I have told you that after a month in hospital I was allowed home with a package of carers and nurses put in place, but after being home for a week or so I went back with an infection. This seemed to be sorted so home again. A couple of weeks later and I was back with another infection. After loads of scans and blood tests they concluded that I had an abcess on my lung and was put on long term IV antibiotics. I couldn’t go home unless they found a tablet equivalent, which they did so I was able to go home.
What is particularly frustrating is having to rely on every one else for getting everything that is not within arms length. So I am having to spend time reading watching TV and writing. I have my laptop set up by the bed and have a small keyboard on my lap. So far have written my life story – something for the granddaughters to read one day (it’s only about 20 pages) although my brother-in-law has been lapping it up.
In addition to having to have everything within arms length I can only see things in front or the side of me; I have no idea what is happening behind me, Possibly the greatest annoyance has been that I have completely lost any strength in my legs, so with help I attempt to stand up by the bed a few times a day which is exhausting.
I had an appointment with the oncologist and an ambulance was ordered but then they discovered that the Cancer Unit cannot cope with patients on stretchers so I had a phone conversation with him. Also had conversations with the Ian Rennie and district nurses. A lot to mull over.
The other weekend is all a bit of a mystery to me from Friday morning onwards – at one point I thought I was in a storage closet except that among the clutter were a couple of beds. Oh this is where people go to die I thought before I drifted off.
Nearly a fortnight later I am lying down unable to get out of bed. It amazing how quickly you lose muscle tone and what difference fat legs make. I was weighed the other day and was almost 10kg heavier than normal. All liquid in my legs and elsewhere I think. This meant that I am very restricted on where I can put my legs etc. Then when I try to stand up I need the help of two physios or nurses and a frame or rotastand which I can hang on to to get from bed to chair or back. I shall have another go later but at least I’m not in the broom cupboard.
I left you in the Urology ward waiting over the weekend for an ultrasound scan (KUB – kidneys, ureter and bladder). Saturday came and went with an extraordinary rugby match – England 31-0 up after 31 minutes, Scotland then leading 38-31 at full time and England nicking a draw in the dying seconds. Sunday I should have been having another TWOC (Trial WithOut Catheter) but this was postponed. Had my last meal at midnight in case I needed to go down for surgery after the ultrasound. Continue reading “Urology to oncology”
If you confuse your TWOC and your TURP are you a twurp? When I wrote about my first ever stay in hospital (for a TURP) I was expecting to return a couple of weeks later for another TWOC. Things didn’t quite work out like that. It has become time to introduce you to some new words – acute pyelonephritis, hydroureter, hydronephrosis and pseudomonas – and I might even tell you what they mean. Continue reading “Another visit to A&E”
Some people just don’t understand. If you have a dog on a long lead it can be ten foot in front of you or ten foot behind you or even ten foot to the side of you. Its limit is a circle with you at the centre.
I was out with our dog and a woman was walking along the road on the other side with a dog on an extendable lead. Now if you have any sense you lock it in its shortest position when you are walking along the road but I could see that the dog was some way in front of her and able to go to the full length of the lead. When it saw us it immediately ran across the road towards us. Fortunately there were no cars around otherwise it would have been a splatted dog (and probably a rather upset car driver)! The comment from the dog owner was “That is the trouble with these things” as if she had no ability to keep her dog on a short lead when on a road and had forgotten that she was responsible for her dog’s safety. My reaction was “Stupid person” (well actually “Stupid woman” but that is a phrase than can get you into trouble). Continue reading “Misunderstandings”
Blood Tests This month I had oncology and haematology appointments only a week apart so I thought it silly to go for two separate blood tests. Off I went to the surgery with two blood test forms and found that the phlebotomist also had one form (from my GP) so she had the challenge of seeing how they differed and whether she could combine them and avoid taking too many gallons of my red stuff. After all, they all wanted a FBC, LFT and U&E (that’s a Full Blood Count, Liver Function Test and Urea and Electrolytes). In addition Oncology, not surprisingly, wanted a PSA figure (I would be worried if they hadn’t asked for that) and my GP wanted a couple of other things. Continue reading “Is there a trend?”
In Faster diagnosis? I mentioned developments in MRI technology (which could also lead to better diagnosis). Scientists at Dundee University have been working on developments in ultrasound – a technique called shear wave elastography. This relies on the fact that cancerous tissue is stiffer than non-cancerous tissue. This can be detected on an ultrasound scan and so cancerous tissue can be pinpointed more accurately. The information obtained allows a better diagnosis which in turn leads to better treatment. In addition it should be cheaper than an MRI scan and so be more widely available. Continue reading “Better diagnosis?”
Ten years ago I was invited to give a talk at one of the monthly socials run by the Amersham & Chesham branch of the MS Society. Since then I have been asked back half a dozen times and fortunately I have found half a dozen other topics to talk about. Therefore when I spotted an Article by BBC reporter Caroline Wyatt titled How I’m feeling after my MS ‘body reboot’ I thought I would read it.
It is a well written (as you would expect) and thought provoking piece. Continue reading “Faster diagnosis?”
This saying came to mind after doing a good deed on Friday, so before writing about this deed I thought I would check it out. Professor Google told me that it was either a quote from Oscar Wilde or from Clare Boothe Luce (or maybe both). Never mind, but I don’t really believe it anyway, although . . . Continue reading “No good deed goes unpunished”
San Diego Dan has posted a link to an interesting article on various approaches to refining the PSA test. As I said a while ago a raised PSA really only shouts “Have more tests” since it is possible to have prostate cancer with a PSA of zero and to not have it with a PSA of 4,000. Factors such as how much time you spend on the saddle of a bicycle will have an impact on your PSA level. Then there is the question of whether the cancer is aggressive or not. If you can tell this then a lot of unnecessary treatment can be avoided. While I wouldn’t say avoid hospitals and treatment at all costs (and in the US personal costs can be significant) certainly if unnecessary treatments can be avoided not only does it save money it also avoids all the various side effects and risks associated with any medical intervention. The article explains that researchers are developing genetic tests, imaging tests, and algorithms in an effort to reduce the more than a million men a year who have prostate biopsies and, even more important, reduce the thousands who get treatment they don’t need.