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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving for me: Two years ago, I was not sure this day would arrive

It's amazing how the future looks.

Two years ago I was not certain my future would include today, Thanksgiving 2009, or my birthday a couple of days later.

In my mind, the future looks like today.

Two years ago, I'd just been removed from my 24/7 chemo pump and was preparing -- as I am now -- for tests on Dec. 7. I was thankful then for my doctors, my family, my friends and for life.

Still, I remember telling my cousin David Spitz, the popular Connecticut chiropractor, that I feared I would not make it to age 50. I was panicked, often tearful. But 50 became a goal. At the time, it seemed distant, remote, unattainable.

Today, it's a bit closer -- just a few days away.

So on this Thanksgiving, I feel truly blessed with that family, those friends, my wonderful doctors, their wonderful staffs, and the knowledge that I've reached another milestone, another goal on the road to recovery from esophageal cancer.

And as a way of paying it forward, I'll reiterate as I have probably too often in this blog: If you get heartburn, if you have acid reflux or even if you take a few Tums or Rolaids every day, you could get cancer. See a doctor, have an endoscopy, consult your family doctor or gastroenterologist.

Heartburn and acid reflux could lead to Barrett's Esophagus, a precursor to esophageal cancer. There are treatments at that stage to help avoid cancer. But doing nothing is not one of them.

Be thankful for what you have today, as I am, and celebrate with your loved ones. Be kind to those loved ones and take care of yourself.

Oh, another tip here -- moderate amounts of turkey, sweet potatoes, corn on the cob and pumpkin pie are not known causes of Barrett's Esophagus or esophageal cancer. So eat up and celebrate, with your loved ones of course!

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