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aha263's picture
aha263
Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2014

I'm 27. I had a endoscopy in May to check up on my ulcers. When 1 of the 3 did not heal my GI looked into it and discovered I had cancer in my stomach. Two weeks later I had half my stomach removed. My cancer was so soft my GI had to "tattoo" it for my surgeon because he wouldn't have been able to feel it. The pathoogy report also showed that the cancer cell wasn't even 1cm. So im very lucky it was found so early. Then about 4 weeks later that I started chemo. I have to go every week for 6 months. Ive had 5fu for 3 weeks now. I begin getting oxaliplatin next week.

It has been 8 weeks since my surgery and I still can't walk straight. When I try it hurts-- feels like my skin is steching and I'm afraid it might rip open.

I've lost 15 pounds since surgery. The number on the scale keeps dropping.I have no appetite. My stomach can barely hold anything so when I do eat, I throw up because I forget I can only hold 8oz... liquid included. I'm taking it easy. I have greek yougert with some fresh fruits, grilled cheese, and all my soups are blended before served.

I'm nauseaous as soon as I wake up. Zofran and ginger candy helps, but not for long.

I'm always cold.

I can't sleep. For at least a month I was constantly having nightmares about being chased and killed. Drs told me it was the narcotics I was taking after surgery. So I stopped immediately and switched to Tylenol. Now I'm always tired but never sleepy. I probably fall asleep around 3-5 am, waking up around 8, Sometimes when my nausea is unbearable I force myself into a nap. I don't know how, it just happens. haha.

I get sharp pains under my ribs from sleeping in very position other than flat on my back. Took nearly a week to figure that one out after a trip to ER had ruled out everything.

I'm not here to complain. I just wanted to let someone know what I going through and have them understand me and not pity me. Maybe I'm looking for some advice or assuance that things will be better and that this is all worth it.

I'm been talking to breast cancer survivors...while they are inspiring, they don't really understand half the things I'm going through. Suggesting I eat ice cream because it tastes good is not good advice for me because of the cold and sugar dumping.

My family wants me to focus on getting better so I've stopped working. My fiance and I have also put our future on hold. ... This isn't lving....

JennySC's picture
JennySC
Posts: 32
Joined: Jan 2013

Hi, Aha263,

The cancer sucks, no question about it. Sorry to hear your troubles. Good part, you are a warrior! Praying for your good fight!

I have been a member of Stomach Cancer Warrior and Caregiver group at Facebook, so I have met many people having similar experience like yours. They usually experienced all kinds of problems in the first year after surgeries. Some even have got TPN for over a year.

My husband had stage 4 and had no option of surgery. We wished he could have got the surgery which is the best option to get cured.

Best wishes!

Jenny

 

blondie_o0's picture
blondie_o0
Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2011

Hi, I was diagnosed with stage 1b stomach cancer at the age of 21 almost in 2011. I had a total gastrectomy (my entire stomach cut out), radiation everyday for a month and chemo with 5-FU (flourouracil) for half a year. The experiances you will have are very subjective however I will tell you about my own case. Surgery for me went very well; I stayed at the hospital for only 10 days, and was happy to have the tumor out of me. Eating posed a challenge at first (lots of food was coming up) however eventually my body adjusted (I also adjusted my diet and lifestyle).About a year after surgery, I could eat 3 meals a day with snacks in between. Three years later, my portions have almost gone to the portions I had before surgery. I have to have B12 injections and take a pancreatic enzyme to help me digest without a stomach (if your stool appears light coloured and oily, talk to your doctor about this enzyme....but give your body some time to recover/adjust before getting worried). Chemo for me was another story. I had chemo every 3 weeks for 5 days. The first and second cycle were ok, I felt nauseous and did some dry heaving. My body was very dry and I felt extremly weak (always remember to drink water and stay out of the sun). I was fatigued but still functional, could barely sleep because I was so stressed out. On my 3rd cycle I got radiation. The radiation was not bad at all until it ended. Once I finished radiation it coincided with my 4th cycle of chemo. This created some complications since I had an esophageal spasm from all the stress on my body which basically constricted my throat. This is not a typical symptom so don’t worry about it too much. I couldn’t eat for almost 2 weeks and relied purely on ensure (I would advise stocking up on ensure, since with surgery and low appetite during chemo you will lose weight, there may be days when you can’t eat at all, just put an orange peel or something smelly under your nose and chug). My last chemo cycle was the worst because of the built up stress on my body. I was exhausted to the point of being bed bound and dry heaved or vomited every day of my chemo. I lost a lot of weight since my surgery, my hair thinned a bit but those were the only sign of illness I had.  I hope all this doesn’t scare you. Its very normal to be anxious, I know how you are feeling, I felt the same way. It all sounds kinda bad, but realistically it was a lot better than the media portrays it. Try to surround yourself with lots of friends and family, being without support or pushing aside potential support will lead to a much more unpleasant experience. I took a year off school to recover (I suggest you also take at least 1 year off whatever you are doing), its been amazing, I am doing all the things I’ve always wanted to do (pottery, painting, tai chi), I am relaxing and learning to appreciate life like I never did before. Overall cancer has taught me a lesson on what is truly important in life (myself, family and friends rather than school and getting ahead). Always look on the positive and keep your chin up, that is the number one thing you can do to help yourself. I hope this was somewhat helpful to you. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need any support. 

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