Hi, I'm 40 years old and was diagnosed with stomach cancer in August. I don't have any risk factors, just unlucky I guess. I am due to have my 4th round of chemotherapy, and surgery is planned for November. I'm also a mother of two young kids. I'm terrified about the unknown - treatment and the impact on family etc. I would love to hear from people with similar experience.
I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis. It's never easy, but very hard if you have kids.
I was diagnosed with bowel cancer at 40 and had two young children.
Chemo was annoying! There were side effects, but you will work around them.
Have the surgeons set any expectations around what stage they might think it is?
Do you have a partner who will be able to assist you and the children?
The children will be OK. They are resilient and will bounce back.
What surgery do they have planned? Is this for removal of a tumour?
And most importantly, how are you? How are you feeling?
Yes, my husband can help with the kids. Chemo treatment week is always awful. My fingers are feeling the cold everytime I retrieve anything from the fridge.
My surgeon hasn't done the staging yet. I'll have another CT scan prior to the surgery, and he'll decide what type of surgery to remove the tumor.
I'm at peace now with the diagnosis. However, I am daunted by the surgery.
How did you manage post surgery? Love to hear how you got through your bowel cancer.
I had my tumour removed first, followed by 12 cycles of chemo.
Personally, I thought that the surgery was easier to deal with as you had surgery once, followed by a recovery period afterwards. Chemo just keeps coming back and I had a number of side effect symptoms.
I was really sore for the week after surgery, but I also had a colectomy + ileostomy, so I don't know if that had an impact on how sore I was.
Your recovery time will depend on what will be performed during surgery.
While my surgery was reasonably significant, I recovered quickly.
Factors that I think helped in recovery;
I found that the week post surgery was the most painful (obviously).
On one occasion I'd been sitting in an reclining seat. My wife was there and the nurse arrived as it was time for me to shower. I knew it was going to be painful getting up, but nothing prepared me for how bad it really was going to be. After that, my pain medication was increased and the pain was a lot easier to manage.
Tip - stay on top of the pain medication and tell someone if it's too bad so it can be increased.
Within the first week I also did as much walking (really it was shuffling) around as I could. Even if it took me a while to get anywhere.
Three weeks post surgery I started back at work. This involved walking to and from the train station and work. About 2 km all up.
So staying on top of the pain allowed me to exercise/move which in turn allowed enabled my recovery.
My diet was fairly restricted post surgery, but that's because I no longer had a large bowel. How the surgery for your stomach will be impacted, I can't say.
Let me know if you have any other questions.
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