Wednesday, 30 December 2009

One step forward, two steps back

Since we had that week up north looking after mam and dad in early December, we thought it was going to be a smooth run-in to Christmas, chemotherapy notwithstanding. How wrong can you be?

Friday 18 December got a call from my sis who's up north for the festive period, saying mam's back in the Royal. She'd had a routine blood sample taken a few days earlier, and the doc wasn't happy with the results - she was worried that it meant mam's kidneys weren't working 100%. So they took her in on the Friday afternoon (ironically mam had woken up that day saying how well she felt) and the plan was to run tests on her over the weekend (whether or not they did, I don't know...hospitals don't seem to do much over a weekend and it's not long since they kept mam nil by mouth for a whole weekend for no apparent reason). By Tuesday 22nd we heard that one of her kidneys wasn't working well, as suspected, so she needed an operation. was starting to look like she wouldn't be home for Christmas.

Wednesday 23rd and we were driving up north ourselves for Christmas - sis phoned en route to say this "operation" was actually more of a "procedure" - done by a radiologist under local anaesthetic, it's just to insert a tube through the back, into the kidney, then fluids drain externally into a little bag. She was having the procedure right then, and all being well would be home Christmas Eve.

So Christmas Eve arrived and the hospital said yes, mam can go home - but it's classed as "weekend leave" and she needs to go back on Mon 28th. Just the movement of the car made her feel queasy on the short journey home but we made it, but it'd tired mam out and she spent the rest of the day in bed. We checked her regularly, woke her at 6pm but she just kept dozing off on the sofa, so by about 8pm she was back in bed. The hospital, in their wisdom, decided to leave her catheter attached so that was a faff on, especially when it leaked because we'd done exactly what I thought the hospital had said to do...

Christmas Day was subdued - mainly because mam was still v fragile and tired. Me and sis cooked Christmas dinner, mam only managed literally a couple of mouthfuls. She's got a new top on that Karen bought her, but she looks SO ill and frail....such a change from Christmas Day last year. Was the cancer there then, lurking? Who knows.

By Boxing Day we could see slight improvements, mam had a little more energy, and again on Sunday 27th when we saw her for a few hours before travelling back south. She'd even got herself up without help, made her own breakfast and had a shower - on her own! And since then, having kept in touch with sis, we know that mam's appetite and energy is continuing to come back. She reported back on hospital on Mon 28th as planned and they discharged her same day, more than happy with her progress.

Next step is another attempt at both kidney ultrasounds and chemo registration on 4th Jan, when hopefully my brother will be up there to support her.

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