On the mend after surgery

KATE Fulford is slowly recovering after having her stomach removed in a potentially life-saving surgery.

The former Legana resident, who now lives in Melbourne, went under the knife last month after learning she had the same gene mutation that saw her mother and younger sister die from stomach cancer.

Given an 80 per cent chance of developing the same cancer, Ms Fulford made the difficult decision to undergo the procedure. 

Ms Fulford, 26, said the keyhole surgery went well, with doctors taking about seven hours to remove her stomach and attach her oesophagus to her small intestine.

``On the first night I was in a lot of pain but they got that under control . . . it wasn't too bad,'' Ms Fulford said.

She said she had recently started eating soft foods, after being restricted to a liquid diet and pureed vegetables for about three weeks.

``My biggest challenge at the moment is energy. If I sort of do a few things in the morning then by the afternoon I'm pretty tired,'' Ms Fulford said.

``And also just having enough calories, because I can't eat much at a time, it's really hard to have as much as they want me to.

``That will get easier over time.''

Throughout it all Ms Fulford has maintained a blog, detailing her surgery and efforts to work through a list of 100 things she wants to do in her lifetime.

``Hopefully when I've recovered I can tick some more things off my bucket list,'' Ms Fulford said.

She said she would meet with her surgeon next week to discuss her recovery, and would hopefully get the go-ahead to return to work in a few weeks.

To read Ms Fulford's blog, visit beginningnottheend.blogspot.com.au

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