It’s been two months since I said okay to surgery. I have not at any point thought that this stage of the journey was going to be easy. I don’t feel that I have been naive (at least about some things) when it comes to knowing what to expect after surgery. But one can’t know everything, though one does strive to.
After starting the process to proceed with surgery in November, my “Mommy” clock started ticking again. Since then Rob and I have really struggled with the decision to have another child. There have been a few sleepless nights trying to decide whether to wait on surgery and have another child or to just do the surgery right away.
This truly has been the most difficult decision of my life. The accumulation of stress just trying to commit to an action was unimaginable. Causing sleeping, digestive and acne issues. Stress can do some nasty things to you, and hopefully this stress along with the normal everyday stresses in life (work, children etc) hasn’t caused other issues. I find over the last few months I have been burping A LOT. It is excruciating, annoying and gross, and it would be nice if it would just stop already. I know that burping after surgery is going to be more present, but I hope not like this!
On January 7, I finally met with my surgeon. I had a few questions to ask just as a refresher and went just to be reassured the details of why I need to have the surgery sooner rather than later. Here are a couple of questions I asked:
1. Iron infusions are they required at some point? Not normally, Iron is absorbed through your small intestine and the duodenum, with a total gastrectomy the duodenum is bypassed, so the absorption is not as much so it’s important to take your daily vitamins.
2. Feed tube after surgery? No (thank goodness) there will be no feed tube…good thing I have a few extra pounds to use up while I wait the 5-7 days to heal before I can start eating again. Every doctor is different, make sure you ask yours what their plan is.
3. Are there issues at the beginning going back to a sedentary job? There shouldn’t be, may just need to be a on gradual return to work to adjust accordingly to the new routine and initial energy levels.
4. Sub-lingual B12 use instead of shots? The sub-lingual is still new, I can try it that way but I have to be monitored closely to make sure I am not deficient in any way.
I was reminded that I am doing this so I DON’T get cancer. That I am high risk and that stomach cancer is a “Bad Actor” as per my surgeon. It is a clear picture that gastric cancer is scary, the chances of it being found at an early stage (even with semi annual gastroscopies) are slim and that the survival rates at stage 4 are horrific. I don’t want to be a statistic, I want to watch my baby girl grow old and have children of her own. I am taking my life in my hands and I accept that the rest of life is going to be a challenge with food; but it’s a better outcome than having to go through surgery, chemo and radiation and be forever scarred from those things. I am also extremely scared of going under the knife, I have only broken a baby toe, and been put under to have my wisdom teeth removed. This is far more than anything I could ever imagine and the 10 days spent in hospital away from my family and the comfort of my home will be the most difficult thing I will experience.
I have my next gastroscopy on January 15, which is a chance for me to catch up on some well needed sleep as the sedation make me very sleepy, dizzy and really a useless woman for the next 48 hours. This one I am not so nervous about, because I know if they find something I am already doing what I need to to stop this from going any further. Here’s to hoping they don’t though. I am looking forward to getting this surgery over with and since meeting with my surgeon I have been quite relieved as I made the decision to have it done in April.
Now to wait for the Doctor to give me a specific date, then I can plan some good eats before the menu gets more than a little boring while making the adjustment to a new life style.
This year will bring many changes in appetite (or lack there of), a new wardrobe (I wish I enjoyed shopping more) and the challenges of healing and rebuilding my strength.
I wish you and your families the strength, love and peace, and many best wishes for this year!
Thank you for following along and for your support!