Wednesday, 30 June 2010

The patient is happy

Just got back from an afternoon visit to Margot. She is very happy that the tumour is gone and her treatment this time is the best so far. She is still in intensive care and hooked up to drips etc. but they seem to have the pain well under control and she is fairly comfortable. Her blood pressure is a little low and she has itchy skin but they say both these conditions are produced by the pain killer and they are gradually changing it over to another type.

Thanks for all your good messages. I will pass them all on on my next visit.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

The tumour is out!

It looks like the operation has gone very well and they have removed the tumour without touching too much else. I have not been able to talk to Margot as she is still out of it after leaving the operating theatre at 13:30. However, I talked to the surgeon and he was happy with how it went and very pleased that he did not have to fit the Hartmann sack.

Margot will be in intensive care for a few days and I hope to talk to her tomorrow morning and visit tomorrow afternoon. So more news then. I think I will be having a couple of glasses of wine this evening :)

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Time Out

I'm off to hospital tomorrow, Monday. If things go well, I'll probably be there a couple of weeks.  I'm taking the ambulancel taxi to save Nick the trip.  His taking me involves a drive of 2 and a half hours and then being thrown out of the room immediately I check in.  Not useful.

Nick is going to post on the blog  to give updates.  If you have any comments, could you direct them to the blog, please?  It will be much easier for him than trying to go through my email.

On the dog front, Van-Ly has had her X-rays and they've been sent off to Paris to be processed, for some reason.  When they come back next week, they'll go to the CCF  (ChowChow Club de France) vet.  At first glance, her hips don't look perfect, but not bad.  We'll just have to wait.

See you soon.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Family Affairs

I would be writing more, but I'm not feeling very well.  Don't know what it is, but I suspect the pain killers given to me after the stent was put in, so I've stopped taking them.  They -- or something -- also are making me sleepy, so that's what I'm doing: sleeping.  And dreaming of puppies.

We have found a perfect five-year-old male Chow.  Or he will be perfect as soon as he's registered and X-rayed for hip dysplasia. Just look at those study, little legs!

We had a family meeting the other day.  Asterix -- that's the bridegroom's name -- does seem to prefer Nala, even if she did keep growling at him, but we'll leave her home next time.  Van-Ly will be X-rayed on Friday and the pictures sent off to the official doctor of the Chow Chow Club for grading.

We are hoping for a September/October wedding

Friday, 18 June 2010

Tour de California

I've been waiting to post about this until I received more information from the Lance Armstrong Foundation, but I guess they're not going to be forthcoming, so. . .

I thank you sincerely, everyone who cheered me on in this virtual bicycle race.  Nick and I came in at a respectable 37th place.  I did think this might get our names on a sticker on one of the Radio Shack bikes in the Tour de France, but, if so, no one has told me.

Still it was a lot of fun and so very gratifying to see everyone trying to help us win.

Next time I think I'll do a real-world something.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Today's Laugh: We Linux Pirates

There are numerous internet services that are not available to Linux users.  The rationale seems to be that, because we like free software, we are prone to stealing whatever comes our way.  (O.K., I stole the cartoon.)  At least that's what the BBC told me.

Tonight I was searching for books by Fareed Zakara available as audiobooks.  Google brought up several torrent sites where I could download the books for free.  Except that you need Windows to run the torrents.

Bill Gates wins, again.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010


Yesterday I saw:

  • the anaesthesiologist (isn't there a short form for this?)
  • the surgeon
  • had a cardiogram
  • a chest x-ray (so they can locate exactly where my little plastic box is)
  • a blood test

After the blood test, the technician came running to the elevator to return my bag just in time to see my arm start dripping blood in the lobby.  Can't take me anywhere.  She fixed it.

When I suggested that the anaesthesiologist (isn't there a short form for this?) not touch my stomach, she immediately gave me a prescription for painkillers and sent us to the hospital pharmacy where they gave me a couple to get started.  I am feeling better.

She was also appalled at the state of my feet and ankles, but she couldn't do anything about them.

The operation has been pushed back to 29 June.  As I'm not paying for any of this, I can't accuse of the surgeon of taking a longer vacation in his second home.

Assuming that he can do anything at all, once in, he will remove the tumour or, at least, reduce it.  If the tumour is attached to the colon, there are two options.  If the colon is undamaged, he will sew it back together again.  If it is damaged or otherwise unhealthy, he will do something called a Hartmann's Procedure and I will have a little sack.  He thinks there is an 80% chance that I will leave the hospital with a sack.  At least I will be leaving the hospital.

The anaesthesiologist said I will have an epidural to counteract the after-surgery pain.  I will be in intensive care for five days and then move to a regular room for the rest of my stay while I am educated about my new appendage.  Whoo, sounds major!  I asked if the hospital makes good birthday cake.  At least I will be leaving the hospital.

Speaking of food, three days of not eating produced a weight loss of maybe 2 kilos (4-5 pounds).  Not much, but down is better than up.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Interim Report

Good news: the double J stents went in this time.  They should relieve pressure on my kidneys and bladder from the tumour and protect the ureter during the next surgery.

On the other hand, I feel like I have a bladder infection -- and I do; I have a world-class case of gas; and incontinence-are-us.

I wasn't going to write that last bit, but I remembered I meant to be honest about all this.

Tomorrow more consultations in Lyon.  I'll write in a couple of days when I'm bound to feel better.