It’s official, Kate and I have restarted triathlon training and yesterday I ran the furthest distance since parting ways with my stomach. In about 40 days we will be competing in my first “stomachless” triathlon at Pacific Grove (Kate’s first triathlon ever) which will make it exactly 6 months, 1 week and 1 day (6 months, 8 days) since my total gastrectomy.
So what is life like almost 22 weeks later? It’s good. I still wake up in the middle of the night at least once a week with that feeling that lava is working it’s way up through my esophagus. I still have abdominal cramps when I eat things like quinoa and every once in a while bread, but when half a sandwich does go down, it tastes like heaven. My portion sizes are doing amazing. I’m eating almost everything that that doctors told me I would not be able to eat again: steak, donuts, and a reasonable amount of ice cream, cupcakes and cookies. With all the training, I’m trying to eat as much as I can to stay above 155 lbs (I’m at 157 lbs). I am also trying to focus on my endurance and rebuilding the muscle I lost with light resistance starting with pushups.
Training for this triathlon is more than just me getting in shape. I set a minimal fundraising goal to benefit the community that has been so instrumental in helping me through these past few months, nostomachforcancer.org. The way I think about it:
20 years ago my sister passed away of what we now know is hereditary diffuse gastric cancer.
15 years ago they discover the CDH1 genetic mutation that causes HDGC.
10 years ago they started performing prophylactic gastrectomies to combat HDGC.
and today, that surgery saved my life. There is still a long way to go in terms of research, but if I can help advance the research so 12 years from now when my daughter gets tested for CDH1 that there might be more advanced screenings for HDGC, I’ll do what I can 1 painful mile and $1 dollar at a time.
I’m inviting you to join our adventure and help us raise awareness for No Stomach for Cancer and gastric cancer research by clicking on our link below:
If you want to contribute $5, $10, a little goes a long way.
ALSO, I’m working with a friend to help me produce “Team No Stomach for Cancer” jerseys. We’re working on a mock-up and as soon as they are ready, I’ll post them and take pre-orders.