Wednesday, 8 April 2009

The American Patient

Thank you all for your prayers and thoughts and even your jokes.

And thank you to my blogger replacement who has done sterling work, as always. (I married him, didn't I?)

On March 31, we arrived at the hospital reasonably on time and were promptly seated in front of an in-take person. Good. She immediately got a telephone call, evidently from a friend. Bad. After 5 minutes, I was muttering to Nick. After 8, I interrupted her to ask, loudly, if someone was available to take care of us. She hung up. (Credit where due, many others would have continued nattering.)

She had no record that I was being admitted. She had no file. She had no private room. That's when I exploded. It was a loud explosion. (Poor Nick; he does put up with some stuff. I have never been able to get the hang of the stiff upper lip, mustn't complain, let's find a queue and join it attitude.) It got loud enough to have the entire waiting room's attention and, better, a supervisor. We sat down with the supervisor.

Gosh, my file was exactly where I'd said I'd left it (on the surgical floor). And, son-of-a-gun if there wasn't a private room for me, too. Breathe in, breathe out. Lower voice.

I was scheduled for surgery at 10:30 the following morning. Priority, even! And yes, Jane, the cute orderly was there to take me to surgery, again. That's all I remember. Boy, that anaesthetic works fast.

Woke up in less pain than last time, probably due to the extra drip and the extra pump. The rest of the stay went pretty much as usual, except that my platelets were low, so they had to give me a different kind of anti-coagulant that required 2 shots a day, rather than 1. Picture of right leg. Left leg is the same with bigger bruises.

Normally, I have to continue the anti-coagulants when I come home, but my platelets are too low.

Platelets are what make the blood clot, right? Why was I getting anti-coagulants at all? Anyone?

Between my inability to formulate questions until after rounds, and the surgeon's "you don't ask; we don't tell" policy, it took until this morning for me to get the report straight. Maybe. The tumors on the ovaries seem to be connected to other tumors on the bladder and intestine. Or the tumors on the ovaries are also connected to the bladder and intestine. One way or another, they couldn't take them out.

But -- get this -- he did drain my abdomen and remove some fat that came with the cancer (?) and had tumors in it. Liposuction -- the hard way.

I will be going back into chemo, probably with a change of drugs or protocol and we will try, again. Appointment with the oncolgist is scheduled for April 27.

This stay was good for lots of blog material. More to come.

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  1. Hang in there girl. And if need be, I can come and give you some good blood. What a great reason to come to France :)

    Are you home? And yes, Nick did a wonderful job. How was the food and the wine? silly american remains jealous. i am sure I wont get good food while I am in for my spay. It would be nice if they did the lipo for me too though.

  2. Good on ya with the telephone twit. HA! A less than stellar experience in the French HCS? Can't wait for the "more to come":) Glad you are outta the spa. Keep on pluggin' away. I am.

  3. Can try to send my best wishes for recovery, mais je le ferai mieux en français. Margot, je ne lis que ce matin les nouvelles de ton blog car je n'avais pas actualisé la page sur mon PC...Bon courage en attendant le retour à Ré l'arrivée à Sahune. Tous nos voeux et à très bientôt. Agnes et Max.

  4. Merci, c'est gentil. J'aime les commentaires sur mon blog. Ils me donnent toujours des sourires.
    (On apprend toujour quelque chose sur les ordinateurs, n'est-ce pas?)

  5. I wish I was better at star constellations there must one similar to your leg 'Chow Syrius Leg Sans_noodles'?

    Glad the cute guy was there..some compensation :-) their paperwork efficiency seems hot!x

    Heck you sound polite in your hectoring:-)..I was found at full voice saying 'Intelligent Staff?'whilst waiting in an ever growing queue in a shop with only one till..I thought they wanted our money in this credit crunch. Blame that on the walking stick it seems to bring out a certain je ne sais quoi in my personality LOL

    My first shop trip with a walking stick yikes I can understand why you need a wrist strap for them now! Physio made me choose between arm crutch and this on grade? to a stick..but I had to stand/balance on one of those flat discs with ball underneath, between bars, with full length mirror at other end..oh joys..then she had me balancing one leg, finally catching a ball whilst balancing..this seal without flippers earnt her walking stick:-)

    Keep up the good work bear is envious of the African chair :-)

    Looking forward to your next installmentx
    I have treated myself to DVD of Brideshead Revisited orginal TV series for Easter as Winter has returned with full force:-)
    Glad you are now home xx

  6. Ah, the joys of balance boards. I had a home made one; someone in my running club made it for me. I never could balance. Our kine over here uses a trampoline for the catching exercises. Athletic, I ain't!