I’m still very sore from the race. Basically – from head-to-toe. Like – my upper neck, all the way to my right big toe. But – it was worth it. I earned the pain! And I did it for you all!
IRONMAN Florida 70.3 Finishing Time: 6:05:05
Overall, I’m very happy with the race. No major issues. The wind was bad at times (20mph) and it was hot (91) but rained for about 5 minutes at mile 8 which helped for a bit. Thankfully, the IRONMAN staff was fantastic and had ice and water along the run.
Things are going as expected. I can’t believe it’s been 10 months since my total gastrectomy. I have lost a total of 45 lbs. However, I can still race Triathlon and beat my old times! Next stop – IronMan and Marathon.
However, I haven’t been training as much as I hoped due to soreness after workouts. I also have lost a bit of weight so I’m trying to figure out how to keep the lbs on. My goal is to run the half marathon in January for the Charleston Marathon event. I’ve run it before (with a stomach) and really want to beat my old time but the lack of training certainly will impact me. We will see.
If you want to hear about certain topics, request them via Twitter – https://twitter.com/GoWithoutYoGut
I have an exciting announcement! I’m going to be racing in an IRONMAN 70.3 Triathlon.
IRONMAN 70.3 – Wilmington, NC 10/13/2018
1.2 Mile Swim
56 Mile Bike
13.1 Mile Run
Goal time – sub 5:30:00
Today is my birthday and I’m really excited about this race and the support of all my family and friends as we try to raise money and awareness for No Stomach For Cancer. I have yet to do a race like this without a stomach and I’m sure it won’t be easy. Please join me in fundraising efforts and share this page!
Ya’ll – I did another Triathlon. Here is a picture of around mile 2 of the run.
This sprint triathlon is a 600-meter swim, 12-mile bike, and 3-mile run.
I hope you don’t mind the dorky picture. I get a bit loopy during these events.
It was hot and I couldn’t catch my breath on the run. I felt like I had nothing left to give. I wanted to quit but fought through it. My goal was to post my best time ever but I came up 20 seconds short of my personal best. I DID, however, improve my time by 23 seconds from last race. I was motivated to fight for a personal best after I met so many sweet people in Tampa that encouraged me to keep improving and fighting to get better. They told me it encouraged them seeing me doing triathlon and improve my times. The next race is July 29 and I’m already excited!
I’m trying to increase my training, while not losing weight. It’s not easy. I weigh 161 lbs and my body fat has to be in the single digits. I weighed 202 prior to surgery. It’s pretty crazy. I don’t want to go any lighter because I know my training load will increase if I do the Ironman 70.3 in Wilmington in October. I have until July/August to figure it all out – assuming they don’t sell out the event.
The Ironman 70.3 is exciting, but I’m hopeful I can also run a Marathon by the end of this year and hopefully a full Ironman (140.6 miles) in November of 2019. I want to use those events to fundraise for No Stomach For Cancer as they help fund research for CDH1 gene mutation.
I hope you will stay tuned and keep reading along as I figure this all out. I need to focus on staying healthy and fueled so I can keep training.
I feel very blessed. I attended The Spotlight on Gastric Cancer event which was put on by No Stomach For Cancer and Moffitt Cancer Center. I was able to meet many former cancer patients and several fellow stomachless friends. It blessed me because we all have different stories, but we all have/had similar struggles. I was reminded how difficult the “early days” were. They had no rules. We all have those “crazy” stories. But – we are still here! We are happy, healthy, and full of life. We have lost family members, but we are motivated to help others through the difficulties of this disease and live the best life possible.
I was also able to meet with several doctors and surgeons. There are great people dedicated to learning and sharing their research to try and offer more treatment options for cancer patients. I would guess, over 100 patients, former patients, caregivers, and professionals joined the event. We heard from several experts in the industry. Topics covered were:
Laparoscopic Total Gastrectomy
A new technique where they introduce chemo during surgery. This seems to be very new and they are still doing research.
The importance of choosing an experienced surgeon
Pathology reports and techniques used at Moffitt
Diet and vitamins after a total gastrectomy
A theory that we should consider treating H. pylori prior to symptoms
I have a few conversations with people who read this blog. I never know who reads this, but they said it blessed them. I need to stay more involved with posting as I remember reading these types of blogs when I first learned I had CDH1 gene mutation. Reading those blogs helped me prior to surgery and the first few weeks after surgery. I’m hopeful I can be more consistent. If you need to reach me, you can always reach me on twitter. https://twitter.com/GoWithoutYoGut
I met several strong, inspiring people this weekend. One impactful moment was listening to a mother who was diagnosed with stage 4 gastric cancer and was given a 4% chance of survival. She fought through several (seven I think) rounds of chemo and radiation. Not only did she make a full recovery; she had a successful TG. And because she had the CDH1 gene mutation, her own two daughters, her sister and her niece, all of which were CDH1 gene mutation positive, had successful TG’s all within a few months. It was very special and inspiring to hear their story.
I also was able to meet a fellow stomachless friend who also suffers from celiac disease! That was cool. We exchanged numbers and I hope we can keep in touch as we share a similar journey.
Y’all are brave. I encourage you to share your story as you never know who it will encourage.
Thanks for following. Things are still improving day by day. I’m looking forward to increasing my training schedule as the summer days approach and hope that I will come with an increased energy.
I have lost a total of 34 lbs but I believe I’m leveling off. I try and get my calories in but it’s tough at work because I can forget to eat when I’m working.
Overall, I’m really blessed. I know people who have had such a worse time and all I can say is that I feel blessed. I don’t deserve the good health I have been given, but I’m extremely thankful. I do believe much of the success goes to the following:
Choosing an experienced Surgeon and going to a center of excellence
Working with No Stomach For Cancer as they helped me through that process
Family and friends.
For those readers wondering, “what’s it like 14 weeks out”, I’m still having the following issues:
It’s hard to fall asleep most the time. This makes the next day pretty rough in the morning and especially in the afternoon. I struggle to stay awake starting around 3 pm, but then can’t sleep at night.
Fatigue – mentioned above – but around 3 pm on my “bad days”, I feel like I can’t keep my eyes open. It’s like someone attached weights to them. It’s a bummer but I’m working on it.
Reflux. Ugh.. will it ever end? It’s getting better – but still, have an episode once a week or so. I still have to figure it out. It’s happening with “normal/safe” foods. I hope it ends soon.
Fitness – I used to work out 5-6 days per week so I could compete in triathlons and other endurance events. The best I have done was 3-4 days per week and it was brutal. I have dialed it back to working out whenever I feel like it. I lost so much muscle that when I work out now, I’m sore for at least two days. Thus – I’m trying to “ease” back into training but Triathlon season is only 4 weeks away and I’m still pretty weak. What can you do…
My first week back at work went very well. The night before (Sunday), I had reflux from 2am-3am. I was worried that it would make my first day rough as I didn’t sleep well. However, it went pretty well overall. I packed 5 granola bars and a few Gatorade (G/2 – which is lower sugar). Also – my company has a Starbucks on campus, so I was able to get 2 oz of Espresso once I got tired. I really like that. 🙂
I’m starting my triathlon training again. Boy, it’s not going as well as I had hoped. I get tired very easily and I’m sore for days after a tough day. I also noticed that I get affected by colds/allergies/sickness much easier. For example, I have had “drainage” and a cough for almost 3 weeks. I suspect it’s because of my immune system isn’t as strong as it used to be. I wanted to come back this triathlon season and win races to raise awareness for No Stomach For Cancer and how much they helped me. However, at this point, I’ll have to race to finish, rather than race to win. Oh well – maybe next year.
Lastly, last night I had horrible reflux. The worst ever. The taste was so bad I was gagging and dry heaving which kind of scares me since I have yet to vomit without a stomach. After it all settles down following some crackers and water, I have heartburn the following day and that awful taste in my mouth. It’s a bit discouraging as I don’t know why it all happened.
I have a feeling that these things just “happen” with life after no stomach. I just hope it doesn’t happen very much.