Bring out the champagne!
Here’s to a happy and healthy 2012! Especially focusing on health this year – look after yourselves. Many of my female friends have asked their Doctor for the CA125 test – why not?
First of all, thank you Cathy for being my ‘guest blogger’. I appreciate the time it took you to fill in and get the news out and of course your wit and way with words is excellent! Ok, so maybe you embellished just a bit….. :0 I would have too! Room service consisted of a homemade ancient grain almond butter and banana sandwich! It was sooooo good.
I wanted to post a note after Christmas but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I was so apprehensive and nervous, I couldn’t think of anything to say. We had a good Christmas with friends in Whistler – enjoyed delicious Roland-made dinners – I allowed myself a glass of nice wine here and there. Lots of great walks with Sophie on the Whistler Golf Course – such a joy to see her bound through the snow – - – tried to breath.
Pre-admission on the 28th at VGH was uneventful – lots of forms to fill out. The bright spot was with the Blood Tech. I pointed out my Mallet Finger splint, while telling her that was my best arm for drawing blood. I warned her I would have to give her the finger when she asked me to ‘make a fist’! Very amusing for both of us!
Surgery day arrived finally. Once in Pre-op, changed into the hospital gown, foot covers, head cover (Roland said, “why do you need to cover your head? You don’t have hair?” – maybe for warmth?) the IV goes in and you wait for the Doctors. My surgeon, Dr. Sarah Finlayson came by first -I hadn’t met her yet because I saw a different surgeon for the first appointment. I liked her immediately! I told her that she had operated on my friend, Val and that she had also met Jill at Fitzsimmons Walk – a townhome project we have been working on for 4 years! Yes – her family would like to buy a place in Whistler one day. The Anesthesiologist, Dr. Waters came next – my plea – ‘no pain please’.
Being wheeled in to the operating room is surreal – I bragged to Dr. Waters that I’m hard to put under…..the next thing I remember, I was crying and carrying on (I imagine it was bad because they kept me in recovery for an extra 2 1/2 hours – probably why I snagged a private room) – apparently I kept asking what happened, what did they find? Was I really alive?! Roland told me that they didn’t find any tumours – I couldn’t grasp it. I was so sure that the news was going to be bad. I kept asking the same question over and over. “What did you see?”
My sisters, Linda and Bobbi were also there – Linda was able to tell me exactly what the surgeon said from a medical perspective. Lots of drugs…..I had a button directly to the morphine (hydramorphone) and fully embraced FEEL NO PAIN. Vancouver General is really old – My room was in an overflow ward for Uriology (mainly men!) patients. One sorry visitor chair – a window and my own bathroom – toilet paper not on the roll, just sitting on a stool - yikes! The following day I was told I would be going onto pain pills and off the drip…..I made sure I stocked up and hit the button as often as it would let me – approximately every 15 minutes. I literally laid in bed watching the clock. Big mistake as I couldn’t walk very well when the nurse unhooked me and made me go to the bathroom! I expect she put a note on my chart warning that I liked my drugs…….had visits from Katie, Jill and her mother Heather, Grant and Pat. Thanks guys! Very amazing that you would want to step into a hospital?!
Dr. Finlayson came in to see me on Wednesday morning - I asked her again what she found…..removed 2 ovaries and 2 fallopian tubes – left side hidden – no visible signs of cancer there, inflammation on the right diaphram indicating previous cancer activity, removed shrunken omentum with signs of previous tumours killed off my the chemo - it is a fatty layer that cushions the organs – we can live without it – don’t Google it – it’s gross! That’s it – no tumours on any organs…..she was very positive and said the chemo has worked for me. Then in the afternoon, her Assistant Surgeon, Shannon dropped by – I asked her what she saw – you get the idea I am not believing the good news…….she said it was ‘brilliant’! I don’t think I have ever excelled at anything in my life like this challenge. Then, because I had an audience…..sisters Linda and Bobbi and friend Katie…..I proceeded to declare to Shannon that my success with chemo is solely due to the fact that I have put a lot of chemicals into my body on a daily basis - in the form of wine! I used my best ‘selling techniques’ to convince her.
Terrific nurses day 1 and 2 – the night nurse was amazing! Thursday morning 7 a.m. in walked the day nurse who said, “Good morning Mr. Frank” – Jesus! I said, “I AM A WOMAN!” Just because I’m bald…..and there are mainly men on the ward…..so, we got off to a bad start and it didn’t get better. Very sloppy – didn’t bring my meds on time (service!). Time to go home! They don’t escort you out anymore – I walked out hanging onto my niece, Darcy while Bobbi and Linda carried my belongings.
I’ve been laying low at our condo in Vancouver ever since……lots of sleeping…..a few visitors – NEW RULES! NO HUGS! Really important that I remain ‘infection free’ so that I can have the next 3 chemo treatments. We walked around the park 2 days ago – I kept pace with a 2 year old. Yesterday, I was up to an 80 year old’s pace and today I think I was 50% of normal.
Back to Whistler on Thursday – staples out – thanks again for all the caring. I really feel loved. Thank you. Namaste.
sorry – I know this is a bit long……….