Saturday, 12 September 2009
I spent five days in the Centre Léon Bérard in Lyon, the regional cancer research hospital.
As you may remember, they were having trouble finding a bed for me. The solution was, it seems to me, typical of their approach; they decorated a new one. The paint smell about knocked me out when I arrived, but went away the next day. Except for my feelings about florescent chartreuse, I was terribly pleased. They'd had trouble hanging the bathroom door, so I didn't have one for 2 days, but they got it sorted.
The food (in France, we start here) was magnificent. Thick tuna steak with pepper sauce; saddle of rabbit; roast veal; medallions of merlu. My appetite came back. 1 point for CLB.
They spent the week getting the pain under control. I am now on the complete assortment of pain killers known to medical man and it's working pretty well. 2 points for CLB.
They left me my own medicines and arranged everything in those divider boxes so that I could take them at the appropriate times. And also have some extra for top ups. They seemed, for some reason, to think I'm an adult. 3 points.
No one nagged me to get out of bed. "What is your expectation of the amount of time I should try to be on my feet"? I asked. "Whatever you're up to." Wow! I had a little tour of the floor on Thursday. They have a an exibit of old-time medical and pharmaceutical stuff, nothing as gory as the American College of Surgeons museum in Chicago or the Museum of Science and Industry. First walkies in over 2 weeks.
Then I tried sitting up while they made my bed. And I could! As to the beds, they are kept low like real beds. Makes your room look more like a bedroom and you don't need a rope ladder to reach the floor. If they have to do some work on you, they raise the bed and lower it again when they're finished.
I had visitors, too. People who have maisons secondaires in Rémuzat, but live around Lyon. So nice, that.
The chemo protocol is being changed again. Dr. Guastalla did tell me what the new one is, but I forget. I'll find out when I have an appointment with the oncologist in Valence on Tuesday. ("No, don't wanna go back to Montélimar." "O.K., where would you like to go"?) Evidently Carboplatine is too toxic for me; hence the continued fall in platelets and the need for all the transfusions. I had a complete blood transfusion this week, but the counts are not high enough yet to start chemo.
Monday morning I'll go see my GP, bring her up to date and try to sort out a urologist. I have to go back to one of the urologists I've already seen or find a new one as I shouldn't be walking around with a catheter without supervision. I'm going to try to find a new one at the hospital in Valence.
This was going to be a very entertaining post, but my neighbour came to visit for 3 and a half hours and I was otherwise occupied during my peak energy time. Too bad; I like it when I'm amusing, too.
On the other hand, Michelle and Francis have been wonderful to us. Visiting, bringing food and jams, bought me two pretty little canisters at the vide grenier (empty your attic = garage sale) last week and a "sanitary pail" that she found brand new for 2€. Now we can have people to stay upstairs. Michelle waters our plants if we don't get home in time and feeds the cats and dogs when we need her to. And Francis has been working with Nick every day to keep him going. I want to cry when I think that they're going back to Belgium at the end of the month for the winter.
But see what I mean about being lucky?