Sunday, January 7, 2007

An update from Melinda

I just spoke with Cheryl and she sounds pretty darn good. It is now the evening of her birthday and all her visitors have left. She sounded a bit tired and she said her blood pressure was up a little, but we assume this is just from the excitement of the day.

THE BIRTHDAY GIRL WRITES (well, speaks!)...

I got a lovely palm tree from Christina in Chicago. When the guy delivered it up to the 10th floor, we couldn't even see him, we just saw the palm tree coming in. He was not a happy camper having to lug this thing up to my room. Because it was my birthday, Mimi and Nathan, my sister Erin, Steve and Don, Jo and Debbie were all here to celebrate. My brother Don came later tonight on his way to work.

Meanwhile, Graie and Robyn sent me the most gorgeous bouquet of flowers, of which I don't remember the name, but they are so exquisite. And, of course, I have enjoyed every birthday card that has come in. The nurses and doctors are just flabbagasted when they come into my room - all the colour, it's like coming in to a mini tropical forest!

Sister Erin bought me a Gund dog (super soft stuffed dog). Mimi's mum and dad bought a gorgeous pair of thick woolly socks and a wool scarf. Jo brought me a new bathrobe. Debbie brought me a book and a DVD (St Elmo's Fire). And Mimi and Nathan have caught me up with all my magazines with my fix of Hollywood gossip. And now we will have to rent a U-Haul to get all this stuff out of here!

So it's all pretty darn wonderful, but of course the best present is that I have come through the surgery with flying colours. Although they had prepared me the night before with a lesson and literature on the colostomy bag, they didn't have to put one in - great news.

So my job now is to heal and get home. And then about a month or so after the surgery date, I will be having an appointment with the BC Cancer Agency, who will then set me up with what kind of chemo I will be needing. Tomorrow, they are going to take me off the morphein pump and I will be doing my pain meds orally.

And more on the operation...

The tumour was enclosed in the mass, the mass itself had come a bit through a micro-perforation in the intestine. There was a pathologist in the OR and from what he could see, all the edges of the mass were clean (meaning there was no leackage). Of course, we won't know until we get the results from pathology if there were in fact any perforations of the mass, but from his eye he said it looked very clean. A very good sign.

The operation was actually four operations in one. (1) The resection of the sigmoid (cut out and sew up the two ends), this one would have been where I would have needed the colostomy bag (not any more!); (2) they found a large abscess attached to my bladder, so they had to take that out, which meant slicing a little bit of the bladder, not much; so the bladder is irritated; (3) the small hernia, which I knew I had before I went in, and they repaired that; (4) and they found a larger hernia that I didn't know about, so they repaired that too!


Diane said...

So... Talked to The Birthday Girl last night. Gads, that girl's a dream!

She's healing so well and so quickly! She's practically doing laps around the place - yesterday she made it all the way around the ward, and when we got off the phone, she was on her way for a second lap!

I did hear about the palm tree... Her friend, as I told Cheryl, is my new hero/god! I had looked and looked for a way to get something that looked like a real palm tree to her. [slapping forehead...gently] Why didn't I think of calling up to an actual Vancouver florist? Duh! Jamie can tell you I really wanted to get a palm tree to that room to bring Hawai'i up there... I am so absolutely delighted someone thought of a way!! And five feet tall? I am in absolute awe!

We talked a bit about wig or no wig... And, Cheryl being Cheryl, it is All About Her! She said she and some of her friends were talking about a hair shaving party...with everyone else going first...and then one of her friends said "wouldn't it be funny if Cheryl then announced that she was getting the kind of chemo that didn't make you lose your hair?" Cheryl says laughing before everything goes back into place - even with morphine - just isn't a good idea. Of course, even if she were to get that kind of chemo, they'd still have a party!! But if she gets the chemo with hairloss, everyone's hair will go...

Then, of course, there's another party... The plans will be to come up with interesting and kicky ideas for head, of course...draw attention to our Cheryl! ;)

Anonymous said...

We all knew you would kick major butt!!!! Way to go girl!!!!! What great news and such wonderful people surrounding you.
Love you so much-you deserve the very best!!!!
Julie, Gary and the flock :> xoxoxox

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to let you know that I was thinking of you intensely..and sending you the warmest Birthday greetings possible.

Now that you have your palm tree, all we need is a fan (for the breeze), some hula skirts (for Charmaine, you 'n' me) and Michael can provide the music on his ukelele.

Jay said...


You Rock!

With all the stuff you seem to have in your room - and the fact that you have hot and cold running maid service there - why rent a U-Haul? Maybe you could just pay 'em rent, which I'm sure the Diva would quickly ameliorate as she made her "rounds". Heck, the hospital could end up paying you to stay there! Just load up the stuff from your "old apartment" into a VW bug and drive it on over to your new digs!

It's a win all the way around! (Umm...I get "dibs" on your old apartment...)

Glad to see that things have been going so well - keep up the good work! Vibes still heading North.

chickinpjs said...

Could they not make just the armpit, leg and bikini line hair come out?! If they can put a man on the moon- come on!
Love you
Julie xoxoxoxo!