My surgery 12/5 went very well and, as of today, I am still inpatient at MD Anderson. My original discharge date of 12/13 was pushed back due to minor internal bleeding from surgery. Rather than having additional surgery, the doctor wanted to see if this could resolve itself and I’ve been successful (WOOT!). I’m now crossing my fingers for new discharge of tomorrow, 12/18.
During the surgery, they removed my entire stomach, cut out any areas in the stomach cavity (i.e. peritoneum, for my clinical friends) where they saw additional growth, washed the entire area with hot chemo/HIPEC again, and placed a feeding tube. There is a rough picture above of how they reconnected me. (courtesy of Sister Kristen)
I have been up and walking since the day after surgery and am getting around pretty well. I have a little soreness around the area where my feeding tube is and a whole lot of back pain from the not-so-great hospital bed. They expect the back pain to resolve once I’m released and can sleep in a regular bed. Needless to say, I am anxious to test this theory out.
Right now, I am receiving nutrition via an IV/PICC line. The plan is to transition me this week to soft “first foods” (via mouth) and supplement using the feeding tube. I’ll eventually be able to eat regular food; I’ll just require smaller and more frequent portions. I have an appointment with the dietician this week to set goals and track my daily intake.
Once I return to Charleston, I am on my own (for the most part). I’ll have my feeding tube and PICC line removed, locally, and I’ll have periodic CT scans to monitor my stomach. Any additional follow up should be done remotely.
I’ve had several WONDERFUL caregivers since I’ve been here – Adrian’s Aunt Carla and his mother, Mae, as well as my oldest sister, Kristen. (Side note: despite being 7 years older, everyone thinks she’s my twin.) Once discharged, I’ll head to the apartment we rented and then will move to Aunt Carla’s in Livingston on the 23rd for Christmas and the remainder of my stay in Houston. Adrian and Bouden will be flying in on Saturday the 22nd with the puppy (HOPPER!!). I don’t have a date yet for our return to Charleston.
We have received a massive amount of support from friends and family and it means the world to us. Please continue passing along the good vibes, prayers and love!!