H’s visit passed too quickly but it was amazing what we did manage to do in those six short days. A good bit of time was spent by helping me in my search of the shops for something to wear on my new shape.
H had brought with her, lots of very helpful information from one of the breast cancer centres in Scotland and some very important essential supplies. These included soft cotton socks and vest tops, some silk scarves, my favourite t-bags, some beautiful cards and thoughtful gifts from friends – and most importantly, several kilos of Jaffa cakes and chocolate! H’s rationale was that if I was going to be sick because of the chemotherapy then it is better to be ill after having eaten something which tastes nice! That’s what I call sound logic!
Well as planned I had a visit with Doctor W on the Saturday evening, and as H had threatened she did indeed asking the questions which I was not prepared to ask. But the answers were to my liking. Firstly the stitches were not yet to be removed (thank goodness!) And secondly I was indeed allowed to have the occasional glass of wine or two. However, much of the appointment was dedicated to discussing the plans for the second surgery. We talked this through and it was agreed that I would have a small operation to insert the port as well as have some repair work carried out on twang arm. More scary biscuits!
Wednesday was also the day of H and A’s departure and so the morning was indeed emotionally charged.
For this surgery Doctor W had arranged that I would be admitted overnight as the procedure will take place in later afternoon. There’s still meant I needed to report to the hospital at 10 o’clock to start the checks and preparations for me to go to theatre.
By 12 noon, I was finally in the ward with the nil by mouth sign clearly above my bed. I was again very nervous about the surgery this time not because I was uncertain of the outcome, but because I have had problems with anaesthesia in the past and this always makes me worry about any operation. It was no time before the clock indicated 3 PM, the tourists won the open and the team of porters and nurses arrived to take me to theatre. Again I experienced this strange reverse birds eye view of the world as I was wheeled towards the operating theatre. Again, J came as far as the theatre doors to begin another wait. And again I was placed on the ironing board like operating table, my arms again dangling over the side. Happily the anaesthetist arrived quickly and he gave me some more of the happy drowsy medicine and I was quickly asleep.
It was again no time until I was awakened by the nursing staff and told that the surgery was over. Thank goodness! But this time I was sore on both sides. Although the surgery was very minor on my right side, it’s incredible how tender and sore a small incision is.
Because two procedures had been carried out in this surgery it still took nearly 3 hours so it was pretty late when I got back to the ward. This time I was keen to get out and about as soon as possible because this surgery had been small. I was even well enough to have a small bowl of miso soup once I was feeling well enough to sit up.
I had a reasonably comfortable night, again with the nurses and J looking after me, giving me medication and checking vital signs. But in the pit of my stomach I had a real feeling of dread because now I knew that the chemotherapy was very very soon in front of me. The next morning, I jumped every time the door opened with a feeling of dread. I knew Doctor W2 would be coming to make the arrangements and perhaps even coming to take me for the chemo. It turned out that I was kept in hospital and extra evening night because of fluctuating blood pressure. It was not until the evening and many false alarms of door openings, that I heard a commotion in the current and the door swung open and Doctor W2 made his characteristic grand entrance. Originally I had had an outpatient appointment to see him on the Thursday evening and so I was not sure what the latest arrangement was. His visit to me on the war it was to do the same as you would have done at the evening appointments. He told me that the chemo would be administered the following day, on Friday. I think I was smiling on the outside but I felt like throwing up on the inside.
On Friday I had similar issues with the door as I was unaware what time the chemo would be administered. I was astounded how many people were coming in and out of the room and none of them were coming to take me for chemo. Around lunchtime I learnt that the chemo session was timed for 4 PM, so I knew at that point I had another two hours of stomach churning and terror before the dreaded chemo would start.
And that’s the next part of the story. I’m going to dedicate a full update to the chemo process and share that with you next…………………..