Yesterday was an early start after a sleepless night. I attended the DOSA (Day Of Surgey Admissions) ward for my staging laproscopy and gastroscopy. I was on the ward in my gown by 7.30am and started to read a book behind the pulled curtains trying not think about the upcoming surgery. Shortly after I was called through as the first operation of the day. We were called in pairs and the women I went down to theatre with turned to me and said quietly "I'm glad I'm going down with superman" referring to my new dressing gown, which attracted a lot of attention throughout the day.
I went straight into prep room 3 and got onto the bed and was hooked up to machines and had the anesthetic put into my hand, I noticed my hands were shaking and realised this was the most nervous I had been so far throughout the process. A quick look at the clock, it was 9.15am.
I woke up about 11.30 and a nurse was sat with me, it felt like I had had the best sleep ever, I was still a bit hungover from the anesthetic and the ride from one ward to the next was a blur. As I got settled in the bay a nurse explained that I would only be released once the swelling had gone and I could pass water. I was given a brew and a glass of water and my "ops" were taken, pulse, respiration, temperature etc. I explained I was coeliac and had brought my own bread for toasting. They took it away and brought it back to me, the toast took me ages to eat but I was so glad to eat after 16 hours without food.
I spent most of the afternoon drifting in and out of sleep and my mum came to pick me up with a surprise, Leonie. The nurse was a little concerned as my stomach was still really bloated but my ops were fine. She wouldn't discharge me until the surgeon had seen me. This was a long wait and in the meantime, the upper GI nurse, Karen visited and went through the notes. She was pleased with the outcome of the surgey, something which the surgeon reiterated when he arrived. The nodes, he explained, were the most concerning aspect beforehand, however, when he looked at them they were fine, which is really good news. The biopsies will hopefully confirm this, but we have to wait for the results, which Karen said she would chase up early next week. These results will also stage and grade the cancer and this will in turn determine the treatment, so a lot is riding on these results and the wait will be an anxious one. At least I have two energetic boys to keep my mind occupied.
During the afternoon the nurse administered some more painkillers and I had a couple more brews, I was still really hungry but wasn't allowed to eat. She kept checking my stomach to see if it had gone down any and when it had deflated a bit she asked for my opinion, as a doctor I looked down and inspected my own stomach, and then gave my diagnosis, "it seems to be getting back to normal but I was missing my six pack!" When I was finally discharged, I was really relieved to know that what was previously the unknown about the lymph nodes were now no longer a concern.
We got home and I was knackered, I tried to eat some tea, but after only two mouthfuls I was sick and couldn't face any food, although I was hungry. I kept up with drinking liquids and had some more paracetamol but the pain across my stomach didn't go. In the evening some friends came over and it was good to catch up, taking my mind of the pain in my stomach and listening to them. It was a welcome distraction from everything thats been going on, and as always, inappropriate jokes soon followed which I never discourage.
I managed a full nights sleep though and this morning I am still managing the pain with paracetamol. We decided to call in some help from Leonie's parents to look after Sid, so we could have a day to ourselves and help with the recovery, something that I think is necessary as I am struggling with my movement, but the boys have been fantastic, being really careful amd gentle to their daddy!
Now its just the wait for the results. I really hope that these will be good news and everything is pointing in the right direction so fingers crossed!