I was in radiology swallowing a nasty-flavored drink laced with radioactive iodine so they could watch me swallow the liquid to ensure I could be released and able to eat.

So he wants me to call Dr. Styne's office on Friday. He said Doc Styne will probably want to do another endoscopy and dilate this stricture.

I also have an appointment with Dr. Z set up for August 22 at 10:30 a.m. That will be my eight-month post-surgery visit.

I don't think there's anything cancerous about my current problem but it still remains disconcerting. Dr. Z said he understands my concerns and thinks it's a good idea to check it out. And anyone reading this site knows that whatever Dr. Z says is golden in my book. Basically, the man's amazing.

I'll keep you posted.