Community responds in ‘Eel’s’ time of need

PICTURE PERFECT–The Eliason family, l-r, Bob, Debbie, Bobby, Krystal Larson, and Jerry making memories at Max and Melissa Miron’s wedding this past summer. The Eliason’s are very thankful for the community support they have received since Bob was diagnosed with esophageal cancer.

by Melissa Newland
“We make plans for the weekend, plans to go on vacation, plan for retirement, but nobody plans for cancer!”– Debbie Eliason. Nobody does plan for cancer, but Bob “Eel”and Debbie Eliason have had to do just that after Bob was recently diagnosed with T3 locally advanced esophageal cancer in August. Bob was at his physician’s office for his biannual checkup for Barrett’s disease, which he had been diagnosed with about eight years ago. Barret’s disease is caused by longstanding acid reflux disease that causes damage to the cells of the lower esophagus. Bob had been managing his Barrett’s disease by taking a proton pump inhibitor, Prilosec, that blocks the release of stomach acid. He had also been going in for scheduled upper endoscopy procedures. An endoscopy procedure involves the insertion of a flexible fiberoptic scope through the mouth, throat, and into the stomach. The frequency of this procedure is determined by how fast the cells are changing. On Aug. 17, Bob went in for a routine scope at Baraga County Memorial Hospital (BCMH) with Dr. Pat Bulinski. After the procedure Dr. Bulinski indicated he had biopsied a polyp, but all looked well and would let the Eliason’s know the following week the conclusive results. On Aug. 21, Bob received a phone call at work from Dr. Bulinski’s office letting him  know he needed to come to the hospital as soon as possible for the results of the biopsy. To read more, subscribe to the L’Anse Sentinel online, or buy a print copy at our local retailers.