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Surviving Esophageal Cancer

Two days before Thanksgiving 2002, I was in the kitchen preparing dinner when the phone rang. I saw on the caller ID that it was Dr. Saperstein. My heart rate began to increase. I had butterflies in my stomach. It had been four days since Larry’s endoscopy and biopsy. I picked up the remote handset and leaned on the kitchen table for support. I grabbed a chair with my other hand and sat down.
“This isn’t good news or you wouldn’t be calling so soon.”
Larry heard my comments, muted the television and came into the kitchen. I pointed to a chair for him to sit down and scooted mine next to him so that we could share the phone receiver.
“I’m afraid I do have bad news. The polyp was malignant. Larry needs to have his esophagus removed before Christmas. There’s a doctor next door to my office, who specializes in this surgery. I don’t know Dr. Runfola, personally, but I think you should call him first thing in the morning and make an appointment.”


  1. How devastating. Priests are held in that special place of trust, almost higher than parents. When that trust is breeched in young impressionable minds it wreaks havoc.

    February 19th, 2010
  2. It is nice of you to share the message and help warn others of the signs of esophogeal cancer. Thank you for the link to the news story.

    March 9th, 2010
  3. What great reading I found this to be. Having spent my grade school days as a good buddy of Larry’s, then separating as life sends one down different roads, it’s nice to hear about the adventures of the L&L bond. I feel as though I’ve known Louise all along and maybe that’s because of her unique detail in sharing the trials and tribulations of the past. What an amazing family you have become. This masterpiece reminds us all that the first 62 years are the hardest and yet makes one recharged (in my case, anyway) to conquer the next 62 with zest. I look forward to sharing some of those next 62 together, around a fire with food and drink. I’ll Buy!! You bring your next book!


    Dale Kurzen
    March 16th, 2010
  4. Dale,
    You could write a book like Tom Sawyer. Get cracking.

    Louise Laughlin
    June 10th, 2010
  5. Aunt Louise,

    You have deffintely found your calling. Keep writing and keep up the good work.

    Terri Ellis-Au
    July 3rd, 2010
  6. Aunt Louise,

    You have definitely found your calling. Keep writing and keep up the good work.

    Terri Ellis-Au
    July 3rd, 2010
  7. I just finished your book and enjoyed every page. Some anecdotes sounded familiar and brought a smile or belly laugh. Knowing you and Larry made parts of the book that much funnier and other parts that much more heartbreaking. It is inspiring to read all that has happened to you and your family and how you’ve always recovered with strength and dignity. Your writing inspired me to take a fresh look at things and remember to celebrate every moment of every day no matter how mundane, exasperating or joyful. Every moment is a gift and will be replaced by another precious moment. Thanks for sharing your moments. I could hear your laugh many times! Your thermometer floweth over! Can’t wait for the next one.

    Monica Tarr
    July 16th, 2010