Wow, not bad at all!! Almost forget I’m missing my stomach…

I can just about eat normal now. I’m trying to think back to the last time I had to spit up my food, and I can’t remember. It’s been quite some time. Those accidental large bites that used to come back up before seem to get forced down now. I’ve visited many restaurants lately where I don’t know where the bathroom is because I didn’t have to make a mad dash to it!

My portion sizes have really been fantastic the last several weeks. This 6-7 month mark must be the wonderful hurdle I’d heard about. I ate 1-2 cups of angel hair pasta with spaghetti sauce and two meatballs. I’m able to drink liquids leading up to meals, though it still seems easier to give my gut a break immediately following a meal. I usually


to wait 30 minutes after a meal to drink liquids. Though, I have been able to drink water with spicy foods during meals.

I still do my protein shakes and they still can tear you up a bit. I still think they’re tough on the gut, but if I have a chunk of time between meals on the go, they can still fill a void. I only mix in water. I can also consume foods faster now, so I have to watch out for too much sugar. The other day I had Greek yogurt with a few blackberries and some granola. I think the granola put me over the top. I call it my “sugar comatose”, and I’ll figure it out.

I can drink several beers if I want to. I can also enjoy coffee. Before Christmas, I went to a party serving soups and chili. I was able to enjoy a creamy turkey soup, then a glass of wine, followed later on my some chili. There was a big gap before the chili, but I was impressed how well it all went.

I can finally out eat my children. We frequently tell them that if they are eating slower than mommy, they aren’t eating fast enough…they love to play with food and not actually eat. I still find it hard to instill good eating habits in my kids since I snack a lot. And snack food isn’t usually healthy for kids. I’ve found almonds are a good choice because I tell them they can have some, and they usually turn it down. Aka make your snack foods gross enough to kids that they don’t want a bite! 😉

Weight loss for the gastrectomy patient; weight gain for the spouse. Now that I eat smaller portion sizes, it’s easy for my hubbie to eat my leftovers. He thinks he’s packing on a few extra pounds in part thanks to my surgery. We’re also getting older, so a little metabolism slowdown is possible too.

I’m physically at full strength. I’m jumping on trampolines with the kids, helping lift Christmas trees, climbing on counters, etc. I have my half marathon Jan 19 and am completely undertrained, but unconcerned. I’ve run enough races, I know I can do it. I might not PR, but that’s ok. This isn’t my year for that. I’m just relaxing and super happy to be on vacation from work!!

Here’s to a happy, healthy, stomachless 2014.

6.5 months post op

Odd blog title, I know. But I wanted to blog my latest, and it’s about halfway between 6 and 7 months. I’d say it’s still going very well. I’m pretty happy with my current weight. It’s been stable for several months now. I even gained a pound! I think it’s a slow fade from high school thru college and 2 babies…you slowly put on a pound here or there without noticing. I’m probably the same weight I was in high school now. (Just remember, I wasn’t considered overweight going into this surgery, but I was at my top non-pregnant weight.) I would be ok putting on a few more pounds here and there if it happens just so my shoulders aren’t so bony and my ribs aren’t quite so visible.

I’m totally back to my old ways of getting lost in DIY stuff in my house. I took off for Christmas for a stay-cation, and I have a tendency to take on more projects than I have time for. Immediately post surgery, I didn’t have the energy to do that and it just took so many snacks to keep up with weight. But now, I’m able to revert to my crazy ways, to the chagrin of my hubbie sometimes. I can chew on a mini bagel with peanut butter or eat some eggs fairly quickly for breakfast. Then some water, followed by my protein shake (I’m still drinking muscle milk because it’s a bit more fat and calories with the protein. I only mix it with water because milk is just too much.) I’m able to get big projects done without my meals having to dominate my day. This is so awesome!!

It is still hard to get as much protein as I know I need. This seems critical post gastrectomy. It’s the only deficiency I had my last blood draw, and I’m curious if it’ll be low again. The plan is to run my bloodwork after my half marathon in January. I try my best by keeping up with a protein shake and almonds. I still eat peanut butter M&Ms (call if my downfall, but at least there’s some protein.)

The only times I have trouble with food getting stuck is when I try to rush my eating. And when I’m in DIY project mode, I never rush because I bring the food with me. I take a bite and chew away while either painting, installing faucets, or ‘fill in the DIY blank’. Now, I beat cancer and even get to learn about plumbing and electrical!

I generally know what foods work for me and what types of foods don’t work. Vegetables have to be well cooked and then they’re fine (soups are great for that! Minimize the broth you swallow because it’s filling. I’m able to drink the broth now, but when I start feeling full, I just eat the main soup contents.). Frozen breaded meats don’t work; if chicken is fresh breaded and fried, I’m ok. The clearly healthier option of marinated, baked chicken goes well and heats up pretty well. I can do any mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes, etc. I like puréed foods for its pre-chewed factor, but it’s not necessary. The hardest thing is going out to parties where you don’t know what food will be there or analyzing a restaurant menu for what you perceive will be best to eat. I’m doing so well that no one would know I don’t have a stomach unless I told them. They just think I have a lot of self control to eat small portions…if they only knew! Ha!

Bile reflux is gross. I only have trouble with it when I do the wrong thing…eat food 5 minutes before going to bed. I think I learned my lesson last night. I never had much heartburn except with the last month of each of my pregnancies, and bile reflux seems similar to that to me. It’s completely preventable for me though, so I have to say it’s all my fault for my own bad decision.

My scars are looking better and better. They’re pretty minimal and I’d say I am tempted to cover them up with a tattoo. Who knows, I’m kind of chicken though.

God continues to strengthen me through all of this. If I ever wonder why I have this gene, I am reminded over and over that I’m blessed to know in advance. No chemo, no radiation, a curative surgery.

Better portion sizes!!

So I’ve noticed I’m able to eat decent-sized meals. Today I ate half a gyro wrap with a side of hummus and enjoyed some pita chip appetizers. For dinner, I was able to eat 2 bean tamales and a cup of taco soup. These last two weeks, I can really eat a meal. It’s been really awesome. As long as I just drink water before (since I’ve gotten into such a snacking habit), I’m able to eat a good-sized portion.

As long as I don’t drink water during my meal and don’t go crazy with appetizers, I can eat a meal. This is major progress!!

I’ve been slacking on my running a little bit. Mostly feeling tired lately and being too lazy to get out for my run. My hope is I’ll get up to 8 or so miles before the half marathon and just gut it out. (Yes, that was my hilarious pun) Hopefully that’ll work!! Too much going on to squeeze everything in and not run myself into the ground.

Have a good evening.

Surgery delays….

I wonder if the stress in preparing for a total prophylactic gastrectomy makes us more susceptible to getting sick. My brother’s surgery has now been delayed because he too came down with some bug. The doctors don’t want you going into this surgery compromised in anyway. So my brother will get rescheduled and go through all the “impending surgery” stress another time. I wished he wouldn’t have to, but I want him to go into the surgery full strength too!

For me, this Saturday marks 6 months post op. I’ve noticed significant improvements in the last month with my ability to almost chug water and most of my food staying down. I can identify my “too much sugar” crashes easily. Today I ate a regular Greek yogurt and poured on the nature valley crunchy granola. Apparently I devoured it too fast and the protein to offset the sugars was not enough. I can work through it; closing my eyes for a minute or so seems to work.

I tried some beef on a burrito the other day. It was horrible. The beef was over cooked and was impossible to chew. So I ended up flipping out the beef and eating the other ingredients. Next time, I’ll opt for chicken. I have been able to eat meatloaf, though I have to go slow and really chew it down. I usually chew so much that I can find the ground up pieces of fat and discreetly put them in the trash or on my plate to the side. But I was hoping the iron of the meat would help me out, along with the protein. I’m holding strong to my theory of protein, protein, protein. This is hard as a bit of a carb-a-holic.

On the running front, I did 6 miles before work yesterday. It went really well. I’m so tired by the end of the night that it’s insane, but most same people’s alarm clocks don’t go off before 5AM. I know I need a big post of food strategies and my surgery prep recommendations, but I’m being lazy. Will try to do that another night.

Have a good night.