Howling at the Moon

It’s been a frustrating week. ( Behave yourselves, I’m not talking about THAT). On Tuesday Julia finally had the scan to ascertain whether the distended stomach was due to fluid and if so, whether it could be drained. Well we found out it is fluid which ruled out my phantom pregnancy theory from dreaming about Tom Selleck. For some strange reason there’s more fluid on the right than the left and more at the bottom than the top though I would have thought gravity was responsible for the last bit. As it was fairly late on Tuesday we decided to wait until Wednesday evening for the Oncologist (Dr.Hotlips) to see the scan results and the MacMillan Nurse to get the same information so she could arrange for the fastest doctor to perform the drain in order to relieve the pain. Wednesday evening came and went and I began to see that we were treating this as far more urgent than they were.

On Thursday we rang and left a message for the Nurse. We couldn’t get any answer from the Oncology department. Still no ring back by Thursday evening. Today we went out early to do the weekly shop before anyone else gets up. I have to sneak Julia out of the house so the girls can’t see her as it’s the one day she doesn’t get them out to play first thing. She suffers a terrible conscience and fears being seen as she’ll have no choice but to go back and play with them. Huh, I don’t think so ! We meet our daughter at the supermarket and she goes round with me while my other keeper sits with a coffee in the McDonalds. Shopping done I’m allowed a coffee and a bacon roll ( diabetic approved of course) before heading for home.

Waiting at home was an appointment card for next Tuesday 19th at 4 o’clock to see Dr McHottie. It gives us no information at all. I confess that I’m getting very wound up at this point and the slightest remark could have me screwing myself into the ground. We unpack the shopping and I suggest Ju speaks to the hospital to see if she can clarify if this is a speaking appointment or an all action appointment that might require a nightie ( tut tut, for an overnight stay on the ward of course). We can’t speak to the Doctor and the receptionist is vague- it’s usually just a consultation unless otherwise notified is her response. In frustration and because my lip is lacerated from biting it, we leave another message for the MacMillan Nurse.

We enjoyed lunch, or to put it another way, Ju and I couldn’t eat but Yvonne enjoyed hers – that’s another story. Then mid afternoon Yvonne has to depart for home and a further shopping expedition with her husband. Ugo of the non-stop stomach who is currently suffering badly having given up chocolate for Lent. That’s like taking milk from a baby or a yoghurt drop from one of our rats. The phone rang after she’d gone and it was finally the Scarlet Pimpernel Nurse. Finally we get some sense but all of a sudden I don’t want to hear. I want to go out and howl at the moon, I want to curse and swear.  Yes, the likelihood ( not definite??) is that the draining will be performed on Tuesday. BUT, while there is a fluid problem, it’s not great enough to be causing the pain. That’s much more likely to be something pressing on the bowels which would also account for Julia not going to the loo very often or easily these days. Something we reported months ago and were given laxatives for and then something to clear up any excess looseness should that occur.

I’m no genius , though I’d be grateful if you didn’t tell my family that, but I think I’ve worked out what could be pressing on the bowels. OK, maybe there’s nothing that could have been done to prevent it, but I’ve been saying for a long time that a scan to let us know the growth might help even if it’s only to be prepared for things like this.

I’m sure the bald patches in my scalp will grow back soon, but poor Ju isn’t very happy, in fact she’s quite low, as this news came out of the blue and it hits home what an illness she has and what it’s doing. Before that she was convinced the drainage of the fluid would result in being virtually pain free again. If I had a million pounds to spare we’d be flying out next Wednesday on a tour of the places she hasn’t been to ( everywhere except Florida years ago and Prague). Sunshine enough to brighten her flagging spirits. I’m truly sorry for anyone with cancer but I’ve lost so many of my family this way I think I’ve given enough and only have time for Julia now.


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15 responses to “Howling at the Moon

  1. I wish I could say something to make things all better. Even cheery words might help, but in case they won’t, I won’t try… You just go out there and howl, my friend Lord David.

    • Howling over for now Mary J since I must have looked silly on the doorstep in pyjamas and furry feet slippers.The doctors can’t know what degree of urgency we apply to things which are an every day occurence to them but it must be possible to keep us better informed. Sending you Hugs. xx

  2. I can understand how frustrating it must feel, David. I have loads of respect for doctors and nurses, who studied so much to work with which they love to do, but I’m almost never lucky with them… I have two doctors I truly trust and know they really listen to what I’m saying and not just taking assumptions without even examining me, but that’s all. I know there are lots of excellent, interested professionals out there, but they’re hard to find. When you feel they are not taking you seriously enough, it’s kind of exasperating.

    Howling seems to be a good, exhilarating thing to do right now… Wish you both the best.

    • I would have thought it possible to be a little less vague and make sure the patient knows exactly what’s happening.When a person has a terminal illness it’s not funny to hear over the phone that it’s growing. I expect a bit more professionalism.We might be one of a hundred patients to them but to each other we’re important. I’m glad you have someone you trust.
      Huge Hugs.xx

  3. Do whatever you have to do to reduce Julia’s pain. If that means biting Dr Gorgeous where it hurts and alienating the Nieces, then do it. You have every right to be frothing at the mouth angry David. I wish I could help. I really do. 😦

  4. I’m so sorry, Lord David. I’m praying for you both. You have every right to howl at the moon, and no need to take any more burden on that you’ve been given. Thinking of you.

  5. Diabetic approved bacon roll? Where can I find such a wondrous thing? I am not diabetic but if I could begin a steady diet of them now I would be healthy forever, right….?

    I understand your frustration with these delays. Just because it is normal procedure for the healthcare professionals around you doesn’t mean it is part of the day-to-day humdrum for you.
    I really hope that the drain does give Lady J some relief, however small. I can only think that if the pressure of the growth is causing the pain that removing some of the pressure (the fluid) might help.
    Good Luck and positive thoughts to both of you 🙂

    (Yvonne enjoyed hers- that’s another story? Hmmmmm… intrigued 😉 )

    • I don’t think there’s any harm dreaming they’ll perfect a diabetic accepted one..other than by using that dreadful turkey bacon.
      Thanks Metan,I’m sure it will provide some relief and there’s still the morphine to dull the rest. This miracle fruit juice I bought had better start working soon…
      Hugs xx

  6. Tough going, but I have to admit that the bits and drops of humor you managed to sneak into the post is a positive sign. Taking a yoghurt drop from a rat is a pretty amazing image.

  7. Hopefully once they’ve drained it, the pain will ease at least a little.

    Thinking positive thoughts from further Oop north.

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