Three months, 70th blog post and…fire in the hole!

We made it team! Three months!  I sure have come a long way over the past three months.  From not being able to move independently in bed, to re-teaching myself how to breath diaphragmatically, to being winded after two laps around the ward, to learning how to function with lifting restrictions and the never ending battle of ‘will it go down’. I sure am doing well.

As a tribute to my three month mark, I went back and re-read some of my older posts and was glad to have documented so much because it all seems like a blur now. Three months have passed so quickly.

For the past month, progress seemed slower but I think there has been a sharp increase over the past week. I am eating well and am more courageous to try new things. Last night, I had a small bowl of apple crisp, ate it too fast and then paid for it for the next 30 minutes. As long as I’m in the comfort of my own home, I am willing to experiment with riskier foods. I haven’t tried a doughnut yet but I’ve been eying the new Tim Horton’s Oreo doughnut. I may pay for it later (and those around me) but I bet a few bites will be worth it!

On Wednesday, Brandon and I went for my first hike post surgery and it was glorious. I live in a town that is known for its variety of waterfalls and trails. Our ‘short’ hike turned out to be an hour long as we took a few wrong turns. Earlier that day, I completed an hour worth of gardening and managed to clean up all the plants I had no recollection of planting. It was really great to have it all cleaned up.  After all the activity, I thought I would be feeling it the next day but I was fine! Another recovery win.

I look forward to going to sleep at night because I am always recharged when I awake in the mornings. I sleep like a log at night and feel full of energy in the mornings. As the day wares on, my energy meter starts to decrease and drops even quicker if I don’t eat frequently or the wrong foods. I mentioned a while back that I no longer require naps but after a morning’s worth of activity, I may take a nap here and there to recharge.  I am hoping that my endurance will continue to increase as I incorporate more physical activity into my day.  So far so good.  The more I have done, the better I have felt the morning after.

This next bit may be too much information but I feel it will be educational for those who have had a similar surgery. I started drinking Kefir after Steve mentioned it in his blog. I stopped for about a week for no reason and my farts became stink bombs. For a person who normally had odourless flatulence this was funny but also embarrassing. I also believe I started to develop steatorrhea and which is common with a total gastrectomy. I have since restarted adding kefir to my diet and my stool is a lot better. Kefir has a large concentration of active bacterial cultures that will keep the GI tract happy as well as those around you.

I also have had some thinning of my hair over the past week and I believe it is due to the significant changes my body has undergone.  I read that it can occur three to six months after a surgery but should return as your body adjusts.  It’s surprising how many places you can find long black hairs around our house.  Apologies to my friends in advance.

On Sept 2nd, I will speak with the local genetic counselor to start my breast cancer screens.  This includes annual mammograms as well as MRI.  Today, I spoke with a nurse at the high risk breast cancer centre and learned that I could have an appointment as early as late September or October.  I hope they do not find anything but whenever you start screening there is always slight worry that something may be there.  The youngest case of breast cancer in my pedigree is 53 years old so I feel like I should be in the clear for at least another 30 years and hopefully for the rest of my life!

I think later this week, I will post a before and after photo of myself to commemorate a new me.  I am still not used to my new body and it is still an adjustment.  I’ll also include incisional shots for those who are curious about what it looks like at the three month mark.

So three months in I am feeling so much better.  I can only imagine what the next three months will bring!

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