That old draining feeling again!
26 Aug 2012
Just a quick catch up as I've had morphine and beef stew up to my eyeballs and will fall asleep soon over this hot little iPad.
My transfer here on Saturday could have been smoother - bit like Clint Dempsey trying to leave Fulham for a bigger club ( as if there's such a thing). When I arrived I was expecting surgery this weekend but was told I wasn't on their list even for Tuesday. 'Where's your drain?' they asked. I haven't got one in, I told them. 'But your notes say you have'. And on it went. It was like starting from scratch and I just wanted to be back at the lovely Marsden or be allowed home.
The wards were 6 bed and very cramped and all in all the business got the better of me and the tears spilled. Well, I've never tried to gain advantage this way but it did at least get me put into a side ward (result: best rest for ages). Eventually after new batches of blood samples etc we got there. By which time I was extremely breathless, hardly able to walk but could at least retreat into my private cave to growl and lick my wounds.
I had a very rough night from about 3am with fever and sweats and extreme breathlessness. I felt I was drowning in my own phlegm. But as the morning went on I felt better, thanks to Chrissy stoically coming in early to bring love and support.
This afternoon I had a second lung drain. Not dramatic volumes but if it turns out to be an infected pocket of fluid it could make a big difference. To me though it didn't seem enough to reexpand the lung ( which remains largely collapsed and is causing the breathlessness). The surgeon visited and said its a 50% chance the drain will be enough. If not, bigger surgery - cut not keyhole - for Tuesday is planned. As there's not much fluid there, I'm not convinced that will do it, but he seemed confident.
Basic problem - and the big truth that's hard to face - is that the real problem is the deterioration of the cancer which has turned my left lung into a quagmire. Surgery won't change that. It leaves prospect of a life with limited activity and - my big fear - no exercise or cycling and little resource to fight the underlying cancer.
Anyway, that's jumping ahead. I feel quite comfortable now and am hoping for a fever-free restful night and that I can stay on in the side-room and get some more good healing sleep.
Hospital food report: Royal Brompton is good and they're trying hard to make it healthy. But not quite up to the Royal Marsden, although considerably better than Kingston. Are their jobs as hospital food critics?