On Monday January 20th I underwent a full Gastrectomy. I was five hours in surgery while a team of four surgeons two male and two female performed a procedure called a " Roux en Y" . This procedure entails removing the stomach entirely and connecting the oesophageal tube and the small bowel to each other directly. They took layers of the soft tissue around the stomach also, and both the stomach and the lymph nodes in those layers have gone to the lab for a full historical pathology. I have 23 staples in the vertical incision that runs through my belly button. There is a drain stitched in to the cavity extracting fluid, I had a central line in the side of my neck with five outlets. There were two cannulas in my arms one directly in to an artery. I have a J tube stitched directly in to my small bowel for liquid feeding, I have had an epidural connected to my back which I am hoping to have removed today.
I have started eating soft food since Friday evening having completed an ink test that turned my tongue smurf blue! There have been good moments each time another tube is removed, but there have also been low moments, pain, frustration, and doubt. The team who have been caring for me and I really do mean caring have done an incredible piece of surgery, respected my opinions, held my hand, wiped my tears,and hugged me along every step of the way, and I am so grateful to each and every one of them. The nurses and ward staff too in the main have been incredible in their care. I did have one bad experience but those of you who know me realise that I am not shy in letting someone know that I do not feel respected, or that I am also a member of the team. It has been a powerful experience to share the ward with a group of women, each with their own unique story and on their own journeys, who are funny, witty, and above all understanding of the highs and lows. Mr Margie and I spoke to professor Ridgeway the other evening and his words were inspiring " we are ahead of the game and we intend to stay that way". This morning I have been told that the epidural is coming off and depending on my response I am may be going home tomorrow.
I am a community worker I was working full time until my cancer diagnosis in October 2013. I have been interested in crafts all my life. I am always knitting or sewing. I love the different seasonal crafts and spending time with family and friends.