Saturday, July 5, 2008

Home sweet home

Ah at last some solid news to report. This afternoon Pat and I drove out to the UBC Hospital and picked up Cheryl for her ride home. Finally she has received a proper supply of her correct meds, so was feeling quite chipper when we got there and was able to get settled into a wheelchair for the journey to the car. The settling into the front seat was a bit of an adventure, but she did quite well and it was tally ho and away we go.

On arrival at her apartment there was a flight of about five steps upward, but she navigated these with no trouble and then we settled into her digs and chatted for about an hour or so, at which time it became apparent that the meds were wearing off and that she was getting to be in a bit of discomfort, so we provided her with the required pills and left her to have a rest. All in all she is in pretty good shape and is very happy to be back into her home territory.

On Monday she will be in contact with her GP and will attempt to coax him into making a house call to write out a prescription for more of the pain killer medicine and to remove the staples that are supposed to come out on that day. After that it will be a matter of resting and taking it easy as she regains her strength and she hopes to be up and around and enjoying her work with the Theatre Under the Stars in the near future.

She should be getting the results of the biopsy next week and this may reveal the source of the cancer cells that invaded the adrenal area and for various reasons this could be a significant revelation.

- Bill

Friday, July 4, 2008

Pain, pain, go away... come again another day (NOT)

Things have changed again and, in fact, I hesitate to give any guesses of what is about to happen as no one seems to know what they have in mind.

Cheryl was to be discharged today at 3:00 pm, but she is still in extreme pain and finally laid down the law to those at the UBC Hospital who seem to be totally ignoring her continual warnings of the pain; so she simply told them that she was refusing to go home as it would be totally impossible for her to cope there. Finally it seemed to get through to them that maybe she was not swinging the lead and was actually in pain, so she is now staying in the hospital and will until they are able to get the pain under control. They were planning to send her home with one day's supply of pain killer medicine with instructions for her to go to her GP if she needed more. She had to point out to them that GPs do not work on the weekend and just how was she supposed to get into his office in the first place? Her surgeon, who wrote out the one day prescription, is now back at VGH and out of reach so unable to amend the prescription to a proper amount; so the more we get into this saga the more eerie it appears to develop.

At this point I am unable to advise anyone of where or when she will be for the next day or so but she has promised to inform me of any new developments and I will let everyone know when that time comes. Isn't the BC medical system great?

- Bill

Pfft... not a happy camper

Cheryl was moved to the UBC Hospital yesterday afternoon and experienced a very uncomfortable ride during the ambulance ride as she felt every bump and thump along the way. She told me that she had no idea that Vancouver's roads were in such poor condition until she experienced their poor state at first hand.

She was not and is not a happy camper at the new hospital as no one seemed to realize or care about the severe pain that she is experiencing and, regardless of how she is feeling, she is being discharged today around 3:00 pm and will be on her way home.

One of the reasons being given for getting her out of the hospital so quickly is that there is too much danger of picking up an infection in our places of healing and any infections, such as staph, would be a very serious problem for her.

I would imagine that she will be a pretty tired and worn out girl tonight and that those wishing to get in touch with her might best delay their visitations or phone calls until tomorrow.

- Bill

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Post Surgery... On the move

It is 3:30pm here on the upper half of the globe and I just got off the phone after talking to Cheryl. For some unknown reason (most likely because the Vancouver General Hospital needs her room) she has received word that they are about to transport her to the University of British Columbia Hospital and that she should be ready to go within a few minutes. The ambulance guys appeared on the scene but suddenly were called on some other errand of mercy and there is no indication of just when they will be back, but it would appear that she will be moved sometime today or this evening.

Please let everyone know that it is no use on planning to visit her tonight as we are not sure where she will be and at this point I have no information regarding telephone numbers or such. The plan this afternoon was to send her home tomorrow but she is in considerable pain yet and finds it very difficult to get in or out of bed. They are trying some new pain killer drugs and as her surgeon is based at the UBC Hospital it might be that he wants her nearby so he can keep an eye on her progress and will be more able to determine if she is fit to be on her own or not.

I will forward any further information as I receive it but things are quite fluid at the moment.


Post Surgery... progressing nicely

All is going according to plan in that Cheryl is progressing nicely and was able to get out of bed today and make her way about 25 feet down the hall before she decided that was plenty of distance for a first attempt at gymnastics.

They are now easing her off of the pain killer pump and will be switching to oral pills instead, which is a definite improvement. Tomorrow she will be meeting the physiotherapist and will probably be taking part in a bit of that person's skills. Hopefully she will be out of the hospital and back in her own digs by the weekend, but anyone wishing to get in touch with her can call her on the telephone and the most direct route for this would be to dial up: 604 875 5400 and ask for Extension 60701. If she is not undergoing one of the many procedures that the hospital staff insist on carrying out she will be only too happy to chat with any of her many friends.

Cheryl also finds the hospital food quite palatable, in fact, quite good, so if she has to stay for an extra day or two it will be quite okay.

That's all for now folks but thank you once again Melinda for keeping everyone up to date.

Fond regards - Bill

Monday, June 30, 2008

Adrenal Gland Surgery Update

Thank you Dad Bill for updating us on Cheryl's post-operative news:

Just received word about Cheryl through her friend Steve and the news was very good, although pretty sparse so far. According to the doctor, who was not talkative, everything went according to plan and both the growth and the adrenal gland were successfully removed and that he felt it was the best news we could have possibly hoped for. Cheryl is now up in her room and Steve is planning to visit her this evening, although he knows that she will be very groggy and probably out of it so he may or may not have any kind of a further update before tomorrow.

Tomorrow is Canada Day up here, (the equivalent to the US fourth of July) and I will be playing with my band for a parade so will be unable to receive any update until evening; but if there is anything new I will certainly pass it on to you. Just what type of operation was performed is uncertain at this time but the doctor was planning on it being of a minor-invasive type rather than a complete opening of the area and, as he stated that everything went according to plan, we trust that this is what took place. The period of recovery was slated to be much shorter if this is the case and, as a matter of fact, Cheryl will possibly be discharged from the hospital as early as Wednesday or Thursday and then it will be a matter of a few weeks of recuperation before they schedule her for another operation to remove the small spot on her lung which, by the way, does not seem to be of much concern for the lung specialist who feels that it is so small that its removal will be a piece of cake. Funny how we can now feel that lung surgery is kind of anti-climatic after all that she has already faced and gone through.

To be considered good news, I would think!


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunday, June 29th, 2008 -- 'Twas the Night Before Surgery

... and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a miniature schnauzer who normally lives here :)

(I put the following note up on Facebook for friends and, since it is so late, I have just copy and pasted it here in the blog) :)

Yes, it's true... I think all things are now organized and I'm ready to go. It is one extremely warm evening here in my apartment in the West End. Even though the outside air has cooled down once the sun went down, the inside air in the apartment is still up in the 80Fs!! Meanwhile, I had all these Suzy Domestic chores to do today so that when I come home from the hospital, I won't be looking at a messy apartment ;) Not to mention, I probably won't be able to do too much in the way of any housework for awhile... and I refuse to ask friends if they'd do my housework when it is so hot outside and in the apartment :) Besides.... my upstairs neighbour, Scott, may have found us a new housecleaner... she, apparently, comes highly recommended so I may not have to worry about doing housework per se :)

So, yes, Bridget left this evening with Joan. She is going to stay with Joan for the next couple of days until I come home. Hahaha... tonight, Bridget went to another friends' place and they were having a mini-get together/deck party... so Bridget's social life seems to be exceeding mine at the moment!! :D I'm not at all worried about Bridget because she is in excellent hands! Not only is Joan a very, very good friend, she is also Bridget's vet ;)

So, the big day is tomorrow!! This is the day that they are going to be removing my right adrenal gland that has the malignant tumour on it. The gland is small, but it is in a very awkward place to get at... so we won't know until I'm actually on the table as to whether the surgeon will be able to remove it laproscopically (which is the plan) or if it will have to be the more traditional, invasive type surgery with a larger cut.

My dear friend, Steve Oben, is once again going to be my hero :) He will be picking me up at 9:30am tomorrow to drive me to the hospital. This surgery and the next one both will be done at VGH hospital (not St. Paul's which is where I normally would go to). Steve will be staying with me while I get admitted and prepped for surgery with an IV, etc. Once they wheel me away to the operating room, Steve will go home and go about his business. Once the surgery is over, the surgeon will call Steve and let him know how the surgery went. Steve will call Dad and Dad will let Melinda know... and Melinda will update this blog with an update entry. If anyone wants to find out before the blog is updated, then feel free to call Steve (604-862-0044) in the late afternoon. We figure I will be out of surgery by then and the surgeon will have called him.

Steve will be coming back to the hospital once he knows I"ll be out of the recovery room. I'm not sure how coherent or awake I'll be tomorrow night, but Steve will let me know . I'll be in the hospital for 2 nights if the surgery is laporoscopic... a few more if it becomes the big surgery.

Meanwhile... I had to stop any food intake and only drink clear fluids, starting at 1pm. It's now almost midnight and I have to admit... I'm HUNGRY!! :D But hey, a few hunger pangs, even strong ones, are better than eating and then being sick after the surgery because of the anesthetic. Ewwww!! Naaa, I'd rather starve :)

Sooooo... wish me luck!! And if all goes according to plan, I should be home and on the mend starting Wednesday :)