Pig's Ear Park and Other Adventures

Month: July 2012

Just another brick in the wall

Was this me……

Well it actually  felt like the first brick in my stomach wall.

A day after and  I am still  having nasty little stomach pains as the brick settles, no suppose it is from where the warhead was….

Nasty trip to Hamilton departing at 5 am in the dark and pouring rain- suited my mood actually. Two of the side effects. one from chemo- tinnitus(ringing in ears- all the time) and cystitus have both been visited upon me . The tinnitus after round four – and the last- of chemo and the systitus just to make life thoroughly miserable on Saturday evening. Sunday I took my usual a massive dose of antibiotics, felt queasy all day but by 5 am Monday the cystitus had gone.

The anaethetist got lost or didn’t turn up or something so we cooled our heels in a side ward for nearly an hour and half. I went to sleep, T nearly did but as he was sitting in a hard chair it was a bit more difficult for him- I was snug in a bed.

Finally about 9.15 I was knocked out- came to at 10 am yelping about the pain. Proceeded to yelp for the next two hours. Why are some nurses so mean with morphine, even the anathetist poked his head in to say I could have more….

The cause of all the pain was the goddamn catheter stuck into my poor sore and probably inflamed weeer. Just to make it worse when they inserted the warhead they filled my bladder, god almighty 20 minutes with an excruciatingly full bladder plus haveing to listen to Eric Clapton, how much should a poor body have to put up with.

Not sure how they fill your bladder  up while you have a catheter in- however having a full bladder was a prerequistie for external radiation. Can’t remember any mention last warhead day.

Gave birth yet again to loads of wadding and the warhead. Must admit Snitzel seems to know what he is doing down there. The nurse who is generous with the morphine said next time they would give me more painkillers while I was out to it- now why does it take 3 goes to get that right.


T said it was pretty dramatic whimpering accompanied by loud shivering noises. The nurse mean with the morphine kept snarling, keep your legs still, try that next time you think  you have hypothermia….

Anyway Snitzel said he could see no sign of the cancer, I asked why  did I need to come back…..

I was so full of morphine I

Just Looking Thanks

had grave doubts that I would be able to get from the cancer ward to the car- 2 lifts, about 100 metre walk then another lift then another 100 metre walk. T had to hold me up most of the way.

Collapsed into the car and slept all the way home- truthfully- I slept till 11 am this morning. Fine today and I may just totter down to the garden later…..

Good news- sort of….

Actually I think it qualifies as good news without the sort of….

Remember a few weeks ago I wrote about the baboons bum, well it eased off but after the initial brachytherapy(giving birth to the nuclear warhead)  the poor old fanny went into torched overdrive.

I, of course blamed the brachy as the timing was spot on. When I told Snitzels registrar about the ongoing pain he looked on reflection a little puzzled. On Monday I went over to the house of horrors for my last external radiation and commented to the radiowhatsit that my poor fanny was so sore from the brachy, she looked surprised- it was not the brachy causing the burning it was the external radiation. Just like women with breast cancer get burns around their boobs, I get burns on my fanny. I was gobsmacked as Snitzel had told me how ‘safe’ external radiation was when I abused him about my pounding heart. Silly me. Nobody at anystage told me that I would get burnt from it. Yesterday I told the co-ordinator that and she said maybe the staff just assume the patient knows! Remember what assume means makes an ass out of you and me….

Snitzel asked to see me before I came home and expressed his disappointment at my failure to complete the brachy as he said the final two treatments would give me a 95% chance of survival.

Well, both T and I sat up straight at that, I told him about my newly discovered knowledge about what/who the real transgressor was in my nether regions, he looked surprised- again an assumption of knowledge.

He said please have the last two sessions, I said yes much to T’s relief.  Obviously my brush with pneumonia has caused them to pause plus an accompanying drop in the white cell count as they do not plan to do the next brachy until the 30th July and the last one on the 6th August.

I still have the horrors about the whole procedure but as long as the morphine keeps coming I will be OK and as long as the burning  has gone by then it should be copeable.

After Mondays external radiation, the last, I writhed in agony, probably psychological, but it is just starting to come down to a bareable level of pain now- Wednesday. Spent the day in the sunroom yesterday -whimpering.

I must admit on reflection again I am surprised that the head honcho never argued the case more, Snitzel was away last week, so guess I am lucky he was there this week.

Anyway thank you Joan for the lovely bag of daily treasures and the Journals of Discontent, I really appreciated them. The F Y stamp came on exactly the right day and if one searched my room very carefully you would find some graffiti saying FY…..

Please don’t everyone  who has contacted me   forget me me now that I am home.


Blah de Blah

Well the title about sums it up…

Staggered back to the House of Horrors on Monday after my one night escape. Felt quite knocked around really and not at all interested in any more torture.

I slept thru most of Tuesday, aided by a pill at night after all the zzzing during the day.

On Wednesday I had an appointment with the oncologist- no more I said, no more chemo , no more brachy.

Oh says he, well you have just dropped your survival chances to 35%, I am still going to have external radiation says I, well that put the survival rate back to 50% , down from the 65% of a month ago. Now we are only talking lasting five years here… And when was life prediction an exact science. I must admit to feeling a bit of a wimp about the brachy, no more chemo doesn’t bother me, I had four doses out of the expected five.

However my fanny feels like it has been gone over with a blow torch and seems to show no sign of easing off. This weeks torture was put off due to the pneumonia. I suspect the chemo would have been too due to the white cell count. Snitzel, like half the staff is away this week due to school holidays so I do not have to face him.

Joss comes down on Thursday and we have a really nice day, visit the base- boring, but I did fondle lots of Trelise Cooper clothes….  then head off to the Hamilton gardens- lovely.

I have an 8 am appointment on Friday and am up at 6 am- well you can’t be too early… I pack my mountain of bits and pieces. Have my last radiation for the week, back to the lodge and wait for T to arrive. I sit thru T having a cup of tea then off we gooooo!!!!!! We are home by noon. Havn’t had a Patricks Pie for a couple of weeks as my stomach has gone chemo queasy plus I have a slight headache all the time- guess it will go, eventually.

After two days at home  the  blow torch effect has dropped down to just a creme brulee torch level and I am beginning to think I may have the other two brachys- well maybe one. Snitzels registrar nabbed me and suggested that we space them out- I’ll say space them out, about a year apart…no, maybe at least two weeks apart.

I would like to know the state of the cancer at this point but I just get looked at blankly when I suggest a scan….

I have one more external radiation tomorrow so may try and hunt someone down…. I am still very tired but think I feel a bit better today. Walked down to the garden twice yesterday, once more than the day before. Wet today so activity is curtailed.

Most interesting thing to happen this week was the discovery that my great great grandfather on the paternal side was deported to Tasmania from Surrey for sheep stealing. On the maternal side I have staunch Kentish yeoman farmers….. Wonder if one nicked sheep from the other…..

So five weeks in the House of Horrors has not provided me with any enlightenment, no god like visions, no greater tolerance, certainly no great pain threshold, just same old, same old.                                             


Not the Vagina Monologues

For the fainthearted among you skip this – there is gossip at the end.

We got up bright and early last Monday morning , about 4.15 am and T does not do mornings remember…

Had to be let into Oncology when we arrived as it was still only 7 am. I would not have left till much later.The  dreaded moment for the brachytherapy finally came- zap and I was out. Zap and I was awake and IN PAIN!!!!! HELP!!!! Morphine was adminsstered and not a moment too soon.  I felt like I was about to give imminent birth to an elelphant.

‘That will be the device dear”  She could keep her rotten device- HELP!!! I lay there whimpering and occasionally getting drugs for another 45 minutes when I was wheeled back into the mini theatre and hooked up to the nuclear warhead on the wall via the device in my fanny- I swear I could hear it make contact but I couldn’t smell any uranium on a anyone’s breath. I’m left there for about 20 minutes then Snitzel comes in – I presumed I was deactivated, and starts to unpack the “device”. It took a bloody long time , then I had to give birth to the DEVICE.

Shit oh dear. This was done in two parts as there were two of us being done! 

 T and I eat lunch, I am still numb, no numbish and pretty miffed at the whole affair. I am supposed to have two more lots of this torture by device- don’t think so. Particulalrly not when they stupidly told me that they could not see any cancer- aha!!!! They are belt and braces medicine after all!

I totter out bandylegged about 1 pm and fall into bed at the lodge. I am even given time off today  from radiation. I stagger down for dinner, lovely roast beef. Just as well I enjoyed it as my stomach went on leave for the rest of the week and I missed;pork fillet, bacon and egg pie,  and a chicken casserole.

Tuesday is a painful fanny blur, I slap lignacane everywhere I can  but not much help really.

I mutter to the receptionist that I made two marks on the floor last Friday when I was skittering like a cow, and say that there is another mark there which has been there since I arrived- just by the bed. Makes sense why my bed is turned over- I do not have the courage to look. The maid who mutters darkly whenever she sees me arrives at my door with her trusty wipe of all things nasty, swears there is nothing other than my droppings on the floor, scowls when I point out the previous occupants droppings.

Two days later I ask her to give the previous occupansts droppings another going over…How to win friends and influence people.

Wednesday I go out with Shirley, back to her place for lunch, we laugh a lot which was good.

Thursday, hi ho, off to the hospital at 8 am for the weeks chemo.  I am duly plugged in, have all my supplies, food, book, radio etc. Don’t know why I bother with a book as I never read it, just sleep.

NOT TODAY THOUGH! About 2 pm I start to shake uncontrollably, the nurses poke and prod, mutter, poke and prod, finally get a dr, she pokes and pwods. I think you are quite sick she said- golly!  After shaking uncontrollably for 2 and half hours they decide that with a temperature now sitting at 39.4 c I should be admitted to a ward.

I am wheeled into the bowels of the hospital and delivered into the care of a young Filipino nurse. Poor man, first thing I did was tip a glass of water all over the bed whilst lunging for the poo sample bottle, all the while attached to a drip. Yes, by now they are filling me with antibiotics for something? What?

He remakes my bed, and brings me a commode chiair, that is a first, must look very old. The commode chair is awfully high and has to be climbed up upon.

Sometime in the night I have my first battle with the commode, wet my pants, wet the floor but manage to get something in the pan. Well not a good start for my geriatric apprenticeship. Why my pants? Well, Mrs super duper organised was locked in here with only her chemo kit- no toothbrush, no luvvy night cream, no deodorant, no change of clothes.

I scrounge toothbrush and toothpaste from a nurse the next day(new- you will be relieved to know) but the merino t shirt stays on for four days. I end uup with luvvy strechy hospital knickers.

I change into the hospital provided strecthy pants fitted with large pad- more geriatric training, I am stricken with the urge to go, the pad falls out of the pants and into the pan… Failed as a geriatric on the first pan.

Thank god the sleeping pill kicks in.

Dr comes at 8 am, askds the junior dr what does she hear in my lungs, nothing she says, clean your ears out says he, one of them is half full….. Pneumonia!

T comes at 10.30 and leaves again, I tell him I will ring him.

More antibiotics, no drip and panadol for bringinging the temperature down. Now sitting at about 38.5.

I drift thru the day and then thru the night, the commode has not had its pan replaced- I think that may be a sign.

I drift thru the next day and it isn’t until about 3 pm Sat that I finally listen to the radio- me- an addict. T rings wondering what on earth is going on, I tell him to come at 10 am the next morning as like Riley I am going home-then.

Brachy has been delayed from Monday till some unkown date, never as far as I am concerened. T comes and collects me, bit of a kerfuffle as I walk up to reception and ask for my prescription or at least what drugs I am on, but we are out of there by 10.15 am. I sleep all the way home. Stagger onto the bed in the sunporch and even manage a little walk in the garden- checking T’s jobs..

Ha! there was no gossip.


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