Tuesday, June 6, 2017

May Medical Update

Janice, Dale, Bill, Jim, Susan and I make up most of 'The Tribe'.  We met for lunch, May 15th, at Bridges on First

With chemo treatments concluding on April 13th, May seemed like a nearly normal month. As my strength returned we got out more.  

May 3rd took on a life of it's own. We'd made prior arrangements to meet friends for lunch at Bridges on First, after my neuropathy physio assessment. Nothing effective was recommended, what is working is the cannabis oil! There, I was loaned a TENS machine to help manage the pain in my hip, but I didn't find it made any difference so, after 2.5 weeks of use, I bailed. During this appointment I had a phone message from nurse practitioner, Pam, advising me that an ultrasound was booked at 2pm that day (to investigate the spot on my liver) but she hadn't said where? We'd discussed having it done, closer to home, in Lethbridge or High River. As luck would have it, Pam was at the Holy Cross Centre, Calgary, where I was. We tracked her down to learn the ultra sound was scheduled at the Foothills, Calgary. It meant I could make the procedure, but that I couldn't eat lunch. I watched as Bill, Brian and Alice did. 

Before leaving the Foothills, I was adamant about seeing the radiologist regarding results of the ultrasound. It was inconclusive. I would need an MRI, which he informed me could take up to two months. Immediately and frantically, I called Pam and demanded an MRI, ASAP. It was arranged for six days later (May 9th). Two days after the MRI, my surgeon herself, phoned to announce most welcome news. There is nothing at all wrong my liver. Hallelujah.

Less than a month after listing our Claresholm house, the fourth showing yielded an offer on May 18th. On the 27th, the deal was sealed. We are dazzled and thrilled. Our realtor, Gary Lock, is the best. He's out of Airdrie and has amazing results selling properties all over the province. It's exciting to report we're in the process of buying a Canmore townhouse, in the complex of our wishes, Mountain Shadows.

Meg, Paul, me and Bil, May 21st 

On May 21st and 22nd, Meg and Paul visited from Canmore. They made it incredibly easy for us by staying at the nearby Bluebird Motel and bringing a ton of food. While the boys went off to scour the antique shops in Nanton, Meg and I made wonderful art messes on the back deck ...

Meg experimented with alcohol inks, I painted a journal page of our blooming Canada 150 tulips
May 28th.  I shall miss these mature bushes which flank both sides of our home here

May 26th I had a pre-op consultation where I met with an internal medicine doctor and an anesthesiologist. Surgery was May 31st ... 

All smiles just before the operation

It was a bitter disappointment to learn that the operation was unsuccessful in terms of reconnecting my colon to my rectum. As I understand it, there isn't enough colon to stretch out. There were a lot of adhesions, which were removed. There is a concern of incontinence because of a fissure between my vagina and my rectum which Dr. Glaze explained would allow stool to pass into my vagina. Later, I'll have a consultation with a colorectal surgeon regarding attempting reconnection but right now I can't bear the thought of having the incision sliced open a third time. For now, I continue to live with the colostomy bag. 

The news we cling to is Dr. Glaze telling us she could find no indication of cancer when she was inside of me.

With Maggie.  Boy do I ever look like my Father, especially with the new hair growth looking, for all the world, like a brush cut

All my visitors came on June 2nd. The stars aligned so that Maggie's week, in Calgary (visiting from Toronto) overlapped my short hospital stay at the Foothills. I am so grateful that she was able to spread her healing energy work on me, in person. 

Precious friends, Debie and Dean, made a special trip into the city just to visit. 

Again, Bill was able to stay at Denise's and Larry's Air B&B suite for three nights. They came bringing awesome food from Bridges on First which usurped the wretched hospital meals.  

Denise and Avery

During surgery, adding insult to injury, my bladder was adversely affected. I came home with the catheter still installed. It's to remain in place for seven days so that my bladder can heal. A Home Care nurse will come tomorrow, June 7th, to remove it. I'm to continue daily injections of blood thinner, for a month post surgery. 

On June 3rd, I begged to be and was discharged.

All the while, Bill was tearing around tending to the things which need attention when you are buying a property. The conditions on our future home are to be lifted June 12th. Possession date is August 1st. In many ways moving is a wonderful distraction from the medical issues and a perfect impetus to heal in preparation of going home ...

The Three Sisters, Canmore