I woke early in the morning and got ready in anticipatory silence to head to the hospital. I’m impartial to hospitals but I push back the memories of the last major visit I had. I remembered being forced to get up and walk, the discomfort and physical pain of my surgical wounds. Oh boy, here it starts…
After the “delightful” and necessary admin of checking in, I was left to the even more delightful standard issue hospital gown and underwear. Some things don’t change! I was nervous as labels were affixed to my wrist; a point of no return.
Day 1 – 2: I awoke a few times in ICU, dazed and unfazed.
Day 3 – 4: Back in the general ward, I was relieved when welcome familiar faces of family and friends told me everything had gone well. Drips, catheter, comfy pillow and company. I didn’t need more and I slept a lot.
I swung between foggy-in-the-head and weepy – anaesthetic, I guess – to not sleeping well in the unfamiliar surroundings. One minute I wanted to scream at the woman coughing in the corner. The next I wanted to cry out of frustration. Then there were the hot sweats which weren’t helped when the old lady wanted the aircon switched off and the nurses weren’t strong enough to open an old window. I resumed my hormone pills thereafter! It’s amazing how underrated the effects of unbalanced hormones can be and it’s not like taking a pill for a headache because you don’t realise what the cause of the disruption is about.
Day 5: On his rounds, the surgeon approached the foot of my bed, file-bearing nursing sister in tow with my results. It’s the same tumour as before. Weird since I don’t have ovaries for it to be ovarian cancer. I’ll figure that out later. He announced he’d got it all out! Tests show the tumour marker at 264. Good news but my mind was quickly over the victory and onto the next hurdle – now it’s up to the oncologist as to how to proceed. I looked for other small victories to distract myself and celebrated being able to mostly wash myself, walk to the toilet and sit in a chair for a while. Baby steps, but with the catheter and drips removed I felt more self-sufficient and in control.
Day 6: My sense of humour works well to keep me buoyant and let everyone know I’m ok. I told the surgeon he performed the wrong op on me and dispatched me with someone else’s girth & legs! He prescribed pills to relieve the water retention presumably caused by all the fluid they’d pumped into me. I told him I really wanted oats that morning so he ok’d soft foods! (I’m such a control freak!) Another small victory to get back life’s simple pleasures. For the first time since the op, I felt like eating and finished a yoghurt and tea.
I saw my belly wound for the first time. He’d cut along the same scar from before. Gutted like a fish with 31 clamps.
On day 7, I was discharged and exhausted, returned home to recover.