Wow, I can’t believe it’s been twelve whole weeks since I had my surgery! I’m back at MD Anderson for a checkup with the doc and a nutritionist follow up. I’ve asked them to tell me what my B12 and iron levels are, in addition to my protein levels. I will update this post once I know. So far I only know that my protein levels were fine and my nutritionist was waiting for the other results. I’ll call her tomorrow for my B12 and iron.
I’ve found that I can eat an entire Chick-fil-a chicken patty if I do it without the bread. Bread just seems hard. But if I want some tasty bread, like that bread Panera makes, I can eat it separate from other foods. As long as I’m careful and chew a lot, I can do an entire bread side, crust included (and isn’t that the best part anyhow?).
Being at MD Anderson isn’t my favorite place to be. I’m not a person who really ever cries, but when we drove away from this place after surgery, I did cry. Hubbie thought it was pain from bumps in the road driving home, but I told him I had no idea by I was crying…just never been so happy to go home.
Every time I’m here I see several reoccurring things. The power of the human spirit. People have hope, perseverance. People are fighting for their lives here or supporting a loved one who is fighting the battle. And people fight hard, many with such a great spirit. In a hustling city where people are usually too busy to slow down, people have a common bond here. They see you lost or looking like you need help and they converse with you. People openly share their stories in waiting areas. It’s a community of encouragement because you don’t know the story of the guy sitting across from you, but you know they have one. Mine is that I’m the girl who looks healthy; I’m just secretly missing a stomach.
The hardest thing about coming here is seeing people that are so sick, especially on the gastrointestinal floor. You see people who, like my dad, are so skinny they look like they’ve been in a concentration camp. It reminds me how brutal cancer is when it comes to your digestive tract. It seems like the cancer fight is coupled with such extreme, severe weight loss. This place throws me back to the time in my life when I watched my dad go through all this.
Buy my saving grace is my story is different. I’m healthy; my surgery was definitively curative. So even if my stomach pathology was stage I cancer, I didn’t fight and won’t ever have to fight the hard battle. And for that I’m grateful. The battle I will fight is coming out of this to run a half marathon. I get to push through that on my own terms. Frankly, that’s the way I like it. And thanks to genetic medicine, I had that choice.