A huge amount has happened since I last blogged here, so here goes.
By Tuesday 9 April, my abdomen was extremely swollen and I was in severe pain and discomfort. I first went to my GP for some stronger pain relief. He prescribed Oromorph (a liquid form of morphine) and rang my oncologist for advice. He had to leave a message, so I said I'd ring Lee, my Nurse Specialist, and see what she could do. Lee got back to me very quickly and I was admitted, yet again, to the Assessment Unit.
I was greeted like an old friend by Fanny, one of the nurses who had cared for me before, and she quickly settled me in.
A doctor was summoned and a decision made that a more permanent draining solution needed to be found. I was scheduled to have a permanent drain sited the next morning.
Tuesday night was one of the longest and most painful of my life. I could feel the pressure inside my body literally squeezing the life out of my internal organs. I was on Oromorph on demand, but the pain was such that I was prowling my room every hour or so.
One of the good things that came from this was that my morphine demand was calculated and I was given a slow release alternative in the form of Zomorph. This steadily releases the morphine over 12 hours.
The doctor who fitted the drain, under local anaesthetic on Wednesday morning, was wonderful. He took time to explain, to let me catch my breath, to use extra local anaesthetic and made what was deeply unpleasant, bearable.
Between Wednesday morning and Thursday lunchtime 9l of fluid was drained from my tummy. The relief was substantial, quite quickly. What a joy to be able to take a big breath again!
The nurses and HCA's on Maple Ward are absolutely wonderful and took really good care of me.
I came home on Thursday afternoon so that I could celebrate Mr G's birthday with him.
The permanent drain means that I can be drained at home. The district nurses call in twice a week to drain my tummy, but I can drain myself if I need to. This means that I should never be so uncomfortable again.
I have organised clinical waste collections from the house and an Occupational Therapy assessment is scheduled for early May to try to make showering a safer experience.
My next chemo is on Thursday 25 April. I really hope it knocks the cancer back quickly and hard.