It’s been a little over three weeks since the surgery. The scale tells me I’m down about 26 pounds to 187 lbs.and I’m told the loss shows in my face, while I’m not sure I see it yet. I have noticed the loss in my tummy – where the majority of my weight sat. I’ll let you be the judge:
Valerie and I went shopping on MLK day and I actually found a pair of pants, with elastic, that are 14 petite. I am hesitating to buy much yet, as I know I’m going to lose more weight and thus sizes. I am looking through boxes of clothes I grew out of to see what I’ve shrunk back into. I’ve found that I fit back into a couple of t-shirts I bought in Vegas in 2008! I have actually freed up quite a few hangers in the closet…found I have shrunk back into quite a few blouses. The pants are still “ok”, but will need to be replaced soon… as will some more blouses.
I went to the oncologist today. During my procedure they found a small tumor, called a GIST, which stands for Gastrointestinal Stomol Tumor. It was found on the part of the stomach that they removed for the sleeve procedure. Dr. Billing and an associate Dr. told me that it was not abnormal, but these are not seen that often. They are almost always benign, but they wanted to do pathology just in case. They also said they wanted me to to an oncologist for a follow up. In 2010 I had seen Dr. Liao in Puyallup because I was severely anemic. An infusion fixed me right up. Today I saw Dr. Liao and he said that this GIST tumor was really very small, only 2 mm. He said that they will sometimes give a pill to make sure the tumor doesn’t come back but in this case, there isn’t a need for that. It was on the part of the stomach that was removed, but he referred me to a GI doctor to have an endoscopy (which will be my 5th or 6th I think) to see if there’s any sign it is in the rest of my stomach. Then I will return to see Dr. Liao in 6 months and once a year thereafter for awhile to monitor me.
The discovery of this tumor, no matter how small, is yet another benefit of the surgery. I know some have thought, or may even want to ask: Why did you have this surgery? You don’t seem to need to lose all that much weight. Was it because Valerie had it and had such great results?
These are not hard questions to answer. First and foremost, I went into this not with the express reason of getting the surgery. While Valerie and I had joked last year about doing it together — I’m really glad we didn’t! — I went to the clinic to talk about an incision-less treatment for acid reflux. Dr. Kaufmann had said that I could do that, but because they discovered the hiatal hernia during my endoscopy, and because my BMI was right at the cusp and because I had other issues: sleep apnea, acid reflux, overweight, and type 2 diabetic, I qualified for the surgery. At first we talked about the full Rouen Y surgery, but later, when Dr. Kaufmann described the pros and cons of both and that one of the cons with Rouen Y was that the intestines could twist and that would be bad…. I decided on the sleeve instead. There is a possibility that the acid reflux could return at some time, maybe a few years, but repairing the hiatal hernia would be a big step towards reducing that. So far so good… knock on wood.
Also since the surgery my blood glucose readings have been way down. Where they should be. I am really looking forward to the blood tests (yes I said that) in April to see where my A1C is. I suspect it’s in the “normal” range. I haven’t taken my metformin for a long time and I’m really doing great.
But one of the biggest benefits is finding that tumor. Left to grow it *could* have become rather large and then turned malignant. So, I am grateful to have had this surgery now.
Every day is a new step in the adventure. I’m getting stronger and stronger. I had developed a bit of an issue with a stitch, but am told it’s “normal” and will heal on its own. I will see Dr. Billing again on Friday — along with my other follow up appointments — just to be on the safe side.
Valerie and I are looking forward to later this week when I resume a “normal” food diet. At that point we can start to really plan our meals for work and home. Valerie is doing great. She has been at a bit of a plateau, but she hasn’t gained any weight, which is a good thing. Together we are going to make this lifestyle change happen. We are hoping that once we get on the same page, she will start to lose again. She wants to be with me in “one-derland” (in the 100’s). She’ll get there. She looks absolutely stunning, if you ask me and even if you don’t. It’s really getting to be fun to clothes shop again. She says I’m inspiring her to follow along with me and once I get the ok to exercise (crossing my fingers for the good word Friday) we will start taking more walks together. We signed up for a “glow run/walk” at the Puyallup Fairgrounds (Western Washington Fair — it’s still Puyallup Fairgrounds to me) in May. A bunch of people who are weight loss surgery patients at the Puget Sound Surgery Center are on a team and will all walk together. It’ll be fun. I was hoping to do the Seahawk fun run/walk in March, but I don’t know that I’ll be up to it by then. We’ll play that one by ear.
That’s all for now. Thanks for reading, and sharing our incredible journey with us.