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.