Cancer is a spanner.

Just a warning, this is not going to be a cheerful post.  Because I’m not feeling very cheerful today.  As you know from my previous posts, I finished my chemo on 24th February and I was looking forward to a few months off from treatment and a break from the hospital visits.  But that would have been too easy.  My cancer decided to throw a great big spanner in the works and land me back in hospital only a few short weeks later.  It went like this…

The weekend of 11th March I started to feel a little off.  My skin was a little bit itchy, my pee was a little bit yellower than usual and I was a bit more tired than usual.  But I’m pretty much always tired these days so I didn’t think too much of it – I just put on some extra moisturiser and drank a little more water.  And then I noticed I had slightly more colour than usual.  And not as in nicely flushed pink cheeks; more like like I was trying to get on The Simpsons.  My skin and eyes developed a lovely yellow glow and I knew it was time to call my oncologist.  Two minutes on the phone with him and it was off to A&E with me.  I spent the night there and if you’ve had ever to do that, you’ll appreciate how unfun that is.  The next morning I saw the Oncology team and was told that I most likely had a blockage in my bile ducts – possibly gallstones, possibly something else.  I’d have to be admitted so they could figure out exactly what was going on.  They moved me to the Oncology ward and the fun really started.

I had an ultrasound first which showed that there was indeed a blockage.  Then they needed to do something called an MCRP which is basically an MRI specifically designed to look at the bililary system.  Unfortunately for me, that showed that the blockage wasn’t a nice simple gallstone that could be easily removed but was in fact due to the tumour on my liver starting to grow again.  To say I was shocked would be the understatement of the century.  After my first three cycles of chemo the tumour had shrunk considerably but somehow, during the second three cycles it had grown again.  So, what now?  In order to relieve the pressure on my bile duct caused by the tumour, I need a stent inserted.  And then, once I recover from that, I’m going to have to start chemo again.  So much for my summer off.

Last Thursday, I underwent a procedure to relieve the pressure.  I thought the stent was being done then but instead I woke up from sedation to discover a tube coming out of my chest and a drainage bag attached.  So with the liver drain that I have had since October, I now have two tubes and two drainage bags attached to my body.  When I finally managed to talk to a doctor the next morning I was told that the new drain was a temporary measure to clear out my system before the stent could go in.  And that would be in a few days time.  So today is Thursday 23rd March and it’s been one week since the drain went it.  Most of that time has been spent hanging around the hospital with no sleep, very little appetite and a lot of frustration.  I did get day release a few days so I could come home for a few hours but that’s nearly harder as once I get home all I want is to stay here.  I miss my house, I miss my bed and most of all I miss my boys.  I’m tired of kissing them goodbye and not knowing when I’ll see them again.  I worry about what it’s doing to them to have a disappearing mommy.  I just want to be home to make them lunch and take Oscar to Montessori and read them their bedtime story – all the things I’d take for granted every other day.

So now I’m due to have part of the stent procedure done tomorrow.  I was initially told I’d be able to go home tomorrow evening or Saturday morning but that plan has changed as of this afternoon.  The procedure is now going to be a two-part one, with the first part done tomorrow and the second done some time next week.  I don’t know why things have changed and to be honest the lack of information and consideration is incredibly frustrating.  It’s nearly impossible to get a straight answer from anyone when there’s so many different specialities and doctors involved.  I’m starting to feel less like a human being and more like an object.  The only thing that was keeping my spirits up was the thought of coming home this weekend and now it’s starting to feel like that’s never going to happen.

So, tomorrow I’ll get knocked out again and hopefully when I wake I’ll get a bit more information about what’s happening next.  But I won’t hold my breath.  To be continued…

3 thoughts on “Cancer is a spanner.

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