Every week seems to be a funny week at the moment. I get my portacath put in, finally, by quite a grumpy doctor. I ask for sedation, he disagrees. I ask him to cut out the keloid scar the last doctor left me with and he tells me people heal differently and that it is not the responsibility of the doctor. I disagree and tell him the last doctor sewed it sides together so the ends were sitting proud, and that he was also gossiping with a colleague about other colleagues while he did it. He silently disagrees and is grumpy when I tell him not to do blanket stitch. Perhaps everyone says this. I have to wait in recovery for 2 hours and then I can go home. When I get home, I am so tired I go straight to bed and sleep for a couple of hours. When I wake, I feel totally disoriented. Mr Mason wakes me and I ask the time. He says it is 6-o-clock. I ask day or night? I ask what day of the week it is. I am not with-it at all. I get up and dress and go downstairs. He has made supper but after a forkful I realise I am really not feeling well. I take my temperature and it is over 39 degrees. In my delirium, I manage to make the thermometer read farenheit instead of centrigrade and can’t work out how to change it. Mr Mason asks what my temperature is and I tell him it is 104 at which point he says “If that’s in centrigrade your blood would be boiling”. I say I need to ring the hospital. Mr Mason, ever the optimist says “Come and sit in the garden and cool off”. I decline. He suggests I have ice in my drink. I am too far gone to even give him an old-fashioned look but I do phone the on-call oncologist. She asks me to convert the temperature for her but I can’t. She realises from my babbling that I need to come in so we drive to Charing Cross A&E and get waved straight through.
My temperature is 39.9 so I need some fluids and probably antibiotics. The fun part comes when they have to put a canula in. First they try My Best Vein but the nurse can’t do it so she calls the doctor, Salvo. Salvo looks slightly demented and, I suspect, is quite overwhelmed at the job he is being asked to do. He tries the Best Vein, then decides he will go for the groin. I don’t know if you’ve ever imagined someone scrubbing at your groin with a Brillo pad but this feels like I imagine that to be. Dr Salvo goes at it with zeal and then insists on scrubbing up and having full protective gear and gloves on. I try to tune out of the worst bits, including the many anaesthetic injections, but I look up when he says “It’s not going to work” and I see him with a slightly manic grin on his face, holding up 2 feet of thin tubing while his gown and gloves are liberally splashed in blood. So, Plan C means they try to fit canula in each of my feet. No success. After almost 3 hours while Dr Salvo gets increasingly anxious-but-cheery, he decides to call the anesthetist who he thinks can help. While we wait and I get various bits of tape stuck to me, someone finds a portable ultrasound scanner and they finally manage to get a canula in My Best Vein. Result. I go up to the ward just after 3 and spend the rest of the night being monitored. I have fluids and more antibiotics and towards the end of the day, we are told I can go home. Relief.
On another front, my hair decides it has had enough and begins to drop out. I leave a trail of hair throughout the house, it comes out in my hands and hairbrush and is annoying so Mr Mason agrees to shave my head for me. It’s good to have most of the hair gone but the little bits are still falling like autumn leaves. Clearly there is no need for a No-no in our house. In other news, I am having chemo number 2 tomorrow which I hope won’t depelete my energy any further. At least they will be able to use my new port which should dispense with the Brillo pad groin technique.