Relief – 2 weeks post surgery

Before my surgery, we had braced for the worst. We were prepared for me to be nauseous on and off for a few months and to have a major recovery. Now I sit here 2 weeks and one day post surgery, and we’re wondering how I’m doing so incredibly well. I’m heeding all the advice I’d read… Eat slow, chew everything to mush, don’t drink while eating, watch your sugars, etc.

To date, (other than my hydrocodone nausea day), I haven’t had nausea. People mentioned “dumping”…I somehow have also avoided that. I’m still being really careful, but somehow I feel just fine. My energy and strength is regaining everyday. I do take a nap everyday right now and have to sit down and just chill a lot more. But I’m up to doing laundry, running some errands, etc.

After all the fear and anxiety going into the surgery, it’s nice to be 2 weeks out and quickly healing. Just need to remember to take it easy and focus on eating.

When we mentioned my surgery to friends and coworkers, people are just shocked about this surgery. I got responses like: “How will you eat?”, “Can you live without a stomach?”, “You can’t afford to lose that much weight.”,”Will you have to be on a feeding tube forever?”, and my favorite “You just blew my mind!”

With so much unknown before this surgery, I’d like to mention you just start eating slow, small portions very frequently. Actually the diet they recommend is similar to healthy diet/life recommendations: eat 5-6 small meals that are healthy.

The reality is, not too crazy. You have your lifeline post surgery, your “j-tube”. In medical speak, it’s a tube feeding your ‘formula’ straight to your jujenum (think start of your small intestines). If you have trouble eating all your calorie needs for the day, no big deal. Just pop open a can and it keeps you fully nourished. But no, it’s not long term. You just wean yourself off of it over time, regularly monitoring your weight. As you get stronger and slowly eat more calories, you reduce how much you put in your feeding tube.

I think my biggest challenge going into this is my high metabolism and low weight. I was only able to gain 6-7 lbs going into this and I lost 5 in the hospital. I’ve never been overweight and have always maintained a 5 lb range with marathon running and my diet. The dietitians assumed I need 1500 calories/day, but I know I usually consume more like 2000 calories/day. So far, I’ve been able to hold my weight with the 1500 calories through the feeding tube and 500-1300 calories orally. And we’ll see if I do good enough to run the Houston half marathon in January since I did register for it already! (I’ll call that my optimism.)

So I’ll keep you posted how it goes. Not too bad so far. Am tired again, so will sign off with another Goodnight!

3 thoughts on “Relief – 2 weeks post surgery

  1. Hi, may i know how your dad beat the life expectancy rate and stretched up to 3 years instead? did he change his diet to more broccoli?
    I desperately need an answer for this because my uncle was diagnosed of stage 4 stomach cancer.
    The doctor said he didnt need surgery nor chemo & that he is free to eat anything he wants and may be discharged a week from now…
    We are desperately trying to find some hope in this.
    I accidentally changed upon your blog upon Googling about stomach cancer.
    & like you, he was an avid marathon runner till cancer strikes.
    Hope to hear from you soon.
    Warmest regards,
    Nicole

    • Hi Nicole,

      I don’t feel like my dad’s survival time was anything more than sheer determination to live for his family. Nothing about his diet was particularly fabulous. He just ate whatever he could hold down in order to maintain some sort of weight. When he did pass away, I believe it was because he had all his affairs in order and knew his family would be ok. He wouldn’t let go until he knew we were ok with him letting go. I’m not claiming it was easy to lose him, but after seeing how beat up his body was at the time, I knew that him leaving me was a true relief, an end to his suffering and fighting this terrible cancer. But remember, he passed away in 1997 when the treatment plans were far worse than the options today.

      My best prayers for your uncle to beat all the odds. I love to see people beat the cancer. Keep up the good fight.
      Marne

      • Thank you Marne for your reply. appreciate it a lot.
        it’s said that he is left with 2 months only. hoping and praying for a miracle.

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