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Archive for July, 2010

Lego Store in Austin at the Barton Creek Mall

July 22nd, 2010 Comments off

On Wednesday we got a flyer in the mail telling us that there was a new Lego store opening in Austin in the Barton Creek mall. Cool I thought, I wonder if anyone else knows about it so I Googled it. Sure enough they knew about it because they actually opened it last week. It was too late to jump in the car that day so we went yesterday instead.

It is a good size store that is about twice as big as the one that we had been to in Frisco, TX. It is a fraction of the size of the one that we had been to several time in Downtown Disney in California though. It was still way cool though and of course we had to buy some Legos. Here’s a video we took while there.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-mVIDRXWQM

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  1. iPhone 3G Reception in the Austin & Round Rock Areas
  2. Austin Community College Coming to Round Rock
  3. Butterfly at the Gas Station

Categories: From the Network, Legos, Technology Tags:

Swallowing, ER Visits, and a Plan

July 20th, 2010 Comments off

So this past Monday was 6 weeks since I had my esophagectomy. The first 4 weeks went exceptionally well. The 5th and 6th week – not so good. In the end of the 4th week I was eating half of a burrito bowl at Chipotle in one sitting. For the last 2 weeks I can get water down my throat if I am lucky.

The Pill

This turn of events from eating to not eating all started with a pill. I had been doing so well eating that I got cleared to take pain medication via a pill as opposed to liquid. I decided to start small and try a Tylenol gel cap. As soon as it cleared to back of my throat I felt it stick.

I waited out the night but it still felt like it was stuck so I went to the ER. They did an emergency EGD on me and while the pill was no longer there the are of the surgery was extremely irritated. I was sent home and told to do liquids for 48hrs which I did. On the third day I was back at Chipotle. By the second bite I felt like something might be stuck again. As the day went on the sensation went away but things were slow in going down. The next day it was worse. The day after that I could not get water down my throat.

Another trip to the ER

This time they did find something stuck and removed it. They also saw that the diameter of my esophagus was even smaller. It was now about the diameter of a pen or pencil. I was placed on clear liquids only and sent home. I stuck to the restriction of clear liquids but by Monday the following week getting water down was again an issue.

That same day I had a visit to discuss the plan to get me back to normal with my GI doctor. He had scheduled me for another EGD the following day (today as a matter of fact) to do another dilation. Unfortunately he didn’t (and couldn’t) have much of a plan because he needed to see how my esophagus. We discussed more dilations, maybe a stent, and maybe another surgery. We would just have to see.

The EGD Results

The result of today’s EGD is that my esophagus was 4mm in diameter and he dilated me to 8mm. A normal person’s esophagus is 18mm so mine with the dilation is less then half of most people. I am on liquids only which is fine with me since I could not get anything down before today.

With what my doctor has seen with today’s procedure he has decided that a stent is the best course of action. The reason for this is that my esophagus is just not responding well to dilation and so doing several more of those isn’t going to help. They have already contacted the stent company and are hoping to have it placed within the next week.

The stent is not a permanent solution as it comes with it’s own set of restrictions. It will however allow me to eat and prevent things from getting stuck. I see a lot of soups in my future :-) .

My Take

While this has been a rough 2 weeks I am glad that we are making progress. I should have this portion of the journey behind me in time for my start of chemo in week. Wish me luck in that journey.

Thanks again to everyone’s help, support, and prayers during this time. It helps more then you know.

Clarification

After reading through all of this I just wanted to clarify that the reason for the narrowing of my esophagus is a direct result of the surgery that I had and not because there is cancer there.

I was a little concerned about this but my GI doc takes biopsies each time he is down there and they each come back negative. So we are not fighting cancer here, we are just experiencing some unfortunate side effects from the surgery that I had. The expectation of everyone is that over time my esophagus will return to a normal diameter and that this will no longer be a issue. I just have to been patient until then.

Related posts:

  1. My Official Treatment Plan and Start Date
  2. Stent and Chemo Status – 4 Weeks Later
  3. Unfortunately I Still Have Cancer

Categories: Cancer, From the Network, Health Tags:

Glacier Inn Motel

July 17th, 2010 Comments off
The Glacier Inn Motel website was built for a family owned and operated motel near Glacier National Park in Montana. They previously had a one page website that had basic information about the hotel but it did not show up in search engines. I built the Glacier Inn Motel in WordPress so they could update [...]

Learning to Live in the Moment

July 15th, 2010 Comments off

It has been a while since I posted here. The reason for that is that so much has happened in my life in the last few months. Literally my life was going one direction and from one moment to the next it went another direction.

What happened was that I found out that the cancer I thought I had beat had come back. Finding out that news caused my wife and I to make some pretty big decisions in a pretty short time. One of those decisions was to have surgery to remove the parts of my stomach and esophagus that had been cancerous.

I ended up having the surgery two weeks later. The surgery went well and the doctor got all the known cancer out. During the weeks following the surgery I would have my good days and not so good days. I learned to understand that this was apart of recovery. Overall though the first few weeks of my recovery went well.

Unfortunately in the 4th and 5th weeks of recovery I ended up in the emergency room 3 times for various things related to the surgery. None of the items ended up being to serious and I thank God for that. Unfortunately during that time it was hard for me to deal with these medical conditions from day to day.

It was during this time that I began to realize that I needed to learn how to live moment to moment as opposed to day to day.

The reason for this is that I would have good things and not so good things all happen in the same day. It would seem at one moment I was on top of the world and the next I was in the lowest pit. As I started having more and more of these days I realized that I needed to cherish the good moments and not dwell on the bad when they came. By doing this it made the not so good moments more bearable.

Paul said it like this:

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. – Philippians 4:11-12 NIV

I think that is what I am learning through all of this. I am learning to not let the bad out-shadow the good. Everyday we have on this earth is going to be filled with good and bad. It is up to us what we choose to look at and dwell on. We cannot control the bad news that comes our way but we can control how we react to it.

Learning to Live in the Moment

July 15th, 2010 Comments off

It has been a while since I posted here. The reason for that is that so much has happened in my life in the last few months. Literally my life was going one direction and from one moment to the next it went another direction.

What happened was that I found out that the cancer I thought I had beat had come back. Finding out that news caused my wife and I to make some pretty big decisions in a pretty short time. One of those decisions was to have surgery to remove the parts of my stomach and esophagus that had been cancerous.

I ended up having the surgery two weeks later. The surgery went well and the doctor got all the known cancer out. During the weeks following the surgery I would have my good days and not so good days. I learned to understand that this was apart of recovery. Overall though the first few weeks of my recovery went well.

Unfortunately in the 4th and 5th weeks of recovery I ended up in the emergency room 3 times for various things related to the surgery. None of the items ended up being to serious and I thank God for that. Unfortunately during that time it was hard for me to deal with these medical conditions from day to day.

It was during this time that I began to realize that I needed to learn how to live moment to moment as opposed to day to day.

The reason for this is that I would have good things and not so good things all happen in the same day. It would seem at one moment I was on top of the world and the next I was in the lowest pit. As I started having more and more of these days I realized that I needed to cherish the good moments and not dwell on the bad when they came. By doing this it made the not so good moments more bearable.

Paul said it like this:

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. – Philippians 4:11-12 NIV

I think that is what I am learning through all of this. I am learning to not let the bad out-shadow the good. Everyday we have on this earth is going to be filled with good and bad. It is up to us what we choose to look at and dwell on. We cannot control the bad news that comes our way but we can control how we react to it.

Butterfly at the Gas Station

July 4th, 2010 Comments off

A little fun with the iPhone 4 at the gas station. I edited this on my iPhone as well.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECOctgAyMr8

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