Wednesday 13th November
Well, I didn’t really sleep much last night; what with the calf wraps contracting and buzzing almost every thirty seconds, observations and medication checks hourly, the gentle noise of five other patients on the ward, and the dull throb of pain down my left leg.
Having not been to the loo since 8am on Tuesday morning, I decided, before all the lights were dimmed, to give it a go at 11pm. So many tubes to undo, the drip following along on wheels with the morphine and the oxygen nasal spectacles, plus the drain bottle, filling up with blood. I slowly managed to manoeuvre myself from the bed to the chair. I was wheeled along to the bathroom and lifted onto the toilet by two nurses ~ one male, one female ~ one’s dignity is in very short supply!!
I wake from a doze feeling much better than yesterday, but still very, very sore and swollen ~ making good use of that morphine pump!!! I had two bits of cold, brown toast this morning ~ my first food since Monday afternoon!!! And it tasted surprisingly good!
The ward is lovely and sunny, nice and quiet, and all the staff are fabulous. I’m still wearing the very fetching hospital gown that I put on yesterday morning at 7am ~ all sorts of tubes and drains sticking out of me, means I cannot put on my own (brand, new/bought for the occasion) nightwear!!!! Ho hum.
Throughout the morning various medical teams visit my bedside. Firstly ‘Doctor’s Rounds’ at about nine, where a registrar wants me to give up the morphine pump and make do with paracetamol and ibruprofen ~ hmmmm, I don’t think so!!! Not yet a while anyway.
The next visit was from the blood nurse, who needed a sample to check my red and white cell count, renal function, and whether I have a tendency towards anaemia.
Following that, the Pain Management Nurse visits my bedside. I need to be weaned off the morphine eventually, taking a combination of paracetamol, ibuprofen and tramadol, but there is another syringe of the morphine waiting for me tomorrow!!
The lovely anaesthetist also pops his head around the curtain to see how I’m doing, wanting to know how I have recovered from the general anaesthetic, and how much pain I’m in right now. He is genuinely concerned and interested in my well-being.
Later in the afternoon the Macmillan nurse, whom I met after my SLNB procedure popped round to say hello. She also gave me some information on a drugs trial for Stage 3 melanoma patients. It would be a double blind trial ~ neither you, nor the doctor would know whether you were getting the drugs or the placebo. The drugs involved are Dabrafenib (a BRAF inhibitor) and Trametinib (a MEK inhibitor). Only 55 suitable people from the UK will be chosen to take part in the trial.
I have a couple of weeks to think about putting myself forward, for one year’s worth of COMBi-AD. Yes, no? Do something, do nothing? I need to talk to people, read a lot more about it, weigh up the options. And then there are the side effects ~ pretty serious side effects. I will need to think very carefully about this one.