Updates and more!

I realize an update is long overdue, so here we go!

 

Since my last update here are a few highlights:

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In early March, Philip and I started dating.
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Paul had his surgery on February 17 – his surgery could have gone better and he had a pretty rough recovery (whole other story) but he’s a lot better now! Also – John graduated college!
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Katie had her surgery to remove her stomach on April 12. The surgery took 8 hours but was successful!
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My best friend was such a beautiful bride in June and I was honored and thrilled to death to be her maid of honor. I also caught the bouquet!
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John and Kenzie got married a couple weeks later! It was a beautiful week. So much love for this couple and our families. Kenzie was absolutely stunning!
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Philip and I got engaged on July 3. I was so surprised!
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We took this after we got our wedding bands!

 

I guess you could say I have been incredibly blessed this year. In February, I was so beaten down. I couldn’t see any light and I asked God to show our family mercy and let us have a time of joy because we had had so many trials one right after the next.

Obviously, God answered that prayer. God also provided my dad with a new job. This new job is a complete God send and it perfect for him in every way.

So onto the “more” part…

Since my last update, I’ve lost right around 50 pounds, give or take a few. My weight has finally stabilized and I owe a huge thank you to my fiance for that. He’s been very proactive about reminding me to eat if I haven’t in awhile and makes me drink a lot of water. We were scared for a bit because the weight just kept coming off but it seems like I’m at a new normal now. Paul and Katie are both pretty much stable as well and healthy.

A lot of people have asked about some of the normals that TG people have to deal with. Being around 9 months out from my surgery, I can tell you that life is a lot more normal than I thought anyone in my family thought originally. We eat just about the same things except we have to pay very close attention to portion sizes, how fast we eat, suagr and fat content, and most importantly – our bodies. Sometimes our bodies are bi-polar and we have to just live with that. One day I’ll eat a burrito and am fine an the next day I’ll have the same thing but I will have a reaction.

Reactions are funny little things. The technical term is called “dumping” but it is a lot easier to say I’m having a reaction because everyone knows what that is. Reactions, or dumping, is when food enters into the small intestines too quickly. Some side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rapid heart rate, fatigue, and dizziness. Sometimes we get all the symptoms at once, those reactions are the worst, and sometimes it can be one or two of them. Most days, I have around two smaller reactions. They last about 30-45 minutes. If I just ate too fast or too much they can be done in around 20 minutes.

Other “normals” include eating all the time and monitoring activities. TG people are huge snackers, and it is really not that bad. Turns out eating the way doctors tell us to eat is actually pretty great. I have more energy through the day and have learned that eating healthy really does change a person’s mood, sleep cycle, and health overall (who’dathunk it, right?). When it comes to monitoring activities, I mean that as a post-total gastrectomy patient, I have to be careful and mindful about how active I am during the day so that I don’t burn more calories than I consume or more energy than I can give. Otherwise, I’ll probably pay for it for a day or two. Here is a great explanation using “The Spoon Theory.”

I’ve been overwhelmed with the love and support our family has received throughout this past year. Thank you to everyone who has kept us in your thoughts and prayers, they have not gone unnoticed or unheard.

I guess this is it for now. I’ll try to keep updating more often! Hope everyone reading has a blessed day!

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