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Total Gastrectomy Recovery

taylorkern4899
Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2010

Hello, I am new to this but thought it would be a great resource for some answers to what my father is going through since his total gastrectomy. My dad was given the diagnosis of stomach cancer in early May 2010. The tumor had penetrated a layers of the stomach's wall but they did not find it on any other organs or in any of the 72 lymph nodes they took and biopsied. He started chemotherapy (3 rounds) in June and 12 weeks of radiation as well. Early October he received his total gastrectomy. He spent almost 5 weeks in the hospital following his surgery due to complications. They inserted a J-tube in which was constantly getting backed up. Nausea and severe cramping could not be controlled. 2 days after he was able to swollow soft foods (i.e. mashed potatoes) he was discharged only to find himself back in the hospital 3 days later with severe cramping, j-tube blockage, and nausea. By this point his spirits were basically null and void. My dad is a strong person but he was/is quickly fading mentally. This is not how he wanted to live his life. They decided to re-operate as they assumed there was an intestinal blockage of scar tissue that had formed. They did so and removed another portion of intestines. My Dad felt better after this. He was discharged with his J-tube still in place in which he is instructed to use this 12 hours at night. A week ago, he was readmitted after he was again feeling extreme nausea and fatigue. He was admitted to the hospital when they realized he was anemic with a critical hemoglobin value. He received a unit of blood. He sounded 100% better literally hours after the transfusion. He was even beginning to talk about food...something he hasn't been able to do since chemo/radiation. He was discharged on Sunday (this past). He is now home but just doesn't feel good at all. Nausea has been a constant battle for him. The thought of food disgusts him. He has already lost about 25-30 lbs. He had the hiccups really bad yesterday. The Dr. told him to unplug his tube feeding for a few hours. He did and the hiccups went away.

Has anyone experienced anything like this? When will the nausea go away and hiccups come back? I really want him to start eating so eventually he can get this J-tube out. He has little energy, when will this return?

Any similar stories and/or advice would be greatly appreciated

livestrong_fighter's picture
livestrong_fighter
Posts: 39
Joined: Dec 2009

Hi, Taylor,

Sorry to hear about your loved one suffering.

For cancer, each patient's experience is different. However, I remember seeing a group in yahoo called "total gastrectomy". If you check there, you might be able to find more helpful information. CSN is not a high traffic website, plus, everyone here's experience might be different.

Good luck with your father!

Livestrong

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