Pig's Ear Park and Other Adventures

Month: April 2012

FCUK- is a clothing brand….

Plus with a change of letters was muttered under my breath numerous times today.

Today- Terry’s birthday and St George’s Day was also the day for the grandly named ‘Examination under Anaesthetic’.

We got intructions from Graham on the easiest way to Ak hospital , he also warned us to be on the motorway by 6.30 am- we were.

Fog of course from Pahoia to Paeroa, what do you expect at 5 am….

We tottered into Ak Hospital at 2 minutes to 7, and I was admitted to a ward AND A BED!!! Far cry from the chairs at Tauranga day stay. Blood pressure had reached 205 by this time. Much tutting from the nurse who said I had to calm down- shit, she hadn’t just driven from Tauranga with Terry! I was also given a lecture on how we care for people- I told her she had to as it was her job, my job was to look after me. I was not playing nicely.

Had lots of mystery visitors including the surgeon, a very attractive little woman, T said her hands were too small for a surgeon, I said they were just right for female bits, not to her of course. I made a very strategic mistake with the surgeon by telling her I was not having the radical hysterectomy booked for next Monday.

By 8.30 am I was being thrown onto the slab in surgery. Was given  a jab of something to calm me down- bit late really, next thing it was 9.20 am and I was being given a lecture – again- on my blood pressure. Apparently it sat at 190 while I was out to it. I had been told after a little hissy fit that I would be able to go 2 hours after coming to, as long as I could walk, and pee.

When will they get the message that I have white/blue coat syndrome- maybe I also have embedded way down the horrifying memory of a barium enema administered without warning when I was 9 years old!  Yes, it was in a hospital- Ashburton. Enough to put anyone off for life.

Anyway the nurse forgot about the blood pressure when we did the usual’ where are you from’- I went to school in Ashburton with her cousin.

Small surgeon appeared about 9.45 am after initially being told I would not get to see her until about 4.30 pm.- hence the aforementioned hissy fit,I went pale puce at that- had things to do back in Tauranga.

Now here was where my strategic mistake came in, if you do not have surgery then you have a variety of options, apparently I had no options, belt and braces for me- external radiation, internal radiation(brachyterapy) PLUS chemo. I hissed and spat then settled down, as it seems to me from what I have been told that there is an area in the old kopu which is a bit thicker but they cannot actually say for sure that there are cancer cells there NOW. I reckon they got them in the cone biopsy but as they hate being on the margins(don’t we all!) they want everything.

For me the best thing would be leave it alone and give me another MRI in a few months time- if it has gone nasty then and only then can they whack me  with something. I must mention to them all the money they save the health budget, as i just may not need anything.

What they also forget is that I refused surgery because of the high risk of lymphodema(luvvy white stocking territory), when I refused surgery they said the external radiation can cause it too- but that was two weeks ago and a different Dr- wish they all had the same sheet.

We were outta there at 11.45 am, got lost briefly, I put the seat back, put Emmy Lou Harris on and  dozed until Paeora.

We have guests coming for dinner and I have only made two phone calls, one to the long suffering Nurse at the Cancer Society and one to the local gyno’s nurse- not available of course.

I now await the appointments for oncology and radiology in Waikato. Should get the appointments in a couple of weeks- for yet another lets talk about it!  External radiology treatment takes 5 weeks but only  about 10 minutes a day, the rest spent trailing around Hamilton. Much as I like Hamilton 5 weeks there as opposed to a week for the brachy is not a good option.

So, I played nicely for some parts of the day, and it is not blood pressure medicine I need but valium, as the minute I am outta there it drops to about 140….

I was impressed by the efficiency at Auckland, and enjoyed the multi cultural nurses. The Indian nurse was quite happy about my blood pressure, said I obviously know my own body! I think being fit and not hughely overweight is a huge plus!


The Third Option

What with waiting to get onto magic  ‘lists’ and generally just waiting I was really pleased when the co-ordinator in Tauranga for the Gyno dept phoned  last Tuesday (3/April) to check that I had received notification of my appointment with the Auckland ‘list ‘ makers for today- Thursday 5th April.

I knew there was supposed to be a MRI done  so hounded the MRI people here and managed to get an appointment a week earlier than they were planning on.

“It won’t have a report done as our pelvis man is away(school holidays’).  I replied not to worry as the list makers in Ak would take no notice of the Tauranga report anyway.

We set off at 8 am , appointment wasn’t till 11.30 am but we were not risking  anything.

A quick stop with all the trendies at Nosh to buy essentials like Panko crumbs and lavash bread and we were ready to face the list makers.

First mistake, got a registrar, who was pleasant but very surprised when I asked what the date was for my radical hysterectomy, expecting 23 or 30th April- they only operate on a Monday.

No! No! she responded , we are only going to have a look at your kopu under anasthetic  to ensure that all the decisions we have made are correct. It was to be done on the 30th April, with surgery sometime off in the never never…

I erupted and said, I was going home as I had had enough of their sodding system and would probably die of a stress related heart attack before they got to me anyway.

She backed off immediately and went and got senior list maker. I said to the senior list maker that  it was fast becoming a no go zone for me as I HAD HAD ENOUGH!!!!

I asked her what would happen if I did nothing, never really got a reply to that. She threatened fistulas, great holes in my kopu- maybe!!!

Senior list maker  suggested that they  have the  look up my jacksie and then  for me to make a decision.  I said I was not waiting until the 30th for that. If that was the date I was gone!!!

Now even having the hysterectomy is hughly problematic because of the nature of it, everything goes including my pelvic lymph nodes. These are my big worry as 30% of patients get lymphodema FOR LIFE!!!  Luvvy white stockings. Then there is the re siting of the widdle apparatus, one has a catheter for five days to retrain the site!

The lymph nodes are really the main problem as their may be microscopic nasties in them and they may not show up hence the great desire to whip them out.

So what about having radiation I asked- well that can cause  de da de da de da, thickened this, thinned that. However, radiation is the only treatment when it gets really  really bad, I am on the cusp of really really bad. So lets wait….

So why do I need the surgery if the cone biopsy got it all???? And that is all that will get me back there on the 23rd  (T’ s birthday), if they got it all in the biopsy I am not going back on a maybe  about the lymph nodes on the 30th of April for the full monty. Yes, managed to get a date in the end and now don’t even think I want it.

I definitely am in favour of the third option- do nothing. I am 66 for heavens sake and if I get another three or so years so be it. At least I would not spend 6-8 months getting over it all only to have the NHL carry me off in three years anyway.

Have to be at the hospital at 7 am on the 23rd and we have decided we will simply get up at 5 am and go…Surgery only takes half an hour but after it they will tell me (cautiously) what they think. We will be home by 5 at the latest.

We never left the hospital till 3.30 pm today after having had my zillionth blood test and ECG etc etc… and then took 3 hours to get home- Easter!!!!

I will say the senior list maker  gave me an hour of  her time , sorry for the patients who had to wait….




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