Officially stomach cancer free!!


Today I had my follow up with my surgeon and her team.  It was another trip to the big city.  I’ve had so many trips now I’ve now lost count.

My mom and I took the train in again.  Unfortunately, we missed the first train but I quickly learned that it’s too soon to run.   I must have made it about 20 meters and my ‘run’ was probably closer to a slow slow jog.  I have got a long way to go before I’m speeding around the baseball diamond again.

Once we arrived in Toronto, we picked up some lunch at a nearby shopping centre. Our lunch consisted of beef, white rice, and honey garlic chicken.  Did you know that for $9.50 you can feed two stomach-less people for not once but twice in a day AND have food still left over?  Awesome. I wish I took a picture of our meal.  We both had a good laugh about it.

Okay, so lets now get to the meat and potatoes of it all.  I met up with the medical student at 3:00pm.  I let her know about my swallowing concerns as well as other activity related questions.  She took a look at my incision and felt my abdomen.  She also listened to my abdomen with the stethoscope.  I also was very curious to learn about the operative and pathology report.

After I asked all my questions, she left to discuss it with my surgeon.  After about 30 minutes she returned with all the answers.

Bad news first:

No lifting for another 4 weeks – You’d be surprised about how much you lift during your daily activities (i.e. grocery bag, laundry basket, garbage bags, etc)
Don’t go back to the gym yet – Bummer!
Don’t start physiotherapy
You can swim but only floating allowed

I know my core is weak but I had been hoping that my lifting restrictions would be removed today and I could start to build strength in my core.  But I was warned that if I lift, I could create hernia(s) which would result in more surgeries down the road.  My abdominal wall is still healing.  I don’t want another abdominal surgery.  I have to keep reminding myself that I had a major surgery and not to push it.

I also have to get an upper GI x-ray and follow up with the team in two weeks to see if I have an esophageal stricture.  Apparently if you have a stricture at the esophageal-jejunum junction it may feel like food is stuck where I was reporting it (above the sternum) because you don’t feel lower down.  Who knew.  So this means two more trips to Toronto over the next two weeks. But now the good news…


The lymph nodes were clear. When mom and I heard this news there were high fives and big smiles all around. I’m still on cloud 9.

On the preliminary report (only part of my stomach analyzed) I had not one, not two, but 11 spots of cancer in my stomach. The exact wording was “Preliminary examination shows multiple mucosal signet ring carcinoma, at least 11 foci are present”.  I’m assuming there may be more because they aren’t done analyzing it but at this point, it doesn’t make a difference. I will post the final numbers when I receive them.

After my appointment, we dropped by to visit my genetic counselor who already knew this news. We all celebrated and high fived. She has saved another life. She told me that she was surprised I had so many tumors and that I had the 2nd most number of tumors she has seen to date.

Oh and I also ran into my pain management doctor as I was leaving the hospital. It was a glorious day!

So maybe I have food troubles now, maybe I continue to lose a little weight here and there. This is all chump change now knowing that I really did dodge a bullet and I am now stomach cancer free.

Now it’s lottery ticket time.



15 thoughts on “Officially stomach cancer free!!

  1. Rachel, it’s Delia, your roommate Maria’s daughter! Just read your post to my mom and we are so happy for your great news! That’s fantastic! My moms been doing okay but pushes herself too much and then pays for it afterwards (e.g. Lifting sod, tearing out grass patches) – just gave her a lecture about that and possible hernias. Her follow-up is on Friday – we’re hoping for news as awesome as yours. Congrats and enjoy the good news!

    • Hey Delia! I have been thinking of Maria!! I am glad she’s also getting back in action. I am hoping for good news for her as well. I knew her follow up would be soon!!

  2. So very happy that you got that good new Rachel and that you no longer have to worry about that stomach cancer. Hope your recovery continues to go well and always looking forward to reading your next post!

  3. Woohoo!! Such wonderful news!! Your blog is so informative and moving to read. You express yourself so well…I don’t think I have read one yet that I haven’t shed a tear. Happy tears today for sure!! Take it easy and stay positive! Hugs to you and Brandon!

  4. This. Is. Awesome. So happy for you and your family!! 11 foci. Insane! So glad you got your surgery when you did!

  5. The results are pretty overwhelming huh? You never think you could be so close. It makes it all worth it. Glad you’re around to talk about the journey!

    • I was speaking to my genetic counselor afterwards and I mentioned how you had a large deletion in your code and she told me large or small, as soon as your body the reads the stop codon that’s it. It was interesting.

      I’m glad we are all around to share the stories as well!

      • It’s gnarly. By the way! My wife took me to a baseball game today and they were playing the Toronto Blue Jays wearing a really cool maple leaf hat in honor of the 4th of July and I totally thought of you. I should have gotten and shipped you one! It was pretty cool.

      • It is on my bucket list to see a game in every ball park, so when it’s time to see oakland v. Toronto in Toronto, we’re going!

  6. Pingback: Whooaaa We’re halfway there – 6 Month post op | Cytosine Deleted – Life with the CDH1 genetic mutation

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