My Leukemia, Part 5

What is any rational person to do as each of these horrible symptoms rears its ugly head?

You begin by hoping each one just goes away. Alas, none of my symptoms went away. In fact, each one got slowly but surely and progressively worse.

And so it began…

Days and weeks of presenting myself to multiple doctors—general practice, dermatology, ophthalmology, urology, gastroenterology, and oncology.

Urinary tract infection ruled out.

Inguinal hernia ruled out.

Testicle cancer ruled out.

Along the way, my Lynch/Muir-Torre Syndrome was still making skin lesions. A particularly worrisome lesion excised from my left lower eyelid.

And don’t forget: All this is happening during that first anxiety ridden Covid summer.

Diagnosis: GERD–acid reflux. Confirmed by multiple doctors.

It made perfect sense, given that I also had a hiatal hernia, diagnosed fifteen years earlier.

Yay! An answer! It fit the data! And an easy fix, right? Avoid spicy foods. Drink more water. Raise the pillow. Raise the head of your bed. Over the counter antacids. Prescription Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs). Guess what? Nothing helped. Nothing. Some days were better than others, which gave me false hope, but every symptom slowly got worse and worse.

Along the way, I googled each symptom hoping for answers. Nothing useful—mostly click bait and bad advice—nothing that even hinted at the ultimate cause.

Along the way, a horrible chronic “grunt” developed. I suspect now that I was aspirating stomach acid into my sinuses and lungs. Not a good thing, especially while a serious unknown respiratory virus was attacking the whole planet.

Even a colonoscopy and upper endoscopy (done annually as part of my Lynch Syndrome surveillance) showed that, except for some minor irritation to my esophagus, my GI tract looked “normal”. Diagnosis of GERD confirmed.

More precious days and weeks go by in pain and anxiety.

I cannot live like this. What am supposed to do?

continue… My Leukemia, Part 6

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