To make another long painful story short, the acid reflux diagnosis was only half right…
I did indeed have stomach acid refluxing into my esophagus and aspirating into my sinus cavities and lungs. But the root cause was not my lifestyle, not my eating habits, and not my hiatal hernia. The root cause was finally identified after I presented to my oncologist with those grossly enlarged lymph nodes, unresolved back/pelvic pain, and an alarmingly swollen left leg.
Fast forward through a battery of tests and the culprit became clear: Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL). My CLL, which hadn’t required treatment for more than two and a half years, suddenly went berserk.
Not the news you want to hear, but at least it explained why my acid reflux did not resolve using the standard set of treatments. Simply put, the lymph nodes in my abdomen grew so large that they interfered with the normal functioning of my digestive system.
Not the news you want to hear, but at least it gave me and my oncologist something to act upon.