Eventually, I settled into a semi-private room on yet another floor, in the bed by the window – which I prefer. I still had no pain with the epidural in full force. Recovery was going well, but I became a little bored because I wasn’t able to move much. It wasn’t like me to lie around so much.
I was mostly in and out of sleep for the first few days. There wasn’t even a need to eat, since they were giving me 1200 calories daily through the intestinal feeding tube that hung from my belly.
The cushion they had given me in case I’d cough wasn’t needed. The redundancy in bodily functions avoided any pain from sneezing or having to go to make the effort to go to the washroom. The catheter took care of my urine, since I wasn’t allowed to get out of bed anyway. My torso and part of my legs were frozen, even passed the first week following the operation.
My sisters and mother were there every day, and they brought my father in to see me a couple of times. They may have waited until I was doing well, so he wouldn’t worry more than need be.
Susy took vacation from work so she could be there during my second week at the hospital when I would require more attention. She and my mother would come during the day. Susy always made sure my telephone was disinfected and my tray table organized. Actually, she was a little obsessive about it. It didn’t make a difference to me at the time due to my inactivity, but I am always grateful to be in a clean environment.
I don’t remember them all, but I had a number of friends, family, and colleagues come by the hospital to spend time with me. That was really kind, and I loved each visit. They even brought thoughtful gifts. I’m always surprised when I know people are thinking of me; moreso, when they go out of their way for me.
This was the time of the year when I was awaiting my diagnosis. August 17 I was told I had tumours in my stomach, and September 28 was my operation. After all the agonizing steps, fear, tears, and strength, I am happy to report that I am soon celebrating 12 full years of remission. How many get that opportunity? I am so grateful to God!
I’ve been receiving more stomach cancer patients lately that want mentoring, and I am happy to help as much as I can. What ails me is that this type of cancer is much more common in my city than I ever thought.