Woman gets her stomach removed after shocking cancer diagnosis: "It was so bizarre and terrifying"
For those who are unaware of this, hereditary diffuse gastric cancer is basically an inherited disorder that quickly results in stomach cancer
One of the things that Jessica Solt can never forget in her life is that one moment in 2016 when her doctor told her: “You can live without a stomach.” Solt was well into her happy life with her husband, Juan Pablo Horcasitas, and their then-14-month-old son, Martin, in New York City when she was diagnosed with hereditary diffuse gastric cancer.
For those who are unaware of this, hereditary diffuse gastric cancer is basically an inherited disorder that quickly results in stomach cancer. “It just seemed so shocking,” Solt said of the diagnosis to People magazine. “It was just so bizarre and terrifying. They were like, ‘Our recommendation is that you remove your stomach because you don’t know what’s going to happen. This is a very deadly kind of cancer and, once it starts spreading, there’s no way out.’ ”
Solt recalled that she left the hospital “very, very sad,” and that she was devastated at the thought of having to live without a stomach. A month later Solt underwent a major surgery, in which a surgeon removed her stomach and connected her esophagus to her small intestine to “mimic a stomach.” “Life as I knew it was over,” she says of undergoing the invasive surgery. “I thought I was gonna be achy all the time … that I wasn’t gonna enjoy life or food or my son or my marriage or anything. I really thought life was gonna be sh—-.”
For the next ten months after her surgery, Solt explained that she could barely keep food down, and there were four different occasions where she had to be rushed to the hospital as the new passage created for her food kept closing. “Those first months were hell. The first year was a nightmare. It was like eating through a really tiny straw. It was really, really horrible,” Solt recalled. “I couldn’t drink, I couldn’t eat. I was getting weaker and weaker. I had to use a feeding tube for three months, which gave me some relief.
It was in July 2017 that Solt had to undergo a similar surgery to ensure that the small passage remained open so that it would allow her to eat and properly take in food. After the second surgery, Solt said that life got a lot easier for her thereon, as she was able to eat and keep her food down. “Five days later we ordered Thai food and I ate like a normal person! I was like, ‘This is great!’ ”she recalls of the days after the surgery. “I’ve been very lucky in the sense that I can eat what I want, as long as it’s not a ton of food. Except cereal and milk … I don’t eat that anymore.”
However, after the second surgery, Solt struggled to gain and maintain a healthy weight. “I can’t eat a lot like I would like to. I have to take it easy because I get really tired,” Solt told the publication, also noting that she can no longer be the “typical mom” who can easily play outside with her son. “That’s a bummer because I’m only 36 and I wish I had more energy.”