When it comes down to it, I’m probably the perfect person to have his stomach removed—and I’m not just talking about the fact that I have a mutant gene that predisposes me to gastric cancer.
I have terrible taste in food. If I had to draw up a list of my top 10 favourite meals it would look something like this:
- Perogies smothered in butter and sour cream
- McDonald’s Bacon ‘n’ Egg McGriddle meal
- Cheezies (yes, they can be a meal)
- Chocolate chip cookies (also known as bedtime supper)
- Beef tacos
- Salt ‘n’ vinegar chips with garlic dip (see parenthetical attached to No. 4)
- Those colourful Easter sugar eggs (an agreeable breakfast substitute)
- Hot dogs covered in bacon, cheese, and garlic
- Popcorn with layered butter (also known as movie supper)
- Cheese ‘n’ bacon hamburger with mayo
Note that there are no fancy foreign words in any of the above meal descriptions (the closest I usually get to fine French or Italian cuisine is when I have French fries with my cheeseburger and request that the chef swap the cheddar for mozzarella). Also note that several descriptions contain unnecessary contractions of perfectly good English words—key to making food sound appealing to folks with trailer park palates. Last but not least, you’ll observe the complete absence of vegetables (hence my favourite Homerism: “That’s not food. That’s what food eats.”)
Point is, I’m pretty sure this diet would have been the end of me sooner rather than later. However, my total gastrectomy will likely have a substantial impact on how much of this sort of food I’ll be able to eat, and probably even how much I’ll enjoy it.
My new diet, as prescribed by my hospital-assigned nutritionist, will be much improved. High in fibre, low in carbs, lots of protein, little fat. Plus, I’ll be taking in significantly fewer calories per day, which means even if I do consume the occasional bit of bad food, it will be just that: a bit. I won’t be able to eat enough to do much harm.
The upshot is that I may well be healthier post surgery than I am now. I’ll lose a little weight, chip away at my modestly high blood pressure, and perhaps add a few points to my sagging good cholesterol.
Indeed, if all goes well, I’ll likely live longer without a stomach than I would have with one.
Of course, I still have a couple of days left to be a glutton, and I’m taking advantage of them. I’ve enjoyed all of the foods mentioned in my list over the last week—thanks, honey, for preparing your world famous tacos last night—and I plan on capping things off with a thick, juicy, medium rare steak tonight. And, since I’ll be eating much less tomorrow evening in preparation for my surgery Monday, it’ll be my last supper.
Not many people get to say that and then look back in future years to reminisce over it.