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.

My liquid Diet Day

So the docs told me I could have toast for breakfast before 9 AM and then am on a clear liquid diet all day. After midnight, it’s no food or drink.

I’m now wondering what the irony would be if I lost my entire pre-surgery weight gain in one day. We’ll see what I weigh in the morning. It might be more “funny bad” than “funny haha”.

The Last Meals Saga

So today began my stomach’s last lunch, dinner and tomorrow will be its last breakfast. No, surgery isn’t tomorrow. It’s Friday. Tomorrow is a fancy, classy day the doctors call “Magnesium citrate bowel preparation”. Sounds fun, huh? No need to drool in envy, I know I’m special.

I do have to say it has the strangest rules that maybe someone in the medical community can one day explain to me. I get that the main goal is to clear everything out. You can drink as much water as you want, but you MUST drink 1-1.5 liters of “caloried liquids”. In the acceptable list is many beverages that will generally put me on an absolute sugar high that I fear coming down from. Gatorade, carbonated drinks, pulpless juices like apple juice and cranberry juice, chicken broth, coffee with sugar and no milk-based drinks. They call all of the listed items “clear liquids”, but when my kids drink cranberry juice and spill it on the couch, I don’t consider it very clear. Suffice it to say, I will follow their rules, but that certainly does not mean that I agree with their definition.

Now, most importantly…. What were my last meals? Lunch was red curry chicken on a bed of rice…yum! I got to enjoy that with some friends from work. And dinner was our family favorite, El Jarrito. I enjoyed my usual chicken enchilada and margarita, while the kids played in the playground and later devoured their cheese quesadillas. All in all, a wonderful day for a foodie. Tomorrow will prove to be lackluster for food, but the plan is to scrap the afternoon of work and instead get a pedicure. At least while I hobble around the hospital, my toes will look good.

And lucky for me, one of our air conditioning units went out last night. So the afternoon will also entail a very exciting visit from the A/C repair guy. To give some imagery around our evening with no cooling upstairs…it’s 85 degrees up there and the kids are sleeping on a blowup mattress in the living room. Not sure whether it was the 100 degree heat outside or the events of this week that made Murphy kill the A/C.

Now I just hope I can sleep all night. It’s almost like the kids sense I will be away for a while because they’ve magically appeared in the middle of the night this week. Not sure if I can’t sleep with them in bed or if my subconscious is nervous about the surgery. We’ll see how tonight goes.


Reality comes around twice

I amaze myself at my ability to ignore things. My extra two weeks of consuming lots of extra calories is almost over. I amazingly put it to the back of my mind until I thought about it a little today. Last weekend of overindulging in food for a while! Before my surgery, I think I will have eaten an entire 1/2 gallon of Blue Bell Cookies n Cream and that’s pretty rockin! I just chisel away at it one bowl a night. 😉

Even with all my eating, I struggle to gain weight. I’ve been eating what I consider a lot and don’t gain much. I think I’m up 5-6 lbs in total. Pretty much get no sympathy from anyone when I mention that…more like dirty looks and rolling eyes. We’ll see what happens at my final weigh-in since I have to be on an all liquid diet Thursday before my surgery. I’m betting I’ll lose on that day pretty badly. The good thing is in my early post-surgery recovery phase, you get to go home with the feeding tube in. It’ll be comforting to know if eating food orally doesn’t go so well at the start, I’ve got a fail safe to keep my weight up. They don’t remove it until you stop using it for 2 weeks.

I am constantly reminded that for as hard as this recovery might seem, it’s all for the better. Long term, I have life without fear of stomach cancer. I will sit at my children’s high school and college graduations and see them get married. I will be part of my kids’ adult lives, maybe have grand kids…all opportunities my own dad didn’t have. And I’m young and healthy (minus sinus infections, apparently!) so I will recover well. My husband and I will get to grow old together.

Now I just hope I’ve gotten everything ready at work and at home. And I hope my kids don’t cry when I tell them I can’t pick them up for a long while. We’ll see how they do.

That ends my random thoughts from today. One last one…kinda glad I’m having the surgery when it’s about to hit 100 degrees here. At least I know if I’m inside I’m not missing some perfect weather day. 🙂

Happy Hour!

What do you do before you’re going to be off from work for 8 weeks? Why, you have a happy hour! Thanks to my friend Becky for organizing it! We had some good beers available, went all in on cheese fries and finished up with (randomly enough) crawfish boil! That was some spicy stuff!!

I hope this and my bowl of ice cream will up my weight? When I weighed I last night, I’d lost 5 lbs under where I wanted to be. I’ve found that since I’ve cut back on my running and have gotten flabby, my weight drops. I’m a true believer in muscle weighing more than fat. But I’ve been taking it easy with these Houston allergies and sinus infection.

Cheers to a great evening followed by reading books to my kids, along with kid snuggle time!

My Stomach’s Two Week Reprieve

So me and my stomach are enjoying an extra two weeks together. It would’ve been nice without the sinus infection, but oh well. For the Memorial Day weekend that was given back to me, we enjoyed some Lupe Tortilla for Auntie G’s birthday, plus lots and lots and lots of swimming with the kids.

To assist in my weight gain attempts, there was some Chick-fil-a and Whataburger. And tonight I actually got some motivation to cook! The result was cooked, homegrown green beans, sausage jambalaya and blueberries/melon. I’ve been throwing in some margaritas and beers as well throughout the weekend.

Thinking foods post surgery…I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to eat most all the foods I ate before surgery after the surgery, but it might be quite a journey. Although, the folks I’ve talked to who have already gone through this say they can eat most everything they did before, but just in small quantities very often.

My biggest long-term concern has been running. Having completed my fifth marathon this year, which I also PR’d a 3:21, I desperately wanted confirmation running would continue to be a possibility. The fellow stomachless guy I emailed is 4-5 years post op, running 5-6 miles 5 times a week! He was able to get his first run in 7 or so weeks after and his sister even completed a full marathon within a year of her surgery! All very reassuring.

So lucky to have the Internet and this network of contacts worldwide who we can learn from and ask questions of. I’ve gotten a better understanding of the entire process just by reading through others blogs.

And now off to movie night with the munchkins!

First Change of Plans…

Been mentally preparing for this surgery for a few months. This last weeked we had a going away party for my stomach and was trying to get everything ready to be prepared to be off work for ~8 weeks.

Today, I came down with a sinus infection. Surgery date is moved to 2 weeks later. It’s in my best interest not to have an infection going into a major surgery, but I’ll have to go through this terrible waiting game for two more weeks.

Oh well, 2 more weeks to gain some more weight and enjoy large helpings of yummy food.

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.