Sunday, 2 March 2014

Calories, Calories, Calories

Congratulations to Kristy and Joe - 60km Walk Complete!
Firstly, I just wanted to congratulate Kristy and Joe for completing the 60km walk over 2 days as part of the Weekend to End Women's Cancers. They raised an amazing $5,761 between them for the Peter Macallum Cancer Centre. Such a great effort for a great cause!


Food
As somebody who loves food, I never thought it could be so difficult to consume enough calories in a day. The majority of my days are spent making sure I eat every couple of hours and figuring out how I can add extra calories to everything I eat. Given my portion sizes are so small, added calories are a necessity.

I was starting my days out with scrambled eggs until the other day, I had a issue in which the eggs got stuck (I'm guessing in my esophagus) and I was unable to eat or drink anything for the majority of the day. I frantically called my dietitian and surgeon thinking that something was seriously wrong with me but as it turns out, this is quite normal for my situation. The one thing that did help (believe it or not) was a few sips of a can of Coke which broke down the eggs that were stuck and helped me get back to normal. Just showed me how bad Coke can actually be! 

I've steered clear of eggs after this incident and am now having pureed porridge for breakfast. My other foods include pureed veggies with mince and I add cheese to each serving to increase the calories. I've also been having a serving or two of ice cream each day - as we all know, this is great for calories! Yet I'm still struggling to meet my daily requirements of 2,000 calories. I'm slowly increasing this day by day so I'm sure I'll get there eventually. 

I've also discovered my biggest downfall which can make me feel really sick if I'm not careful - sugar. I mentioned in my last post I'd bought some Nutella to have on ice cream - turns out this wasn't such a great idea and I felt terrible for the rest of the night. So now I'm very conscious of the things I'm eating that do have a high sugar content as I would like to avoid this happening again.

Weight Loss
Before I went in for surgery, I put on 5 or 6kg as I was told that I could lose 10 - 20% of my weight post surgery. I didn't deliberately put on the weight but indulging in all of the foods I wanted to ultimately led to this result which I wasn't concerned about. 

I'm now happy that I did put on the extra weight as I've already lost about the 5 - 6kg I put on and am back to about what I normally would be (prior to all of my pre-surgery bad food). I could still keep losing weight but by trying to increase my calorie intake each day, hopefully I won't lose too much. Although, it could be a good excuse to go shopping!

Scars
One things a lot of people ask me about is my scars so I thought I'd post a picture so everyone can see the amazing job that the surgeon and his team did. I'll have very minimal scarring once I'm healed properly which I'm really grateful for. I have 6 small scars total - 1 on my belly button and 2 on each side and one above my belly button. You can see them a little better up close but even still healing, they're very small. 



My TV Debut
Another question that everyone has been asking is when my story is going to be on the Channel 7 News. As soon as I have an answer, I'll be sure to post it. I'll be very interested myself to see how the story turns out and the type of response it'll receive. I've never been interviewed for TV before so I was quite nervous but Kristy and the team were lovely and made it all very easy. 



12 comments:

  1. Hi Kate, well what a difficult decision you have made and now learning to adapt without a stomach. It is hard at first but you will learn what suits your new system. It took me a couple of years refining my new diet and have actually put on weight the last couple of years. I am including a link where I have provided some diet information for other people who have had a gastrectomy, my information is 25 and 26. http://www.surgeryencyclopedia.com/Fi-La/Gastrectomy.html Good luck for the future. Cheers Pam

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    1. Hi Pam, thanks so much for the message and the link to the website. It will definitely take a lot of adapting but will be well worth it in the end as I'm sure you'd agree :) I'll check out your diet information and I'm sure I'll find some useful tips. Kate

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  2. Hi Kate, l know exactly what you are going through as unfortunately my family has the same gene. I was diagnosed with stomach cancer and had my stomach and spleen removed way back in 1980 when l was 32. I just thought my cancer was a bit of bad luck and got on with my life, but in the following years to come, after two of my brothers died of stomach cancer, the penny dropped. I went and looked into the D&A side of things, and after many tests, we discovered that the CDH1 gene runs throughout our family. I just had to say hi and to let you know that you can and will live a long life without a stomach. My thoughts are with you Kate, cheers, Geoff.

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    1. Hi Geoff, Thanks so much for the message and I'm incredibly sorry to hear about your brothers and your own diagnosis. It really is such a terrible disease! It's great to hear that you got through it though and is nice to hear from others with the CDH1 gene. Thanks very much for the comment and all the best. Kate

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  3. My experience with leading surgeons led to the conclusion that just having regular mammograms was not reliable, I found that going private for screening ensured a very reliable cross section of testing with 4 cross check tests involving not only mammograms but bloods and ultrasound with two doctors viewing results

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    1. Thanks so much for the advice.. It'll have to be something I'll need to think about in the very near future so really appreciate it :)

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  4. Well done for making the choice and realising you come first. My mum has had breast cancer, I'd do the same if I were to be told I have the gene. Hope you have a very speedy recovery and admire you courage and determination. I have nothing but respect for you.

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    1. I'm sorry to hear that your mum has had breast cancer but I hope that she recovered well. Thanks so much for your comment. I'm happy with my decision but it's great to have support from others also :) Much appreciated

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  5. I've just read through all your blog posts and just wanted to wish you all the best in your recovery... It's amazing to see someone around my age dealing with such serious issues and keeping a bounce in your step and letting nothing get you down. I look forward to reading more about your recovery and your bucket list!

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    1. Thanks so much for your comment Denica, it's very much appreciated. And thanks for reading! It's amazing to me that others are taking something away from my posts so really does mean a lot

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  6. Kate,
    Congratulations on your success thus far. Scrambled eggs were one of my dad's go-to high-calorie, high-protein foods after his gastrectomy as well! In his experience, sugar intake problems do eventually subside, so I'm sure you will be able to enjoy your Nutella again soon! I am really enjoying reading posts from someone my age as I prepare for my surgery date in June.
    Wishing you the best of luck with your recovery.
    -Hanna

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    1. Hi Hanna,
      Thanks so much for your comment! I've cut back on the scrambled eggs after my little scare last week but have to get back onto them as they're definitely a good source of protein. I haven't been so bad with sugar since that occasion either so fingers crossed things are getting a bit easier. Thanks for reading and I'm so happy that you find my posts helpful. All the best for your upcoming surgery. Kate

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