A quick update
01 Sep 2012
So sorry for the lack of news but I've been so listless, lethargic and breathless that even pressing keys on the iPad felt like breaking rocks.
I am now home again, returning on Wednesday afternoon from the Brompton. After much wavering, the decision was that since the chest drain hadn't released that much fluid - and that fluid wasn't infected - it was not worth doing a bigger chest operation because of the pain and risks involved. It might seem a counsel of despair but I think it's a realistic assessment of the underlying state of my cancer, which has deteriorated.
I've been so grateful to my old Cambridge friend, now a lung cancer consultant, for helping to guide me through this difficult time. Mark has been so generous with his time coming to visit me between his busy shifts at Papworth Hospital. Today he and his wife Gerry came to visit me. As she's a cancer nurse, between them they gave lots of useful tips about pain relief and dealing with breathlessness.
I now feel I am building a support network and I had a really good visit from the palliative care nurse from the Princess Alice Hospice. Ironically , Chrissy has been a therapist volunteer there for many years. How would we manage without the hospice charity movement?
I now have oxygen and nebuliser machine at home. These help with breathing and clearing the airways.
One other, less conventional, bit of my support network involved breaking a long-held principle. After boycotting Rupert Murdoch as much as possible I have finally succumbed to a Sky Sports subscription. Since I've also finally given up my gym membership, it does feel like a big shift towards being a couch potato!
As you will know, I find having to do things so slowly (climbing stairs is like an assault on Everest) Very frustrating, but progress now is going to be measured in an extra length of the corridor or a walk into the garden not an extra 10 miles on the bike. But I have been looking into getting a static indoor exercise bike, if I can find one with easy enough settings. It might help reduce the elephant-man swellings on my legs and just possibly encourage a little expansion of the left lung.
This iPad keyboard has a mind of ts own at times and makes editing tricky, so apologies for errors.
Once again the number of hits to this blog is growing fast and so too are the number of responses. I love reading them. Thanks.
I'm still hoping to write my patient's guide to what makes a hospital stay bearable or unbearable, but it'll have to wait a while.