Serendopeity

The faculty of making stupid discoveries by accident. The name of my first Fantasy Football Team. Neither of which have anything to do with this blog. I just like the word. Deal with it !!!!!!

Reader’s Digest – Here We Come

I tell my EC story to whomever will listen.  I don’t “preach” about it, well not really, but I think it is very important to let people know certain facts.  For instance, heartburn is not normal.  Most people think that a slight cause of indigestion or heartburn is.  Well, I am here to tell you that it’s not.  (Granted there are some instances that insomuch as not being “normal” they do happen – like being pregnant.) Prolonged heartburn, or it’s proper name, Acid Reflex ot GERD (Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease) can indeed be fatal.  Yes folks, that’s right.  HEARTBURN CAN KILL YOU!!!!!  Antacids may relieve the symptoms but unless you seek out and treat the cause you may be doing more damage than you think. 

Heartburn is the back up of stomach acids into the esophagus.  In a nutshell, chronic heartburn causes the lining of the esophagus to take on the characteristics of the stomach lining.  Once this happens heartburn may disappear.  But the damage has been done.  The esophagus is lined with specific cells for a reason.  Once these cells become mutated from stomach acid it is very possible that they will begin to mutate further.  Cancer is a mutation of cells.  So, one plus one equalling two equates to mutating cells equalling cancer.   Bottom line; Heartburn is not normal. If you suffer from chronic heartburn, like I did (Rolaids was a food group to me for 20 years) then please see your doctor and ensure that they are aware of your problem.

Once diagnosed with AR or GERD there are medications that can help and in some cases heal the damage that has already happened.  But, once diagnosed it is important to always follow up with the doctor.  Endoscopies are a  fairly simple procedures, it’s about 1/2 out of your day and anyone diagnosed with AR or GERD should have one.  They don’t hurt and believe me, there is alot more pain and suffering with EC than there is with a scope.

You can always take a copy of this coming July’s Reader’s Digest with you to show your doctor because RD is finally printing the article that my awesome writer friend Cheryl Hawkes wrote.  If you are a dedicated reader to this blog you know that Cheryl’s husband Bill Cameron passed away a short time after being diagnosed with EC. 

Cheryl amazes me.  She works tirelessly to promote Esophageal Cancer Awareness to ensure that more of us do not suffer the same fate as Bill did.  She instituted EC Awareness Week in the City of Toronto, a yearly event.  In addition to all she does for EC she is also a mother and did I mention, an awesome writer…

In addition to writing about Bill’s battle, Cheryl has also been kind enough to write about me.  Yes, that’s right – I will again get another 15 minutes of fame.  The article will also include someone else who’s battle also ended.

The July edition of RD will be out sometime in June.  I think everyone should have a copy.  Not only because I am in it (LOL), but also because the more people that know about EC the more people who will perhaps see themselves in the article and see their doctor.  Trust me folks, EC is not a disease you want.  I know, I know no one wants any cancer but given the stats on how many people will at sometime in their life have some form of cancer, forewarned is forearmed. And the stats on EC are brutal. From the number of cases that are now being diagnosed annually to the survival rates, the numbers are not pretty.  In fact, they are scary and getting scarrier.

I will be gathering up as many copies as I can find around here and be distributing them, to my doctors,  family, friends whoever I can.  So, do yourself a favour and grab a copy before I thrust one at you and tell you to READ THE ARTICLE!!!!!!

Hopefully the article will also be available in the online edition of RD.  If and when it is, I will post the link so no one misses it.  I know that I do sometimes (OK a lot of times) go on and on about EC.  Those of you who know me personally know, for the most part what I went through.  Surgery, chemoradiation that almost killed me and lingering side effects that will always be a part of my life.  At 48 years of age I am unable to work full time, eat a regular meal or go through a day without some form of painkiller.  Don’t get me wrong, life is good and I live everyday to it’s fullest but if one person can be spared what I went through because they know about EC then the better off we all are.

Ok, I am off my soapbox now.  Have a great day.

Nancy

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2 responses to “Reader’s Digest – Here We Come

  1. Mike May 25, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    I’ve been diagnosed with GERD as well as Barrett’s Esophagus. I get my endoscopies done every two years, and thus far (knock on wood), the Barrett’s has not progress (not reduced either, but not getting worse is good). I’ve been on Nexium since the start (was noted to have other pills to use also, but they all sped my heart rate up way too dangerously high). For those who have heartburn, especially if it is reoccurring, definitely get your family doctor to recommend you to a specialist to get the endoscopy. Catching GERD at the start, you can stop it in its tracks and better yet revert it completely. With mine, the Barretts can become cancerous, hence the bi-yearly check, but am hopeful that it never does. At 43, and still single, I still have life left in me yet and don’t plan on wasting any of it. 🙂

  2. serendopeity May 25, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    Hey Mike
    Thanks for stopping by. You are right. Early diagnosis of GERD and Barretts is what EC Awareness is all about. The faster you catch it, the better the chances that it won’t have an opportunity to mutate into EC. Congrats for havingthe foresight and vigilence!!!!
    I hear ya on the 43 – I was 44 when I was diagnosed in 2004. It was a shock, but my doctors ROCK and I’m still here to talk about it today. Stop by anytime.
    Nancy

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