Mar 082016

SurgeryYesterday, I had surgery to try to open my esophagus. The thoracic surgeon wasn’t able to poke through from his end but the ENT was (yay!). I’ll still need a few more surgeries to completely open it up but I should be able to at least swallow water now. I haven’t tried yet because I’m in way too much pain.

The ENT told me I shouldn’t have much pain, so she wouldn’t give me any pain medicine. She said I could just take ibupofen. It’s a good thing I had some pain medicine left over from my radiation therapy. We’re going to have to talk about this again before my next surgery.

I woke up from surgery with a large nasogastric tube hanging from my nose (it goes down into my throat). I have to keep it in at least until I see the ENT again (next Tuesday) and maybe until my next surgery (2 weeks from now). I feel like an elephant with this thing dangling from my nose (it hangs down almost to my chest).

The numbness I had in my hands and arms is now also in my feet. Until I started taking the pain medicine, I also had pain in my arms. It’s most likely chemnotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, which could be temporary or it could be permanent. I haven’t had a chance to talk to my oncologist about that yet.

My feeding tube fell out yet again the other day (I think I’ve been through about 7 of them now). I tried blowing the balloon up, but it only lasted about 30 minutes before it deflated and the tube came out again. Last time we went to the ER for a new tube we asked for an extra. Since this one fell out after hours and I didn’t feel like going to the ER I put the new one in myself. I also went online and ordered two more tubes. They said they needed an order for them, which I got, but that delayed shipment. I hope they get here before this one falls out.

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading my blog. If  you’d like to help me with my battle with cancer, please go to

 Posted by at 7:26 pm

  7 Responses to “Success?”

  1. You are so plucky to write this the day after your surgery. God bless you. Aunt Betty

  2. This is meant to make you laugh just a little as I don’t want to be the one to bring more pain on your throat. Any time a doctor nurse anyone really tells me that it won’t hurt, I will feel no pain etc. My thoughts are always that what they means is it will not hurt them.
    Sorry for all the side effects,hoping that they will subside with time.

  3. Maybe this would be a good time to veg out on movies like Horton Hears a Who & Dumbo? Perhaps you will find that you relate to the characters all the more with your tubular trunk :p

    I’m so glad they were able to make you holier (haha.)

    Seriously though, I’ll be continuing to pray for you during this crazy process!!! As for the drinking…slow & steady, only when you’re ready!

  4. Julie, you are amazing! You need to turn this into a book. I guess that’s what you are doing. Your story makes me remember Gilda Radner’s autobiography “It’s Always Something.” Her cancer was different and in a different stage and in a much earlier time in medical history, but she wrote with humor and poignancy and her story helped educate a lot of people. You are so talented to be able to write about these events with such objectivity and detail when you are the patient. Hang in there. It sounds like you are progressing. Love, Sheryl

  5. I’m sorry about the agony, fear, and all other emotions and pain you’re going through. I admire your courage and candor in writing this blog. — From Teresa’s friend and former business partner

  6. Love to you!

  7. Julie,
    I am a friend of Karen’s from Hickman. I am praying for you. I feel so bad for all the things you are having to endure. I had some of your issues, but thankfully not all of them, due to my cancer surgery 3 years ago. God be with you and bless you.

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