I'm sitting at my desk, looking out amoungst the PMQ's and playground equipment watching the rain fall silently - I find it weird and a little eerie not to see any kids out running around or jumping in the newly formed puddles. School is back in session; Autumn is right around the corner. I for one, love Autumn - the crisp morning air and the changing leaves leave me in a constant state of pure giddyness. I can't wait to pull my comfy leather jacket and scarf from the closet and spray my Uggs for another season of slush, snow and sleet. Wait...okay I'm letting the seasons get ahead of me; it was 32 degrees with humidity yesterday; I was still laying outside catching rays. (I actually have a tan this year!!).
Life has been good, per usual - Hughie and I finally had a week away from the Valley, we spent a week in Toronto (Buffalo & Niagara Falls) visiting Hughie's Brother and Sister-in-law (aka my Brother in law and Laura!)It was a fantastic week - although like always, we didnt' get a chance to see everyone that we would like. We are hoping to get down for a weekend in February, where we will sound the alarm nice and early that we are coming so we can work around people's work & life schedule.
*Side note: Never EVER go into Buffalo and stay on the US side of Niagara falls - it was basically "Jane and Finch". We were warned almost immediately by our bellman not to walk after dark and/or walk past a certain point in the daylight (needless to say it was only a block away from the Sheraton). He also pointed out that our housekeepers had "sticky fingers". Yikes!! Needless to say we were planning on staying two days, we made it one night! However, I will say the shopping at the outlets was fantastic.
My Brother is doing fantastic. He had his Esophagetcomy (*See bottom for description) surgery on the 15th of July, 4 months from the day he was diagnosed with Stage III Espophageal Cancer. He is on his second last chemotherapy dose (3 prior to the surgery and 3 post surgery), and while this is a lot harder than his first three doses prior to the surgery he is being a trooper and my hero for how he is managing this. On a happier note, his girlfriend and him are going to be having a little wee girl in the upcoming weeks - she is 34 weeks along and is feeling as uncomfortable and irritated as she has since her first trimester.
Well, there ya have, my last 4-6 months described in a couple of paragraphs - patients have started to grace my waiting room so I best get to work!
The principal objective is to remove the esophagus, a part of the gastrointestinal tract ("food pipe"). This procedure is usually done for patients with esophageal cancer. It is normally done to remove cancerous tumors from the body. It is best done when an esophageal cancer is detected early, before it has spread. If taken up early enough, an esophagectomy might prove to be life saving. Despite significant improvements in technique and postoperative care, the long term survival for esophageal cancer is still poor. Currently multimodality treatment is needed (chemotherapy and radiation therapy) for advanced tumors. Esophagectomy is also occasionally performed for benign disease such as esophageal atresia in children, achalasia, or caustic injury.
Classification --There are two main types of esophagectomy.
A trans-hiatal esophagectomy (THE) is performed on the neck and abdomen simultaneously.
A trans-thoracic esophagectomy (TTE) involves opening the thorax (chest).
In most cases, the stomach is transplanted into the neck and the stomach takes the place originally occupied by the esophagus. In some cases, the removed esophagus is replaced by another hollow structure, such as the patient's colon.
After surgery, patients may have trouble with a regular diet and may have to consume softer foods, avoid liquids at meals, and stay upright for 1–3 hours after eating. Dysphagia is common and patients are encouraged to chew foods very well or grind their food. Patients may complain of substernal pain that resolves by sipping fluids or regurgiating food. Reflux-type symptoms can be severe, including intolerance to acidic foods and large, fatty meals. Jejunal feeding tubes may be placed during surgery to provide a temporary route of nutrition until oral eating resumes.