Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Down the Rabbit Hole - Dodgy Daph's Medical Adventures pt 4

Going back home was great, you sleep in your own bed, you don't get woken up every 4 hours , apart from  when the kids are getting ready.   One has to play Elvis's blue Hawaii to kick off his morning (don't ask me where he gets his musical taste from k)  and the other one is listening to rap. (yeah well we know where she got her musical taste from!)   It's good to be alive!

Food and Kids... the game changer
I  try to get  back to the normal swing of things, go for my walks, have con calls for work, but all the while I'm waiting for the call that tells me when to go in to the Hematology Clinic. It's a worry at the pit of your stomach.    When I get the call it's like the calm before the storm.
The day arrives when I go in, Annie is driving me in and holding my hand.  My Doc is Dr Rich. Hes asking me what I know so far.  So I told him that I supposedly have a mass on my lung that was fairly large and that it was suspected Lymphoma.
He said " Yes you do have Lymphoma. "  I swallow.  "in fact the mass on your lung which is a very  aggressive form of tumor and rare is currently being viewed in Brisbane to determine weather it's lymphoblastic.  If it is we will have to begin with a very aggressive form of chemotherapy called HYPER CVAD.  Do you have any questions?
Yes at what stage is my Lymphoma.?  I ask nervously (c'mon we're all curious!) .
He says " it's stage 2, from the CT scans and PET scans it's just localised to the lymph nodes around the lung area only.  Phew that is at least good.  then he says," however I do want to do a bone marrow biopsy."
 I asked him"why?'
 he said "for the possibility that it might have spread to the bones or more for prevention purposes."  I asked him "why now as the other times they said they wouldn't do it because of the fluid in my lungs.. "
 He said "we'll be really careful and give you loads of local anesthetic to lessen the pain".
 For some reason I'm totally against it.  I mean OK we're talking about chemo , we're waiting to see the classification of the tumor and now this?"When do you want this by?"
 He says" I can get you on Thursday.  By then we'll also have the results from Brisbane. "
"Can I think about it,?
 He says "yes, I am not forcing you to do this, I don't want you in any pain , think about it and call me later to let me know if you're ok with it", and writes is number down for me to call by the afternoon".
Annie and I go for a coffee, she asks me why I don't want to do it,
I said " I just feel that it's really not necessary at this moment in time, it's not going to make any difference to the treatment they're giving me".
 Annie says "ok my friend it's you're choice and I'll back you but if I were you I'd do it and that's all I want to say."" 
I called the doctor and told him that I just didn't want to do it, so he said "ok, come in on Thursday for blood tests and results."
 I go in to the clinic on Thursday and yes it is confirmed that I have stage 2 non Hodgkin's lymphoma tcell lymphoblastic tumour.  Dr Rich wants me in on Friday for final check up and bloods and I'm in hospital next week.  I asked if I could wait to go to hospital, it 's all so fast.  He said "no Daphne, we need to get in there and get rid of this mass , you're not going to be able to travel and will have to stay put for a while". So in a flurry he starts to write down letters to all parties on my behalf.  So competent, and pushy but I understand why he's so adamant.

waiting for my blood tests
I go home and I'm in tears, I'm ranting, I don't want to do chemo, who the hell does?  It's like dropping a napalm bomb on your system.  It compromises your immune system and then there are all the side effects like hair loss, weight loss, muscle mass loss, and a whole host more one finds out after going through it.   I get several calls from those closest to me, with words of support and encouragement.  Bottom line is they all think I should just bite the bullet and do the chemo, "just look at it this way Daph, get it over and done with, it's 5 months of your life , then get on with your life and live it your way".  says Kymmie . 
Yeah this is it and I can't mess around, I want to be around for my Kids Graduation from university, may be kiss a grand child or two, finish my bucket list of travel destinations and get one more show off the ground.  Suck it up Daph, you can do this, after all you've been through more in your life, including watching your husband die in your arms, so get the warrior goddess in you to the fore and tame the beast.
 I see my doctor again we talk about the protocol I will be going through, the side effects, how many cycles and tolerance levels.
I look at Dr Rich and say, "but Doc, how am to pay for all of this?  My Insurance from AIG have refused to honour the payment, I don't have medicare , and I can't work now "  He says' look we've been in touch with Admin and we know what's going on but the most important thing here is we get you treated first, with regards to the hospital bills, we'll sort it out later and also get your social worker to start working on how we can sort that out ok, don't worry about that "  I'm shocked,  most of the hospitals I've been to don't even look at you unless you present your insurance card and your credit card. Here it is treatment first.
My Picc Line with 3 lines
So I begin my Chemo that Monday, the first thing they do is sit me down and brief me on what the protocol will entail, as well as leaflets and support groups that I can reach out to. (yes I behaved and didn't do anything silly)   Then I'm taken into the room to have my picc line put in,  it's easier for them to get a line in through one of your main veins in your arms as opposed to poking it with a needle, less damage done and it goes straight to your main ventricle in the heart that pumps out the most blood. I won't tell you about the pain, but this is the beginning of a lot of localised anaesthetic and long needles.

Calculating the ration of chemo and drip timing
Next I'm sent to the chemo chairs for the nurses to begin prepping me for my first chemo treatment.  I will be in hospital for a week as they need to keep an eye on me on how my kidneys are handling the chemo and to ensure that my pH levels are stable as well as my vitals.The nurses make it an easier stay,

oookk so this is what chemo feels like....
I have to have a lumbar puncture on my second day, no fun but it has to be done as they also inject a minute amount via your spinal tap to go past the blood brain barrier to get to the brain so it's more of a preventative dose . My two brain cells are loving the attention, lets see who makes the most of this.. ha ha.
My week of bad hospital food, lumbar punctures, chemo treatments, urine tests, 4 hourly monitoring, white blood cell shots are over, I get to go home and my brother surprises me with a visit from Malaysia!  Thank goodness for family.

I'm packed and ready to go home after a week in hospital!

So one treatment down and I'm back home, what is in store when I get back?  a friend who is working actively to promote her hair auction to raise money for me and what it really feels like to be a cancer patient.  I'll be back

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Down the Rabbit Hole - Dodgy Daph's Medical Adventures pt 3

Well when they say the sun will always rise and moon will always shine and the stars will come out at night, "they" are not wrong.

I woke up to yet another  new room mate.  This was the third one so far (bleedin heck what am I a permanent fixture?) . anyway his name is Harry, he's in his 80's and he's got a wicked sense of humour.

I decide to leg it for a "real " latte before "coffee man" gets ahold of me,  and asked Harry if he wanted one,  "a chailatte" please he says.  Oooeerrr very new age of you Harry.  As I return to the ward after nodding and greeting all the nurses and students, I'm unfortunately "caught out" by coffee man as I am about to step into my room.  "Oh, two coffees is it, dunno why you'd go pay for those when you get them for free here"... I am mortified, I didn't want to hurt "coffee man's feelings" . so I said,  "it's a lattee.."  He says "I can make them too! This is a 15 hundred dollar machine, it makes everything, I can even do espresso's..."  Suitably chastised I promise him I'll try his latte tomorrow.  I hand over the Chai Latte to Harry who's grinning at me, naughty man.  The Nurses come in and asked him how he slept, he said "I didn't sleep a wink what with Dx snoring away all night" . The CHEEK!  The nurses fall over laughing.

Annie comes in to take me downstairs for lunch, and as we're about to tuck in, I get a call from the Insurance Agents of AIG.  They're sorry to hear about what's happened, can they have some details and can I send it to them.  I look at Annie, I guess I must be a one stop admin centre eh, will have to dig through my e mails now.  We head back up to my room.  The doctor comes in to visit and says "I know you'd like to be discharged today Dx but we'd like to monitor you since there's been a slight increase in the fluids in your lung after the biopsy."  I look at her like I've been sentenced to prison.  "However we can give you a day pass for the weekend, you can go home for the day but you'll have to be back here by 6pm ok?"  OH YES!! (cue : zippie de doo dahhh zippie de day)

The next few days was a small slice of heaven,  I'd get picked up either by Annie or Max and deposited home, get to cook some real food and be back in the ward in the evening.  "all right for some " grumbled Harry,  'well at least you're taking it for the team" he says.   However on one of the last days of my day pass, I get a disturbing call from the AIG insurance agent, this one is not the lady I spoke with.
 He's rude and abrupt and says "your insurance is void". 
I blanched , "I beg your pardon?"
Ya you didn't buy the insurance while you were in Malaysia , so the insurance is void.
 I said " well first of all , it doesn't state anywhere on your website that it has to be purchased from country of origin, and secondly why did you take my money if it was not going to be in effect?"  "You better write in to the company and explain then " he says and rings off.
 This then sets off my anxiety and so I ask the kids to send me back to the hospital early.  I spoke with the doctor and told her what had happened, she told me to engage my solicitor and also would get the social worker on to me.  She reassured me again, not to worry, most important thing is for you to get better, the finances will get sorted out later.
I've got a PET Scan and and echo scan to go through and then I'm done with the tests. 

Rejection... oh the pain
The PET scan is similar to a CT except you are injected with radioactive glucose so the cancer cells are illuminated when you're scanned.  As I'm wheeled in to the room again I have to tell them my name and birth date.  For GOD"S sake, does everyone have to know my age! I tell them.  In the back ground one of the orderlies pipes up, "it's ok, I like older women"!  Cheeky but I'll take it.

The Echo is like a sonar to check my heart (yeah yeah get on with the jokes about a bleedin heart will ya... everyone is a comedian) and it takes about half an hour with a technician who goes over certain spots to catch the readings. Because we're so close to each other I can hear her tummy rumbling, she laughs and apologises, "must have been something I ate, it's just going off isn't it!"... Well better you than me !!  Then I'm wheeled back , another orderly cracking jokes, so much so that we end up on the maternity floor !  I'm looking around and saying "hang on this does not look familiar at all" and the Head Nurse says "having a baby are we ?"  everyone cracks up and the orderly is shown the way back out to the lifts and down to where my ward is.  Phew. adventures abound even in hospitals.

They're going to discharge me, Annie is calling to see what time I'm to be "sprung", I have to speak with the Hematology Team, who are still keeping pretty stumm on my diagnosis.  So I asked the attending Doctor, "seriously though, you say it's suspected lymphoma, can we confirm that it is?"  and this was his cryptic reply,  "sometimes when we see a shadow of a cat , it's a cat, but if you go around the corner it's a dog".... I look at him and hold my self back from strangling him.  He gives me a benign smile, one that says " I know what you're thinking but you can't do anything about it!"  HAH!  Anyway, the tests will take longer, some of them are in Brisbane, so I'm to go home and the week after I'll be called in to the Adem Crosby Centre to meet with my oncologist to discuss the results and treatment moving forward.  Right e o, Feeedoommm , Freeedoooommm, Freeedooommm (George Michael sing it bebeh)

Whilst I'm home I have to update all my family on what's going on so far, yes everyone is frustrated because there has been no definitive diagnosis, but this is the calm before the storm.  I go back on my daily walks, I start the budwig protocol and do as much research as I can regarding lymphoma, diet and lifestyle excluding the "woo woo" theories out there.  I'd love to try alternative therapies as opposed to chemo, but a lot of them are integrative and can be done here.  Ok, we're getting some where. 

I get my organic flaxseed oil from
Annie and I have a quiet drink together, she say's "I miss my drinking buddy!"  lol, yea no more martinis for now until we figure out what the hey ho is going on.  Annie's already taken me to the Cancer Support group in our area.  She says " Daph, we need to set up a "go fund me" account to help you out." "if the insurance folk and not coming into play how are we going to sort your finances out, you can't work, your daughter is stressed out as it is with her job and your son is still in school".  I look at her " Not charity Annie, I don't want charity, can we just wait and see how this pans out.?"  Eventually she gets back to me and says she's going to pledge to cut her hair to raise money for me.  My eyes pop, "are you kidding me?!! all that long blond hair??!!"  "I do it for you my friend, I want to pay for your rent and if this helps than I' m doing it"   I of course start to blub like the big girls blouse that I am, who else would do this for me  who else? : Down-the-rabbit-hole-with-Daphne

To date : Annie's launched "down-the-rabbit-hole-with-Daphne  Go Fundme, a few days ago on my FB timeline, she's organising a radio interview with the local radio station here and is hoping to build more traction with some of the other cancer charities.   I'm leaving you with the link as I promised her I would write about it in this blog, we were going to cut our hair together but I've had to cut mine off as it started falling out in clumps so hopefully we'll be able to do a real "event" out of Annie's hair cutting ceremony.
If anything to auction off your hair for cancer is a HUGE deal.  Thank you my dearest friend. X
In the mean time my lovely friend and lawyer  Daljit is hounding the AIG insurers, apart from an official letter to state they won't be honouring the insurance, they've been rather quiet and not responding to either the Hospital Admin or my lawyer. 

It's a lotus flower 

This blog is not current to timelines, it's a way for me to express what I went through leading up to what's happening in real time.  But that's a story for another day... 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Down the Rabbit Hole Pt 2

I hear voices, nurses talking, some groaning, beeping... the night has not gone peacefully, Morpheus deserted me completely, the cad!  Eventually I'm wheeled to the 4th floor which is the Respiratory Unit of the Hospital.

They wheel my bed into a twin sharing room, and tell me to settle in as the nurses will come to do the rounds and the Respiratory Team will have a chat with me.  So I look around me and I'm sharing the room with another lady, who's also had a bit of surprise as she was actually on holiday when this happened to her, her family are visiting so I draw my curtains and get all my gizmo's out and settle in. I then ask the nurse if there is any breakfast as I haven't eaten at all since yesterday, so she finds me a sandwich first.(good ol sanies eh...)   I've informed my buddy Annie where I am as she wings in with a Latte .. bless bless bless. and my daughter the heavenly child will pop by with my son Boney M after work/school.  Ok we're set.

Coffeeeeeeeeee (or cofe fe ??) 
Annie is looking at me, I've known this woman since we were kids in school in Hong Kong, I can feel the wheels of her mind cranking up.  "Daph" she starts - this has been a shitty week for you" , I hold up my hand and say " It is what it is, and we'll deal with yah?"  "absolutely lovely, I'm here for you, I will do what ever I can to help".   Done.
 The nursing team comes in, introduces them selves, writes their names on to board so I know who's on call, and show me how to buzz them.  They are a lively, chirpy happy bunch, with easy smiles and a shoulder when you need a cry (and believe me I cried plenty).   A while later the head of Radiology and her little cutie pie intern comes in, obliviously I'm not a hospital regular so now days  there were no more doctors gowns with stethoscopes hanging from their chests and intense I know it all faces.  More like laid back clever people , dressed as hip as today's trends would allow with a very sympathetic attitude and  a lot of empathy for the patient.  

I didn't actually have their pics, they'd be mortified!!! 
The chat started with "Dx so you have been told that we need to do more tests on you, we suspect it could be Lymphoma, we need to do a biopsy and take tissue samples out via the CT scan imaging, do you have any questions you'd like to ask?" .. "yeah when can I leave?" .. No? ok so what is Lymphoma.?  It is a type of blood cancer that begins in the lympathic system.  Everyday our bodies carry stem cells and cells to all parts, cancer cells replicate and die, however if one of the cells becomes infected  they undergo a cancerous change, and multiply in an uncontrolled way, these  lymphoma cells, form collections of cancer cells called tumours, in lymph nodes and other parts of the body, hence the mass on my lung.  Ahhh . (not so light bulb moment) 

Annie's mind I can see is already gong into overdrive, and she's shooting questions out, the Doctors won't give her any more speculation, it is all suspected for the moment and they can only find out more after the biopsy.  Oh yes the biopsy... do tell..  "Oh don't worry Dx you'll have lots of local anaesthetic so not much discomfort".  "Oh I shall be awake for this one then shall I... lovely, can't wait.. bring it on."
Unfortunately there was a bit of a mix up, I was not supposed to have eaten anything as they scheduled the biopsy that day so since I had,  they rescheduled for the next day.  (suspense much)  I did however mange to explore the food courts in the Hospital..  and got my kids to sneak me in my fav pack of salt and vinegar chips for possible snack time as I believe this is the case worldwide,   Hospital Food SUCKS a big one.   

Yea, breakfast for champions...
The next morning, the nurses come to to the shift change and they all look at me and say NIL by mouth!  OK OK I get it, do not feed the animal in bed 26, geezzz.
To say I wasn't shitting bricks sideways  regarding the biopsy would be an understatement, the nurses brought more gowns in for me and an antiseptic wash for my shower,  they then wheeled me down to radiology, (hey I've been here before!)  The orderlies are so funny, mine said "Hi, I'm Steve and I'll be your uber ride for the day.!".. uh huh!.  They ask if you need a blanket, if you want socks .... who trains these people.. they're great! 

Eventually I get wheeled into the CT scan room, so what's going to happen is they will use the CT scan imagining to get the perfect spot to go in from my front , avoiding ribs etc to lessen pain.  The Nurses get me on the gurney for the CT scan and make me wear the gown opening up the front.  It is protocol to ask my full name and birth day every time they do anything.  They then send me into the dough nut several times, stopping above my ribs and neck , they bring me back out.  The Doctor who is a lovely lady comes in and introduces her self, she says she met me yesterday and that she'd try to minimise the discomfort.    First they had to wash the area and prep it, which was on my left breast.. oh yeah well that mammary was about to have another memory! ha ha..  Then the dressing sheet, more in and out of the CT scan, monitors winging left to right and she said "ok I'm going to administer your anesthetic, I'll try to go as easy as I can" ,  'wokay" me thinks.  I ask her to just keep talking to me and explaining what she's doing as it made it easier for my racing brain to cope with the over imaginative thoughts.  As she was sinking the very long needle into my chest, I did to my inner warrior goddess shame, the "pain noises" , and  you know what, the Doc, apologised to me,  "I'm sorry Dx it won't be much longer we've gone through one layer I need to get to the lung now so you won't feel anything,"  "Urngghhh" yeah oook, but that .. hurts" .   "Just a bit more I'm sorry, tell me about your kids, where are you from , you have a very distinctive accent" ... And finally the needle was done and she managed to mark a spot.  I heard a clank and asked her what she was doing, "oh I made a small incision to insert a tube in, oh right, felt like some tapping on my muscles.
" I'm gong to send you in through the CT scan again as I want to make sure I've got it just right ".  Oh sure,  So when I come out of the CT scan I ask her how many samples she'll be taking, she says about 2 to 4, the more we can get the better.  I look down and I see all manner of steel things sticking out of my chest.. oh hey.   Then she says "Dx I'm going to use this  to take a sample, it makes a clicking noise when I press it like this" (it looks like for lack of a better word a mini pooper scooper... SERIOUSLY!!), it clicks and she blinks her eyes, riggghhtt.  I'm just going to watch her because I'm not in the land of pain anymore, I'm now fascinated at how doc's going to get all my tissue sample.   So she goes in the first time and "click" blinks her eyes and looks at me, OK.. yep, second one does the same,  so I ask how many more bits of my lung are you taking Doc?  and wouldn't you know it, behind me is also another Doctor , the voice says "ve vill need as many as ve can get now, so ve vill not haf to go back inside and do another biopsy, it's safer as well madam and ve can do our testing faster"... right right... I"m trying not to giggle, my sense of humour just has no timing at all.
Four samples later, they CT scan me again before they pull everything out so they get the angle right, and all I get is a transparent dressing the size of an Orange along my inner to outer breast ...(not a fair exchange... a glass of bubbly would have been appreciated) 
The Doc says "good luck Dx, we'll try to do as much as we can but its a long weekend here so the tests will only be in on Tuesday next week,"  "Thanks Doc, I mean it, you've been so good to me."
The nurses come in and say "don't move, we'll move ya!"  They slide me onto my bed and wheel me to my room. 
Annie is there waiting with a coffee, that I can't drink as I have to lie flat for the next 2 hours and so she improvises with a straw... that woman is magic.  So she wants all the deets, once she hears the results wont be in till Tuesday, she's already asking if I can be discharged tomorrow so I wont' have to be twiddling my thumbs in hospital.  We'll ask the doctor!  Kids come to visit and bring me a meal, and change of clothes (like i need it now)

Staking out the joint to see if it's safe from Doctors! 
Now all this time the nurses always ask me if I'm allergic to anything, I"m like "uh not that I know of", that evening I actually have a shot that has to be administered by the nurse.  "What is it?" I say, it's Clexane stops unwanted blood clots from forming, right e o.  So she needles me in the belly, "ouch that stings " I say, "yeah it will for a bit" says night nurse.  Okk.  10 minutes later ... Ur nurse , it's still stinging.. "hmnnn let me see do you have a rash , no, ok lets give a bit of time."   20 mins later... "nurse I dont' feel so good".. " Ok let me come back from my round and check on you" .  30 mins later my mouth is tingling and my tongue starts to swell,  she looks at me and says yup your tongue is swelling, I go get the doctor.  In five minutes it's like Grey's anatomy, I have one emergency doctor, one doctor on call , one attending doctor , nurses and all asking me to stick my tongue out , 'yes it's swollen" can you breathe' yes' lips still tingling yes... and then GET THIS, (oh sods law I hate yee)  OF ALL THE TIMES, when finally the "Mc Dreamy" of doctors is before me, he has to attend to me.  He needs to get my heart rate via the ol stethoscope, so he discreetly pushes it under my gown that is of course now bound in the front and because it has not been tied due to the biopsy... yes the left flap drops open and everyone has a view of a twin peak... , he mutters an apology and quickly pulls it back.  Stands next to me and asks more questions, the last one being "so how do you feel now.?".. I look at him and say, "well what do you think after having to stick my tongue out at more than 5 strangers in a a room and having no idea if this is an allergic reaction " ... "right, understood".... My brain flips me the bird and says "smashed that one D"
Eventually every one disperses, but they leave the defib next to my bed just in case.  I fall asleep in a wave of mortification, irritation, and dying to take  good swipe at Murphy's law.... don't think I'll see McDreamy again ....


Friday, November 3, 2017

Dodgy Daph's Medical Adventures - Down the rabbit hole Pt 1

This is not for the faint hearted, it is a kelideskope of a ride, and we are going down The Rabbit Hole...

So Monday Come along and the "Godmother" fusses around me so she can send me to the station to go to town as the Bupa Medical Centre for visas  is in the Heart of Brisbane.  I make my way in and am early , for once,  can you believe it.. no neither can I.

The staff are pleasant and do all the usual questions, "are you pregnant"... I fell over the chair laughing... "er no my dear, the plumbing came out a long time ago! "  Mind you when I was waiting my turn I heard the receptionist asking an Asian girl who was also there to do her Medical for her Visa, if she was pregnant, the girl who obviously didn't speak much English and was more into texting her phone looked up and said "Ah?" .  The Receptionist explained, "you have ticked that you are pregnant on this file you filled out online, are you pregnant. ?  "  she says patiently.   The Girl just says " Uh no"...
So the receptionist has to go back to authorise a change in the system.  They do have their work cut out for them.

hanging out at the reception area Bupa Medical 

Eventually I get called in, it's the usual, height, weight, urine sample, questions of lifestyle.. do you drink... ha ha ha,,, well. Lets not go there.  Then it's time for my Chest X ray.  After which I have to go see the Doctor, who's Russian.  I am biting my lip, so not doing the Russian accent here.  She prods and pokes me and asks me all manner of questions and then droops the bomb on me, and says they are not "happy"  (kheappy) with my chest x- ray,  as the left side from the heart down is white instead of black.  So I asked her what it could be , "we don't know, we need some time for diagnosis" Well I asked didn't I?  Is it cancer?  Is it pneumonia?  Is it a collapsed lung" what???
"Can you stay for a little while and I will get the other consulting doctor to speak with you" Dr. Svetlana says.   I'll wait, not like I have a hot date or anything....

Dr I really don't know that much more, hasn't much to say, more like, "you will certainly have to go to the designated "chest specialist" for further investigation, so please don't go back to the Sunshine Coast Just yet, we'll probably try to contact you by four today or tomorrow morning" . I said ok but just to let you now yeah, I don't have TB, Malaysia is not a third world country, we are a developing nation and all of us have to have TB shots when we are born and another compulsory one when we are in grade 6 of school.  So ( everything else is said in my mind and rhymes with rum)

I shakily get my stuff and head downstairs, and stop by the coffee shop to get my head together as I don't know what to do.  I text "the Godmother" who is flat out and says she will call me as soon as she's got a minute.  So whilst I'm having my coffee and croissant I call my Doc in Malaysia and tell her what's happened,  She's so placating, she says  "chill sweetie, You're not displaying any symptoms, so most probably it's either consolidation or pleural effusion (water on the lung)  you had a bad cough back in Malaysia this could have cause it.  so deep breath, and chill ok ?".

at the StellaRosa getting my fav brekkie, a cafe latte and a croissant... such an easy girl to please

I was heading back and get a call for the husband of "the Godmother", hey I'm close by shall I pick you up? he says.  "Sure!, "  they are such a great caring couple these two. (you know the song Fairy tales can come true it can happen to you if you're young at heart...  it's frank sinatra ...peasant ) 

As we head home I give him a glossary of what has happened.   I now have to let my son know, who seems to take it in stride  and we hang around waiting till the next morning, no call.  I eventually get an e mail from the Bupa Centre saying "non urgent further Chest Exams" , basically saying I'll have to go for more tests and it could take any where from 2 weeks to 2 months for the appointment so to be aware for it.   Well thank you very much and we outta here. 

My son (who has now been dubbed Boney M by his Uncles due to his fro)and I had a long trip back, by the time I got home I just wanted to fall in bed and sleep for a week, but no I had 7 missed calls and numerous messages on the phone,  as I was about to hit play the phone rang and it was the Doctor form the Bupa Medical Ctr,
"Daphne we've been trying to call you all day, you have to go to emergency "
"Huh?" is my answer (lucid and succinct as usual) , "Oh why?",
 The Doctor says  "we've discovered you have a lot of Pleural Effusion on your lung and you need to go  to"
 "but I'm feeling fine , can't I go tomorrow" . I say...
"No, you have to go now" Says the Doctor.
Bummer, and I just got in my comfy clothes.

I call down to my daughter and her boyfriend and ask for a ride to the hospital, they take me to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital Emergency (I'm certainly not going back to Brisbane), and the receptionist checks me in, "have you got travel insurance"?  she asks, Yes I have "AIG travel Guard", excellent , they fill out my details , look at the letter from Bupa and hand me a mask to wear.. uh LIKE I HAVE TB for crying out loud.  20 minutes later the receptionist comes to me and say take the mask off luv the doctor says you're fine... (small smirk from me zero to you)

SCUH is the largest infrastructure in Australia so far

Eventually we are sent to see the attending doctor in emergency, she goes over my vitals, asks me the usual "are you vomiting blood?" no, "are you short of breath", no . "do you feel dizzy" no, "have you got night sweats" no, "have you got headaches" no, well I have now with all this palaver!  Anyway, she says we'll have to go get a whole load of X'rays done and CT scans done by them.  So I get to wear the sexy white gown that does up at the back and flaps at your butt.(thankfully and THANKFULLY as we are women and women can be VAIN, i've got me good knickers on!)  It's hospital policy everyone has to be shuttled around in a wheel chair or a bed so I'm chauffeured around from one radiology room to another! wheeeeeee.

The X'ray is done then the CT scan, of which I've never had before.  They stick a cannula in my arm and then flush some saline through.  The nurse says the machine is going to just move me in and out of the tunnel a few time and to do as it instructs.  As I'm conveyed in this electronic voice says "breathe in",  then "hold you breath please", then "breathe out"... right that was fun.  Now for the fun bit really, they have to put the blue dye in my veins, I'm really nervous by this time as I'm not really a medicine girl and hardly take anything , even hard pressed to take a panadol for a headache.  So the nurse says do you have any allergies?  Not that I know of, ok if you feel anything let us know... my heart is racing by now and my anxiety is kicking in, the die gets injected into my cannula in my arm and I'm back on the conveyor.  I tell the nurse my heart is pumping, she say you're anxious my dear, you're ok.  it won't be much longer.

they have different themes on the celing... told my gyne this ages ago...bah

Finally they take me off the CT machine, and wheel me back to the emergency room.  We sit around for a bit and then more blood tests are done.  Finally in an hour Dr big brown puppy dog eyes comes and says "hi Dx , nice to meet you but I wish it was under different circumstances, we've found a large mass on your lung and it doesn't look good" . He's saying all this to me very gently and sadly.. I feel like reaching out and patting his hand,  "so what's the bad news doc"  I ask him, he looks up and says "do you want everyone in here to hear,?"  well it's my daughter so I say yes,  He says " well we suspect it could be cancer, it doesn't look like lung cancer but we'll have to do more tests,  we're worried about the fluids in your lung so you will have to stay in hospital while we sort out what is to be done."

I turn to my daughter and see if she's ok.  "Lani, look at me, it's nothing like what daddy had ya, I"m going to be fine, what would you like to do, you want to go home?  She says "No mummy I'll stay here with you till I know what room you're in."   It's getting close to 11 pm so I send her home and will inform  her where I'll be, after they put me in the respiratory ward. They wheel me into a private room while they wait for place for me.  There's a lot to think about, it's a bit surreal, I don't feel like there is anything wrong with me, I try to shut my eyes and rest and block out all the noise,  tomorrow is going to be  weird with a capital W,  .. I"m thinking man it's the longest time I've spent in my tennis shoes...

Monday, October 16, 2017

Tales from the Bush, pt 4

Day 4, Daph’s Caf (the new moon in Virgo wanes)

I hear clicking on floor boards, some thumping and then some breathing, and it’s close by, do I dare open my eyes, I’m going to have to see what type of creature from beyond is about to attack me.  I look down and two pools of liquid amber are staring at me.  Ahhh morning Doggie.


We amble off to forage for food, prod Lurch to see if he’s still alive under the doona, and settle down to some work and coffee.  Doggie’s job is to watch me work and to get underfoot every time I walk around the kitchen.  He’s good at his job I must say.  

It’s time to let the evil cluckers out of the coop, when I open their door, I use my most strident tone and tell them to “get a move on girls, no lollygagging, move it move it move it!”.. Heh Heh, and they all march out in a line.  If anyone saw me curled up in laughter by the coop they would have thought I had lost my marbles completely.

EUREKA!  2 Eggs!

 I duck under the lemon trees, which have manged to scratch up my arms when I divested them of their heavy yellow crop, and look at the roosting area for eggs.  EUREKA! Not one but two eggs!  I do a little jig, look carefully left and right so as not to create any suspicion with the “hen brigade” and leg it back to the kitchen.
I show Lurch my treasure, he just shakes his head, “ma, whatever floats your boat” he says.
As long as there are carbs and high sugar treats, the teenage is happy.

We decide it’s time to explore our surroundings.  I believe there is a rather large dwelling type space, but it doesn’t house people, instead it has row upon row of provisions,  like dead animal flesh , there is even an entire area dedicated to crops that have no roots or soil! “ MUM you twit, it’s the supermarket, lets go !” says Lurch.  Humph teens, such killjoys.

The next day I'm joined by the heavenly child and her boyfriend , we're celebrating Lurch's birthday.  It's been ages since I've driven so I'm whizzing around in the little VW, forgot what freedom having a set of wheels can give you.!  

Just raining, and raining..... and raining

The weekend is full of rain, and hail and we 're batting down the doors and windows.  Such excitement, well at least it keeps me occupied and I don't have to think about Monday which is the dreaded "M" day.  ( that's M for Medical.. yuck)  now that's going to be another adventure.  

Stay tuned as the next adventure turns dark.