The beginning

I plan to try to do some decent blogging as I work my way through a prophylactic total gastrectomy. We’ll see how I do. 🙂

At this moment, it kind of consumes your thoughts. You’re sitting here 3 days before surgery trying to finish up work before a long time out of the office. But you’re also thinking with every meal you eat, you might as well woof it down and enjoy every minute of it.

I’m little. I gained maybe 8 lbs for this thing. I just hope it’s enough. I can’t eat when I’m not hungry. Wonder if I’ll remember to eat if I no longer “feel hungry”. Guess I’ll find out after surgery.

7 thoughts on “The beginning

  1. Wow,had no idea what I would be going though! You did very good at explaining everything but I must tell you I’m very scared! I’m 66 years old and have disabilities I’m not sure I’ll be able to handle this. My surgery is November 12th.

    • Yes, it IS a recovery.

      Chew a lot, eat small portions, eat healthy, beware breads and rice for a while, eat veggies cooked, not raw, focus on protein and iron. Watch out for sugars, especially refined sugars. Throw out non-diet sodas.

      Not every meal goes well, but it will slowly trend better. Expect to lose 10% of your body weight. If you’re slim going in, then ask for a feeding tube. I had a feeding tube and it really helped me get good nutrition and hold my weight during the difficult days immediately post surgery.

      That’s my quick rules of thumb that’ll help ease the recovery period. Your body will get adjusted over a year or so, and you’ll find it gets better.

      Hope that helps!

      • Yes it does, thankyou.
        Now I’m just worried about staples or stitches. I called his nurse and she thought he uses staples. I told her about a website I was on that you had stitches and you threw up and it was good because it could have leaked and that could be lethal. I hope I didn’t get the Dr mad you know how they can be about the Internet! Well the nurse is going to call me,he’s actually a very good dr,this is all he does with the digestive system. I do throw up easy and they say ask for nausea medicine and they will put it in the I but as soon as I feel it I throw up right there and then, I told her that so she said she would make note of that.
        I hope you don’t mind me asking you questions,but right now I know your the only one that understands what and how I feel.

        • My doctor hand-stitched the anastomoses (reconnection of the esophagus to the intestines). I vote for that over staples because it statistically results in less occurrences of stricture post surgery.

          Not a problem asking questions! That’s why I started the blog in the first place…to offer insight for others after me through my experiences (nobody is the same, but you can get a general idea of my journey)!

          • It’s me again! The nurse never got back with me. My biggest fear is that when I come out of the surgery I will throw up and then if it leaks it can be lethal.they say he’s the best surgeon in that area at UW in Madison, I’m sure he is I can tell just by listening to him and everyone says he excellent. Did you throw up after surgery? Or any other time shortly after?

          • You won’t eat for 3 or so days after surgery while it heals. After that you’ll start with liquids (sips) and eventually move onto soft solids.

            Take it easy and go really slow. I didn’t throw up while in the hospital. My brother did because he tried rice. After that, I only really “spit up” when food got stuck. It’s not like throwing up you think I when you get a stomach bug.

            Your doctor should have the confidence on the anastomoses before he has you eat/drink. Some surgeons do the barium swallow before liquids, but mine didn’t. I asked why and he said they submerge your esophagus in water during surgery and then have the anesthesiologist puff air through. If there are no bubbles, they are confident in the connection not leaking. He felt the barium swallow test can produce false positives and false negatives. Every surgeon has different opinions. But I trust my surgeon and his stats for his patients.

            I believe the Chelcuns are in Wisconsin. (I could be wrong.) Do you know if you have the same surgeon? You could also reach out to them!

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