The Unintentional Extreme Taper

For my job, I had to pick out what week worked best to go away for a training course. I happily chose the week before the marathon since I thought it would be easiest to attend during the low mileage taper week before the race. There wasn’t much depth to my thoughts beyond mileage.

The week before training, I realized just how terrible my idea was. For the training, you have to stay at the hotel where the training takes place. It started at 5:50PM Monday night, finishing at 4PM on Thursday night. I realized I would be at the mercy of other people when it comes to what and when I eat for almost 4 days. In preparation, I packed 8 bags of nuts and prayed for the best.

The first night, we had some extremely dry fish. I was able to sop it up in some sauce and swallow it without it getting stuck in my throat. I thought, “Ok, so far, so good.” This was a healthy meal option, and I should be good to go. After dinner when we went back to training, my muscles started hurting and I started to feel sick. That evening turned into a sleepless night filled with the worst food poisoning I can ever remember experiencing. As this was happening, I was thinking, “Of course this would happen the week before my marathon.” The next day, it took until after lunch before I could hold any food down.  The word to describe that day was ‘weak’.

The remainder of our days were filled with set meal times and lengths. I had 30 minutes max for every meal. It was a stomachless person’s nightmare. When you did get to a meal, you weren’t sure what the food quality was regardless of how much you could actually consume during the meal time. I only ran one day for 3.5 miles. You could call this the ultimate taper before marathon day.

Jump forward to today. I am recovering from my exhaustion and weakness. I have spent the past few days shoveling as much protein and water as possible into my body. My husband said I lost a noticeable amount of weight this past week.

So, this is it. The night before, I sit here and blog while eating a banana with peanut butter. Have I done enough to recover my body and mind so that I can race well tomorrow in the heat and humidity?

For me, tomorrow will answer whether mind can truly win over body. My training had gone well up until now. I’ve spent my last days recovering my body through food, fluid and rest. Will it be enough? We’ll see tomorrow.

If you’d like to track me, the race has the instructions here:

http://results.houstonmarathon.com/2017/tracking

Here is where I representated #StomachlessRunner2017 on their graffiti wall

and me alongside the long 26.2 mile route ahead of me tomorrow morning.

Chevron Houston Marathon – 10 Days Before Race Day

What a fun and exciting time before a marathon. I’ve finished my time-consuming, daunting long weekend training runs already. I’m just coasting on my shorter distance runs, playing with some faster paces to see what my body might be capable of. The tough training is now behind me with only the race itself ahead. I’ve built in extra pounds (119-122 lbs) to burn during the race. I’m downright giddy.

This year’s marathon was meant to be. Yesterday afternoon, it all started with an IM from a coworker. She saw me on a FB posting by the Chevron Houston Marathon with the title “10 Days to Go!”. Sure enough, there I am! This was a shot taken from my half marathon finish last year. So now, the girl who runs without a stomach has become one of many cover faces for the race! If only I could get the marathon to share my story to advocate for gastric cancer awareness.

So, let’s go do this!  Right now, the forecast is looking like it might be really hot. Current weather forecast models predict a 63 start temp. That might make for an extremely hot race. Then again, this is Houston. If you just wait 2 hours, the temperature might drop 20 degrees. We have spent the “winter” running our A/C one night, then running the fireplace the next. Fingers crossed we are blessed with a nice little cold front before race day. And if worse comes to worse, I will run with a sports bra and show off my sweet gastrectomy scar. Shout out to Dr. Paul Mansfield for one of the straightest and most beautiful little scars ever!

My family has blocked off the morning to support me. My husband has thoughtfully helped me build my strategy. We believe that mentally I should stay with the 3:30 pacer. My left IT band is causing me some concern, and I don’t know how well it will hold out. If halfway through the race I am feeling strong, I will always have the 3:20 pacer as my rabbit to catch. Bear in mind, 3:21 is my PR. Let’s go negative splits next Sunday! Here is the medal awaiting yet another milestone in post-gastrectomy life, motivation to cross that long-awaited finished line.

 

 

 

It’s Time to Run a Marathon without a Stomach

January of 2016, I finished my 3rd half marathon post gastrectomy. In the excitement of race day, I decided to sign up for the full marathon in January of 2017. Halfway through 2016, I was starting to doubt my decision. With 5 marathons under my belt, I am well aware of both the time commitment and calorie burn required for the 4-month training schedule prior to race day. How am I going to actually do this? The answer is friends.

Over time, I have met many running buddies just as crazy as me. Actually, some of them are even more dedicated than me. They might even run 4 miles before a 5AM run. These are inspirational people with a passion for running and a healthy, active life. It was these same running buddies who have inspired me to run the full marathon. They have been there at 5AM on Saturday mornings, shoes laced up and ready to put in the long mile runs together as a team. This morning with their camaraderie, we completed our longest distance pre-marathon day of 21.8 miles. With that milestone, I can say I have trained through the toughest distance run required prior to race day. We will taper our long runs down to 18 miles next weekend, then it’s just maintaining a more normal running week. I am now both mentally and physically prepared for race day. My goal time is 3:30 still, my same goal with my stomach. We’ll see if I can break that time on race day.

Back in July, I got another “nudge” that I was meant to race the full this year. I  opened my monthly update email for the race, skimmed it for any interesting information and deleted it. Later that day, I get that same email forwarded from my husband with an email chain to him saying “Is that your wife?”. Of the 25,000+ racers from Jan 2016, someone randomly selected my photo to throw into the email banner. Yes, that is me on the left. If that doesn’t mean I was supposed to race this year, I don’t know what does! Race day is Jan 15, 2017, and I will not be taking the left turn for the half marathon.

For race logistics, I’ll tell you about energy gels and water consumption. I am able to eat gu while I am running with no negative side effects.  For me while running and actively burning calories, I never encounter even a semblance of blood sugar problems. Without my stomach, the gu is absorbed more rapidly during the race, providing a near instant energy boost. Whereas when I had my stomach, the energy boost was delayed 10-15 minutes. I plan to take 3 gus during my race and utilize the water stops. I do find that it is harder for me to drink water during races. Plain water continues to be one of the most frustrating food/drink items to consume on the typical day. Everyone with stomachs has the luxury of gulping down their water. I very patiently pinch the cup so it doesn’t slosh all over me, then keep running while taking sips to get it all down.

I am about 3 1/2 years post surgery, and have been able to gain weight. I describe to friends that I am fat and happy. I will never forget how weak I was when my weight bottomed out at 103 lbs (46.7kg). Going through TG recovery gave me a new appreciation for a strong, healthy weight. This morning, I mentally noted how impressed I was to eat a small plate of eggs within 3 minutes. In my early post-op days, I had some very bad experiences with eggs getting stuck in my throat and taking many hours to get down. I can enjoy sweets in moderation now, and I can eat a good portion of a meal at dinner in the same time others finish their meal. This doesn’t mean I have the capacity to finish the meal, but I can eat the leftovers later. I still depend on snacks, and have to take special care to prioritize eating on days when I burn a lot of calories. I found a box of prepackaged nuts for on-the-go at Costco with salted almonds, unsalted almond, and salted peanuts. These plus peanut butter crackers tend to be blood sugar savers for me on busy days. I’m not sure what people think during a work meeting when I bust out peanut butter crackers like a little kid, but I’m not bothered.

And since it has been so long without a post, I was going to share a few highlights from our year. We took a family vacation to Seattle, so here I am off the Puget Sound.

Kyle and I needed a couples vacation to rest, relax, and recharge. Thanks to our wonderful family back home watching our kids, we were able to visit the beautiful beaches in Aruba.

And none of this is possible without all the support from my loving husband.

Have a Merry Christmas, and I will post my post marathon highlights.

A Stomachless Work Lunch

I wanted to add a short post to elaborate on all the goofy comments you must be prepared for post gastrectomy.

For lunch, I met a coworker who was aware of my “stomachless status” at a local Mexican food restaurant. I ordered one crispy taco lunch portion which also came with rice and beans. We were having a great discussion when the food arrived. I looked over to discover that the “single” crispy taco was the size of half of a soccer ball. It was an insanely large portion. (But that’s pretty typical at restaurants, so no surprise there…)

As per usual, when my coworker was done, I took my cue that I should be finished by now and asked for my usual to-go box. At this point, I didn’t think much of what had happened. I actually thought, “Wow, I did really good. I ate half the taco, half the beans and rice and even managed to finish by drinking some of the ice water.”

When the waiter came with his to-go box, he caught me off-guard by asking, “Was there something wrong with your meal?” To which I replied, “Oh no, I just eat lunch part A and lunch part B.” He simply responded with “Oh… you’re one of those 6 meals a day people.” I thought and said, “Why yes I am.”

So, if you don’t have a stomach, be prepared for the random comments and what you plan to respond with. On a side note, I am swimming in leftovers that I need to eat. So, you should be prepared for that too if you don’t have a stomach. 🙂

An Instant Remedy for Bile Reflux…Soda!!

During a family camping excursion, I unintentionally discovered the most effective and almost instantaneous remedy to get rid of bile reflux!!  I have been getting bile reflux quite often, the kind that wakes me up in the middle of the night. And quite frankly, I’ve lost quite a bit of sleep because of it. Once I get the reflux, I’m not able to sleep well afterwards because the burning in my throat keeps me awake.

During camping, the only drink we had left inside our tent was, ironically enough, diet Pepsi. I knew I would have an issue before we went to sleep because I’d eaten s’mores (graham cracker, chocolate and marshmallow) and pretty soon after, we went to bed. We forgot to pack pillows, so I was basically laying completely flat on the ground. Both of these meant I would wake before sunrise to that burning bile feeling in my throat. So, at 5:00 AM or so, I was woken up by that exact feeling and tried drinking the only beverage I had available.

To my amazement, it turns out diet Pepsi completely got rid of the bile reflux, and it happened in approximately 5 minutes or less. Since then, I’ve done a little trial and error at home with this. If I wake up with bile reflux, I go and grab a Coke Zero (my personal favorite) and I take 5-6 giant gulps. Somehow the soda shoves the “knot feeling” down and gets rid of the burning feeling.

I’ve been so flabbergasted by this discovery, I just had to share it as its own unique blog post. I hope it will help those of you who also have this issue. On a side note, my stomachless brother does not have bile reflux, so he’s never had to try this.

Hope that helps! Have a good night.

Vitamin supplementation Plan – 2 years Post Total Gastrectomy

From what I’ve read and been told, after 6 months, most of your vitamin stores from before a total gastrectomy are assumedly gone. So, it is safe to say that at 2 years post-gastrectomy, I am fully dependent upon diet and supplements to maintain my health.

I just wanted to share with you what I currently am using as a reference. Check with your doctor for your plan. I’ve certainly discovered that everyone’s body reacts and heals differently from this surgery!

Since I have struggled with some major iron deficiency, I found that Centrum chewables is the only chewable multivitamin that actually contains iron. So, I take that one every morning and evening. My theory with the chewable vitamins is that the more I can break it down before it hits my system, the better for absorption.

 

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Then, here is the type of ferrous sulfate (iron) supplement I take. It’s NatureMade because that’s what’s available at my local grocery store. I make sure I get uncoated tablets for better absorption by my gut.

I know that too much iron is a concern, but since I was so deficient, taking this twice a day isn’t an issue yet. I know my iron absorption is reduced due to my total gastrectomy, and I was so extremely anemic that I haven’t reached a tipping point of too much iron. When you get too much iron, you get constipated. I can still poop, so it seems ok so far. To confirm my success with this, I am awaiting an August well visit with my doctors to include a vitamin and mineral screen.

On a side note, I suppose you could take the liquid iron supplement, but that just seems like it’d taste extra disgusting. I couldn’t even stand the smell when I gave it to my children when they were infants.

And since iron absorption is better done with vitamin C, I chew some vitamin C before taking that iron pill supplement.

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Last but not least is Vitamin B12. I chose to take the sublingual drops (under the tongue) because I didn’t want monthly shots. I’ve read some folks debating if sublingual drops are effective. With daily sublingual drops taken since my surgery, my B12 is actually high above the typical range. So, the absorption must be effective. I now am balancing to take the drops every other day so that I’m in the healthy range. At this two seconds, I’m taking the B complex sublingual drops; but I’ve also see just B12 available at the store. I’m not sure if the B complex is necessary, but I thought I’d try it.

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Stay healthy my friends.

Celebrating two years post total gastrectomy!!

Today marks the two year anniversary of my total prophylactic gastrectomy. It’s been a journey, I think about food differently now, but I’m so happy with where I am today. I sat down for lunch on Monday of this week with a table full of people completely unaware of my gastric reconfiguration. I remember just smiling thinking how far I’ve come. Two years ago, I’d had my stomach removed and couldn’t eat more than 500 calories a day. Now, I can eat with folks who just think “Oh, she has really good self-control around her portion size at meals.” Oh, little do they know!!

So what do you do on the weekend two years post-gastrectomy? Pretty much whatever you want. Hopefully the journey to get here serves as a reminder to savor the moments and love life. We did just that today! The weather is hot and the pools are warm, so you have to soak up the sun. Early in the morning we played a little top golf. After that, we took a short break at home before hitting the neighborhood pools: my son really loves the diving board and then the other pool has a beach as well! This basically meant we spent 4 hours out in the hot sun swimming and enjoying family time together. And tonight we got to attend a friend’s birthday party. Adults got to chat; kids got to play. It was great!

What did I eat today?
Started out with a tortilla with peanut butter, also a coffee with cream
Then some beef stew
Had a grilled cheese at the pool, along with some watermelon
Started getting a little shaky given all the energy output swimming, so I ate some pirate booty and a slice of cheese in the afternoon.
In true Texas form, the birthday dinner had BBQ. So I enjoyed some turkey and sausage, along with some potato salad.
Over the course of the evening, I was able to have a slice of cake and peanut butter M&Ms. I also had chips and hummus.
All that, along with some drinks.

When I type up a list of all the food I shoveled into my body today, I have to say it was pretty awesome. Good thing I’ve kept up my running habit because otherwise I’d probably be gaining a lot of weight at this pace. It’s crazy to compare my food log today with what it looked like 2 years ago. Thank God for the feeding tube that helped me hold my weight the first 7 weeks after surgery!! The pair of pants I bought post-gastrectomy when my weight was at its lowest is now too small for me. Nice to be stomachless and have pair of pants that’s too small on you!

Over the past two years, as I’ve shared my story with others, I’ve been amazed at just how many people are impacted either by stomach cancer or stomach/gastric issues. It’s amazing how many people have a relative who has passed away from or battled with stomach cancer. Others have undiagnosed stomach issues that they’re going from doctor to doctor about. You can’t be part of this community and not recognize that you are your own best advocate.

I call this #stomachlessrunner …

Keep it up my stomachless friends!

But You Don’t Look Like You Had Cancer

Blogging is a great way to reflect on where I’ve been, where I’m at and where I’m going.

At this phase in recovery, a lot of people around me in life don’t realize I don’t have a stomach. And when I do mention it, I feel like I’m weird for even having said anything. Lately I’ve been trying to figure out how to explain my circumstance when necessary in the ‘condensed elevator speech’ version that doesn’t make me or them feel so awkward.

So a few weeks ago, I was lucky to be able to attend No Stomach for Cancer’s Spotlight on Gastric Cancer event in Philadelphia with Dr. Parry Guilford as the keynote speaker. It was an awesome conference with great insight into the future of the medicine for CDH1ers. I learned about a possible future cancer prevention pill which would attack mutated e-cadherin. This means that in 15 years, CDH1 mutation patients could keep their stomachs and live!!

I got to meet my fellow stomachless blogger Rachel and her energetic stomachless mom!!
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On the way, a lot of people from Houston were flying to Philadelphia for the larger conference hosted by the American Cancer Society. I’d bet most people heading there were researchers or worked for the pharmaceutical companies.

When a man on the plane asked me a simple question, here’s how the conversation went:

Him: “Oh, why are you going to Philadelphia?”
Me: “I’m going to a gastric cancer conference.”
Him: “Oh, are you in research?”
Me: “No.”
Him: “Oh, then you’re a doctor!”
Me: “No, actually I’m a patient.”
Him: Look of astonishment, turning to feeling a bit awkward for having asked the question.

I am fairly young. I consider myself to look pretty healthy, somewhat athletic, and maybe too skinny. So when people see me, they don’t think I look like someone who had cancer or who is missing a stomach. How do you explain your circumstance to people who feel your physical appearance is incongruent with what you’re telling them?

Here’s conversation two, as I was picking up my young son from after-school care:

Son (while nonchalantly playing with a toy): “Yeah, my mommy doesn’t have a stomach. Yeah, she had it removed so she could have me.”
Older girl classmate: Look of absolute confusion. Looks toward the teacher for an explanation.
Teacher: Look of even more confusion. Looks at me, looks confused back at the confused girl, looks at my son who thinks everyone knows you can live without a stomach.
Me: Awkward laugh.. “Yes, he’s telling you the right thing. I don’t have a stomach. I had my stomach removed. It wasn’t so I could have kids though”
Teacher: Still confused. “What?”
Some silence
Me: “It was because of cancer.”

I don’t feel like I had cancer. My gastrectomy got all my cancer out before it became a problem. It was curative with no chemotherapy. I don’t feel like I can “claim” I had cancer, but quite frankly it seems to be the simplest explanation that most people can get their head around. And everyone knows that cancer sucks.

And the conversation I have at work every week or so. Most stomachless folks will smile as they read this because I’m sure they can relate.
….
person: “Can I come to your desk to discuss XYZ topic?”
me: “Sure thing. I’m here.”
person (sees remainder of food I need to finish at some point): “Oh, I’m so sorry. You’re eating. I can come back.”
me: “Oh no!! Just ignore the food. I kind of just eat all day. I promise it’s not a problem.”

Maybe I’ll get better at explaining my circumstance as time goes on, but for now it’s just a bit strange when it comes up.

Onto regular life, as I continue to supplement iron multiple times a day (with vitamin C to increase absorption), my strength continues to grow. I’m able now to work out 4 days a week, and I think I’m holding to gaining weight. (Yes, my scale actually broke, and I haven’t replaced it.) The current routine I’m trying out is an attempt to include my love of running with some more strength classes. I run 5-6 miles 2x a week, then take a bodypump class and a boot camp class (which is more like athletic conditioning). I can tell I’m gaining muscle strength; I don’t have a trainer to tell me what I’m accomplishing in body composition, but I can tell. And during my workouts, I can tell that my strength is growing. I’m able to lift more, sprint harder, complete the entire class without feeling like giving up. This is a great place to be at now. I’ve notice my growing strength is really helping my running pace again, much to the chagrin of my running friends who have to push to keep up with my increasing pace. Haha!!

My regular pants from before my gastrectomy fit me again. 6 months post surgery, I had lost so much weight and muscle mass that I was swimming in all my clothes. Now I feel like I’m back!

On the food front, a blog commenter Jeff mentioned I focus on food more now. I’d have to agree. Ironically, my gastrectomy has made me more appreciative of good, quality foods with lots of flavors. If you can eat good quality proteins, add all the flavorful elements and feel good afterwards, it’s a big win! You appreciate everything that tastes good, makes you feel good and stays down. Not many people have had to go through an extended phase of not being able to hold food down, so they can’t quite appreciate what it means to eat food and keep it down.

On the life front, I’m happy. My CDH1 diagnosis focuses me on what truly matters in life. I don’t think about it everyday, but it sits in the back of my mind. It gives me a good reminder to push away what doesn’t matter. I strive to strike the right balance between God, family, my health, and work. So long as I keep my iron up, I seem able to keep up, although a bit hectic at times. I try to remember everyday to build up the people around me and remember they too have a story. People and true relationships matter. And everyone has a story.

One final note to articulate just how everyone has a story. I met some new folks for a group run last week. One guy was faster, so we ran ahead for a great run!! I chat while I run and got onto the subject of not having a stomach. (The good thing about distance running is I had plenty of time to explain my story!) We were talking about genetics, its link to cancer, medical protocol and more. As we were talking, he mentioned how odd it was to hear my story. He then proceeds to tell me that his mom was diagnosed with esophageal cancer many years ago. She was told she would live 1.5 years without surgery, but with surgery could live 3 years. He pushed his mom to have the surgery because he wanted his mom with him for the full 3 years. After the surgery, his mom had so many complications that she passed away within one year anyhow. He felt guilty. He said, “I think about my mom a lot when I go running.” I said, “Yeah, I understand. I think about my dad a lot when I go running too.”

Everyone has a story.

A Newfound Appreciation for Iron! 1.75 years post total gastrectomy

Now when I sit down to blog (in glorious peace and quiet), I have to calculate how long it was since my surgery. It’s hard to believe that in June I will have been without my stomach for 2 years! I’m at the phase now where I’ve truly lost track of how long it has been. My lack of stomach no longer dominates my life or my thoughts. My body still reminds me periodically, and I sometimes wonder what my life would be like today with my dad and aunt still in it. I’d like to think those are gentle reminders to focus on what’s important in life.

As the title eludes, I have been taking my separate iron supplement along with my multivitamin and B complex supplement. That addition of iron to my repertoire of daily supplements has led to super energy Marne again…tons of energy!! And it’s amazing how far I had slipped without realizing the root cause. I eventually felt bad enough that I looked it up and realized I exhibited all the symptoms of iron deficiency anemia. I also figured my exhaustion and pace slowdown in running was because I was getting older and out of energy. I ran 5 miles yesterday and was able to drop my pace down into the 7:00 min/mile range again. It’s amazing how much more you can force your body to do with normal iron levels!!

Per WebMD, women age 18-50 require 18mg/day, while men get away only needing 8mg/day (you guys stink!). Between that and my bypassed duodenum, I quickly trended into the iron deficiency anemia “fogginess” and exhaustion. But I’m happy to report, a simply daily supplement of ferrous sulfate is getting me back on track. Make sure you buy the non-coated caplet. Something about the coated one tore up my gut and left me feeling a bit ‘off’.

Onto the story of life…
I love the way my fellow stomachless blogger Steve put it: less things, more memories. To that end, when my son said he wanted to go skiing, we were able to make it happen. Our trip included a LOT of family time, skiing, an airplane flight (half the fun for the kiddos), snow tubing, ice skating, a Utah Jazz basketball game, first ever visit to the great salt lake, and great food! The trip was a blast!! I’m always worried I’ll forget to book a flight or that the activities I plan will be horrible, but I’ve been very impressed how somehow everything just falls into place and works out.

Here is a brief synopsis of my stomachless food and ski tour….

I’m a huge fan of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. I actually vicariously enjoyed food in the early post-gastrectomy recovery days by watching the show. So, of course I looked up a few spots to check out and settled on the Red Iguana 2 in Salt Lake City. Here’s the mango chicken enchiladas! They were fabulous, and I ate 1 1/2, took the rest to go. I ate my last half 30 minutes later. It was delicious, and I’m picky about Mexican food.
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We had the opportunity to sit on the patio on the beautiful sunny day. Here’s me and my extremely supportive husband:
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Then it was off to skiing. I only go once every year or two, so it took me until day 2 to be ready to ski some blues!! I got there, but my stomachless self definitely requires a mid-day break to eat a snack of some sort.
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Then we found a fabulous locally own Italian place to enjoy dinner. In honor of Steve, I went all out for some decent coffee. They had an amazing cappuccino there!
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Towards the end of the trip, I stumbled on one of the most amazing sandwich shops, called Even Stevens. I had their pot roast sandwich, which was unbelievable.The meat was tender and moist. The bread was amazing, and they had some sort of jalapeno jelly that defined the sandwich. I was able to eat almost the entire sandwich. If you’d seen this sandwich in person, you’d know that was quite the feat. I ate the remainder of the sandwich and the side of chips 30 minutes later in the car once I wasn’t so full!!
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The trip was amazing. The food was incredible. And the wonderful memories we made as a family were unforgettable.

The only challenge post-gastrectomy life leads to is that you no longer have your stomach as a buffer for all the fatty, junky food you consume. You are now more aware when you aren’t eating as well as you should be. It’s tough to eat out every single meal since almost no restaurant limits fat and grease. (I don’t help matters any by going into “vacation mode” and eating too many sweets!) We’re thinking the next trip we go on, we need some sort of kitchenette so we can at least scramble up some eggs for breakfast and have a dinner not at a restaurant.

So, keep living it up my stomachless friends! I know my gastrectomy has taught me that much!

Why?

So, this is a blogging streak for me! Apparently you get some extra iron in my system, and I return to my crazy ways!!

This post is just some open-ended questions that cross my mind sometimes. Short and sweet.

1. Why am I doing so well?
2. Why haven’t I had any major complications or setbacks post-gastrectomy?
3. Can I credit my crazy marathon running past with my overall health? Is this a factor in the quality of my recovery?
4. How awesome must my surgeon be?
5. Why do some doctors not by default put in feeding tubes post gastrectomy? Does the slow and steady weight loss post op as a result (vs the scary fast weight loss) prevent complications such as the gall stones that I’ve read about?
6. Do the food consumption changes post surgery bother me less than other folks?
7. Is it easier to spit out food that gets stuck, rather than being uncomfortable for 20-30 minutes?

I don’t have the answers, but these are some questions that still linger from reading about others’ experiences as compared to my own.

Happy Tuesday! I’m off to spin class in the morning under the presumption that exercise is directly related to my overall health post-gastrectomy. So long as I can make up the calories, I’m keeping it up.