Monthly Archives: May 2012

Pins and Needles, etc

Hello everyone …

The Pins

I am back home after a couple of days in hospital. Had major surgery last Thursday which has left me looking like Frankenstein with quite manly staples and pins holding me together at a long vertical incision and at the site of a port-a-cath (port) over my right rib cage. The port is what “they” will use to give me some of the chemo, directly into the abdomen cavity.

On leaving hospital we were presented with a staple remover! Luckily I am not supposed to remove these quite sturdy-looking, industrial-strength, closures myself, but to take this tool to my GP, who likely won’t have the right implement on hand to take them out on Friday

The Needles

The other requirement is that I have to self-inject a blood thinner every day for 28 days!! I have a needle phobia and Barbara is not brave on this front!!! Aaaargh!!!! Barbara did very well last night, giving me the drugs in my thigh. No matter who administers it, a fairly substantial bruise is left which makes it easy to see where the next dose goes (not in the same place). I spent all day yesterday trying to visualize doing it myself but when the time came I simply could not. Easy for Liz to say “just a wee piece of metal” – surely that is the whole point (pun intended)?

The Etc

We spent a few hours in Emergency Sunday night, a by-product of being let out too early so that the ward could be closed for Saturday night. Not a pretty experience but it had to be done. Things were compounded by a pain killer being prescribed that included codeine, to which I am allergic. Luckily, I have pain killers left over from last month’s operation so take a tiny one at night. Overall I don’t have pain as such and the discomfort is not coming from the incisions. Quite incredible really. Nevertheless, I am not feeling great right now but Barbara has reminded me that I was a good week getting over the (smaller) operation last month so I should not get discouraged. Quite right.

Monday night we were kept up while I dealt with some food poisoning – must have been some raw garlic in with the grilled vegetables I ate from last week 🙁 Things WILL improve from here on.

It is clear that this process is not going to allow me guiltless time off to learn new things (Adobe Lightroom, for example) and catch up on reading and movies. Incredible to think that I was feeling just fine in early April but the process is such that one treatment leads to a drug, which has side-effects, requiring another drug, which leads … Ad (literal) nauseam!

Monday I just sat and stared and didn’t even open the paper till late in the afternoon. I have not touched the Sunday New York Times and didn’t have any coffee or chocolate. People – I am definitely not well!

I am not bad at exercise, aided by the fact that our bathroom is upstairs and I am spending my days downstairs in the den. I am walking the length of our block on both sides of the street, twice a day. Now I just need to feel better, get my strength back and get a little more energy to branch out further. I keep forgetting that I have just had two major operations but, on the plus side, I found myself arguing with the newspaper today so things are looking up 🙂

We have been given a couple of possible chemo scenarios but won’t really know anything till the pathology report is back (due next week). I have just learned that chemo will start June 21.

Thanks so much for all your good thoughts and wishes, comments, emails and photos. I get a lot of encouragement, strength and giggles from them!



Room With A View

This is the view from my room, which I hope to be leaving tomorrow! You would never know we are in the middle of the city as all I can see is the rooftop garden and the North Shore mountains. And it is gloriously windy!