The rest, as they say, is GISTory

As I write this and think back on my life, all I can say is, it didn’t turn out as I expected.

I had been almost 35 years a vegetarian and had just spent 8 years in university when I graduated in 2008.  Armed with my dreams and a lot of ambition, I began to teach, first in a small rural school northeast of Calgary, then in a First Nations school just south of Edmonton.  By 2010 I had gained massive amounts of weight.  It seemed as though my satiation button was broken.  I could eat and eat and eat and never feel full.  That and constant heartburn gave me reason for concern.

Having finished my teaching contract, I thought I’d return to Ontario and have the symptoms checked out.  Thanks to a very thorough doctor, I was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma, half way up the lesser curvature of my stomach.  The team of doctors urged gastrectomy, stating the higher up a cancer is in the stomach, the harder it is to treat.

It was six weeks after the gastrectomy that the news changed.  Oooops, said my surgeon.  I didn’t have adenocarcinoma.  I had GIST.  1 cm in cize.  2/50 mitotic rate.  And had they known that before my surgery I may have had the tumor cut out, leaving healthy margins and most of my stomach.  Now I have extreme fatigue, can’t handle stress (even a vivid dream wakens me vomiting or in bowel spasms), nausea, vomiting, heart palpitations, etc. common with the after effects of having one’s stomach removed.

So, here I am coming up on 5 years post TG, applying for welfare.

My reality has changed.  I am redefining myself and my abilities due to the new realities post gastrectomy.

I’ve changed my friends.  I’ve redefined family.

And I’m moving towards fulfillment and happiness in new ways.

One comment on “The rest, as they say, is GISTory
  1. Rene says:

    Thank you Patti. What GIST means is actually hard to describe. But your message tells exactly what we want with this GIST blog.

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