Page 2 - Ken Muller' Experience
P. 2

Presentation by Kenneth Muller

          before us, especially during the ultra-strained months of   sumptuous. My eyes were so much bigger than my now
          October and November. It also equipped us to keep our   much reduced stomach capacity. Encouragingly, during
          family and close friends, more authoritatively informed   these last three months, I have rarely experienced any
          about the developing situation. The continuous focused   dumping. Since my surgery, I have maintained a steady
          care and support from the Churchill Team was always with   weight of around 12 stones. However, only one month
          us, as was the amazing level of support and           after surgery, I developed a growing intolerance to milk,
          encouragement from our family and friends. Sheila and I   especially when mixed with hot beverages, such as tea
          never felt remotely alone in the long fight that lay ahead.   and coffee. I also refrained from having cold milk and
          Post-surgery, OOSO has, of course, significantly reinforced   cereals. I did try a variety of other recommended milk
          this support.                                         products, but all of them reacted in me, to one degree or
                                                                another. I used to love milk at any time of the day.
                                                                At my last 6 monthly consultation with Bruno Sgromo,
          The Biggest Challenge                                 mid-May, we discussed this challenging issue. He
                                                                recommended a daily lactase enzyme tablet, first thing
         For both myself and Sheila, it is without doubt the entire
         subject of a new dietary regime and all that entails.   each morning. This recommendation is already beginning
                                                                to work to good effect.
         Within weeks of returning home, I became increasingly
         unable to maintain the recommended regime of half a    Just returning briefly to the subject of my daily evening gin
         dozen snacks or small meals, evenly spread throughout   and tonics, I feel that I should clarify and justify their
         the day. I became repeatedly nauseous at even the very   inclusion in my weekly diet. At the first OOSO quarterly
         thought of the next snack after such a relatively short   meeting that Sheila and I attended after my discharge
         interval since the previous one. However ingeniously   from hospital, we received a superb presentation on
         varied was that day’s devised menu, my overall appetite   dietary issues and on the changed operational nature of
         for eating radically diminished. In those first six months,   what remained of one’s oesophagus and/or stomach,
         following surgery, the entire subject of eating had    post-surgery, from two of the leading members of the
         become my worst nightmare, since the actual diagnosis   Churchill’s dietician team. We were advised to limit our
         and the ensuing period of pre-operative treatment and   consumption of carbonated drinks. A couple of brave ex-
         then the surgery, itself. That nightmare was shared by   patients proffered their liking for drinking tonic water and,
         Sheila, who was valiantly, but frustratingly, always   additionally, diluting it regularly with gin.
         searching for more amenable eating solutions that might,
                                                                After a short stony silence, Nick Maynard gave us his
         hopefully, suit me better. Additionally, I had become
                                                                qualified approval, but cautioned us with the ever-
         repulsed by almost all red meats and by numerous
                                                                repeated mantra, “in moderation”. Naturally, I followed
         cooking smells. Since then, I have gradually returned to
                                                                such welcome endorsement enthusiastically and
         eating three times per day. I do start with two or three
                                                                gratefully. Actually, I do believe that I do benefit from
         cups of tea between 07:30 and 08:30. Mid-morning. I will
                                                                these evening’s libations, but I do ensure that a suitable
         generally have a bowl of mixed fresh fruit, followed by a
                                                                time interval is observed before starting to eat my dinner.
         couple of slices of toast and jam. Between 13:00 and
         15:00, I will make a couple of sandwiches and eat them
         during that two-hour period, sometimes with a little more
         fruit or some cake. I rarely drink any fluids during the
         afternoon. At about 18:00, Sheila and I will wind down our   Two Top Tips to Share
         daily activities. I will usually drink a couple of gin and
                                                                Tip one
         tonics until 19:30. Then between 20:00 and 21:00, we will
         sit up at the table to have dinner, usually comprising a   At no time, did I ever want to become an expert on
         main dish, cooked or salads, and then some type of light   oesophageal cancer. The amount of informative literature
         desert. My plate volume is, of course, much reduced than   that we were given on various matters of importance,
         before my surgery. I never experience any reflux after   during those initial five months, before surgery, could
         dinner nor throughout the night. I do, though, take a   have pushed me in that direction, entirely against my
         30mg Lanzaoprazole tablet every morning with my tea.   base instincts.
         However, I did experience frequent early or late dumping
                                                                Notwithstanding, I always studiously ingested the
         for the ensuing few months, especially when I forgot to
                                                                informative and, often essential, array of verbal and
         limit my volume intake per meal session.
                                                                written advice and explanatory data that the Churchill
         This situation is very prevalent whenever we now go away   team and, particularly Anita Joyce, would specifically
         on holiday, such as our two weeks holiday last February   recommend for our close attention, ahead of any
         on the island of Zanzibar. Breakfast offerings were    impending major next stage of my pre- and postoperative
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