Back in the Mater Mothers ward

I’m sitting up snacking on cheese and biscuits having already been asleep since 9pm. One of the nurses brought me these supplies in a way that made me feel like teacher’s pet, but perhaps that’s the treatment everyone receives. The nurses really are fantastic!

Here I am back on 9th floor Mater Mothers Hospital in the luxury and quiet. This time I am on the side with a city view. I will admit I was disappointed not to have the figtree again but the city is interesting and the night lights are pretty. Helen suggested this might be the view for preparing myself to rejoin the world and she could be right, compared with the “winding down” process of meditating on the figtree. I watch the cyclists on a bikepath beside the freeway and wonder if I’m seeing any of my family on it. They continue to take turns with the wheels, but there is also easy walking access to Southbank and many attractions. They have been enjoying the art galleries and I love the way they report back to me and describe their finds.

Yesterday as soon as my last 3 tubes came out the doctor ordered my move from the Surgical Ward back up here because my care needs are now so reduced. I transferred after lunch (Wednesday). My medication is also down to a minimum. Miraculously now I take only panadol for the pain! I seem to be healing very fast. All the medical staff keep emphasizing that what I had was MASSIVE surgery – 4 huge operations in one – so I enjoy their cheers at my rapid progress.

My main limitation has been feeling dizzy and faint after being upright. I find this very frustrating, but I think it is improving. I do now visit the bathroom and even shower myself unaided.

Sometimes this whole thing seems unreal, like a completely topsy turvy dream. For example, I find it so weird to be struggling to eat. My usual appetite is legendary. Think of my reputation with pizza, or the way I tuck in to 3, 4, or 5 servings of Jennie’s curry!

Tonight they have found signs I have a slight bladder infection so I’ve started taking antibiotics and I think already noticing I feel better.

Today after the long wheelchair ride winding through the corridors of more than one Mater hospital to attend my first oncology appointment, then sitting a while in the waiting room, I had to ask for a lie down to resolve my dizziness. Perhaps this is why the oncologist advised me to take off 2 or 3 weeks for R and R before commencing chemotherapy. He assured me there will be no change in outcome if chemo is delayed even up to 6 weeks. So we are hatching a “holiday” plan and I’ll let you know when we know where/when this is to be.

Now a tribute to my surgeons, Marcello Mascimento and Naven Chetty to whom of course I am incredibly grateful, not only for their brilliant skills and wonderful care, but also more. Naven is the one I see daily and I really appreciate his patience with my (and my family’s) many many questions and the respect with which he has answered them. It really has contributed to a positive experience so far!

Sorry to say this contrasts with another specialist who breezed in with a brief “spiel” in babytalk (sexist too). As someone said, they may not realise who they are dealing with here … Ha Ha! OK, I maybe a gutless wonder, surgically speaking, but I can still ask for a fair go.

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