Congratulations. I think you feel better because you are treating the root cause of your GERD. I would too, only I'm not. I'm just treating the symptoms.
I've gone of the PPI's twice, both times for a month. Eventually I scare myself back on them. Cancer is alot scarier than taking a pill every day for the rest of your life. Not to mention quality of life, when off the meds, I am reminded constantly how different I am by having to watch what I eat, feel the reflux, and change lifestyle habits. On the meds, I take the pill in the morning and I am pretty much normal. It scares me how unsure everyone is about the long term effects, but, I like to take everything one day at a time, and when something develops from the meds, hopefully i'll be able to deal with that.