I recently 'celebrated' my 4th year post gastrectomy anniversary. My initial thoughts on that day were "wow, has it been that long?" and later, "wow, its only been 4 years". I am still in awe of what our amazing bodies can do and some days, marvel at the fact that I can live such a normal life with some pretty remarkable new plumbing.
It has been so long since my last post as I have been 'getting on with life'. Both my husband & I have celebrated 40th birthdays in the last 2 years, and continue to enjoy our marriage and family life. Our children are now 7 & 8 and keep us busy with school, extra curricular activities and we all have a very active and healthy social life.
I returned to work as a teacher aide and after a year decided that this new career choice was not for me after all. The long hours and constant physical activity did not agree with me. Fortunately I was offered an opportunity to return to a previous role as a Shiseido Beauty Consultant and I am loving my work again. Short 5 hour shifts, 4 days per week with a 4 day weekend every 2nd week.
After my initial weight loss, I maintained a steady 61 kilos for some time until early this year when I embarked on a get fit & get healthy phase. I adopted an 80% Paleo Diet for 3-4 weeks and dropped 3 kilos around my middle and increased the level and frequency of exercise to at least 3 times per week.
I have maintained my new weight of 58 kilos by continuing to exercise each week with a Zumba class, some walking, some occasional jogging and bike riding, and by cutting back on the amount of processed food that I had been consuming.
My B12 levels are great and I now have an injection every 12 weeks. I had an Elevated Liver Function result late last year, with some debilitating pain similar to that which I experienced, prior to having my gall bladder removed. All test results were inconclusive and as yet, I have not felt this pain again.
I continue to have an annual Mammogram and MRI with no cancer having ever been detected. I made contact with the Brisbane Genetic Counsellors recently and was surprised to learn that the risk for CDH1 Gene Carriers like myself of contracting Lobular Breast Cancer in our lifetime, has now increased to 60%!
My life is full, fun and I have many things on my 'bucket list' that I wish to enjoy in the future but every day, in some little way, I am reminded of what my body has been through. It may be a few minutes of nausea induced by swallowing a handful of vitamins, an explosive bowel motion, the onset of yet another Urinary Tract Infection, a few moments of dumping syndrome or hypoglycemia, thirst, or, just wishing I could eat a whole bowl of icecream and an entire chocolate bar again.
My sister Trudy & I are both looking forward to organising and raising awareness about our first Brisbane NSFC Walk 2013 and so shall be busy over the next 3 months!