J: Third time lucky?

The ducks seem to be lining up for me to have the long-awaited hip operation on the 5th.

I feel it’s bound to happen now that we have ordered a stairlift which should then be unnecessary! But, given the general prognosis, I believe it will be useful in the coming months and it’s not something you can get installed overnight.

By coincidence my wife is due to have her other thyroid removed the same day. This is just a precautionary op and should only involve an overnight stay.

My hip op will probably require a bit longer. We have friends who have skipped off after one or two days but I am still quite debilitated so I expect they will want to keep me under observation for a few days.

The anaesthetist has signed me off, though he has booked me a blood transfusion for next week on the basis that my red cell count will fall post-op so we may as well get ahead of the game – makes good sense. Oncologist Dr. Beresford was back earlier from holiday than I thought and he is reasonably happy with it. He also confirmed there was no need for additional radiotherapy, which would have caused delay. In fact he just came by and did express concerns about whether the cancer was getting out of control – he is clearly unhappy with the delay in getting back onto chemo.  However, he agreed with me that we don’t know if the Sutent is going to work anyway whereas, if we don’t have the hip op now it will probably never happen. Also the orthopaedic team seem to think a spontaneous fracture is almost inevitable at some point as the hip decays further, which I why I say let’s deal with eliminating that definite and unacceptable risk and then move on to the more unpredictable problems of the tumours.

I believe the orthopaedic admissions team have written me into Mr. Bishay’s surgery schedule for Thursday.

All we wait for therefore is Mr. Bishay himself who returns on Monday. His registrar is happy but I just want to be sure he is too as he will be operating with much higher CRP counts than he was happier with earlier – still over 100 and he wanted 30. As everyone thinks this is not caused by infection but by my blood responding to the new tumours identified in the recent scan, it should not affect the operation. But I want his OK first – and I am sure he would not want to operate without seeing me either – to see if I still qualify as a “winner”.

On other fronts, the lovely Dr. James Walters came and with a little difficulty got my lung drain out. That removes one complication. It went pretty smoothly though there is one part that is quite tricky to do. I feel no discomfort, though I am promised I’ll feel a bit bruised for a couple of days – again handy to be in hospital for pain management.

I also met Dr. Simon Brooks, to whom the palliative pain nurses report. He’d been visiting a neighbouring patient and I was impressed with his style, so glad to know he was going to head up my pain management. He’s taken me off co-codamol which I surrendered to a few days ago but don’t like as it is so constipatory. So I am back on paracetamol and also have a patch, to be changed weekly, which does a similar job to the codeine but without the negative effects. Sounds good.

What with that and the gabapentin my background pain levels are now pretty low and the increasing pain in my stomach has practically gone, even when I cough which was previously an acute trigger.

I think it highly unlikely they will turf me out before the operation and I can live with that, although I was initially resistant – it’s just so much easier to call in advice as necessary.  Also this onco ward has only 4 beds in my bay and hygiene control is high – no nurses sneezing over you like I had in Medical Assessment recently.

There should not be anything of note to report for the next few days but we’ll be sure to confirm what Bishay says on Monday – or whenever he gets to me.

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