5th April, one week and 5 days post op. I hadn’t really been out of the house since the operation on 24th March. Steve needed some more local photo’s for leaflets to be used for the forthcoming election. We went to a local park with Molly of course. It was warm and partly sunny, perfect for picture taking. Molly was happy, well she is always happy when she has a ball to run after, I don’t think she cares about the surroundings, it’s all about the ball.
I can walk very slowly, if I don’t carry anything and I was enjoying the fresh air. My mobile rang, it was Pat, Karen’s mom. I could sense something was wrong.
I had briefly got to know Pat whilst we were in ward 12. She was a lovely lady who was in her 70’s (I think) she lives in Devon but had come up to be with her daughter, mom’s hey! Bless them all.
Even though I had gone home from hospital on Saturday 28th March, I had returned the next day with biscuits and thank you cards for everyone on the ward. Karen was still in hospital but told me that she was being let out soon. I was pleased, she had lost the hot water bottled shaped green sick bag and was up and about. Her family were all there, hubby, son and Pat. We chatted for a short while but I had to get home and rest as just going to M&S and to the hospital was a major thing. I said goodbye to the other ladies on ward 12 which I had spent the previous week with. I went to say goodbye to Karen, she stood up to hug me from her bed and that was it, I just cried in her arms and she in mine. Those few short days had been tough on both of us, we had shared the same pain and forged a bond through the experience that would never, for me be forgotten. Would we ever see each other again and would we survive whatever lay ahead? Those around us I think were a little shocked at us hugging and crying, I could see Pat was also upset and I saw her tears when I hugged her to say goodbye too. We had already exchanged numbers the day before and said we would keep in touch, I hoped that we would.
Pat told me that Karen had been very ill, they had to call 999 the previous night and she was back in hospital. The bowel had become infected and formed pockets of abcesses on her bowel. She was on drip form antibiotics and that whilst Karen was okay, Pat had been very scared by it all. I was horrified that Karen was ill again, that after all she had been through in hospital and she was still suffering. Poor Karen, and I just hoped that she would be okay. Apparently it’s days 2-5 days that are the most critical after bowel surgery. Karen had got through the those critical days and almost two weeks later was back in hospital.
When Karen returned home she called me and we talked through what she had been through. They couldn’t even move her in the ambulance without giving her morphine first for the pain. At the hospital she had to cry and beg them not to operate on her again as they were considering giving her a bag. Thankfully they didn’t operate and she was going to now be okay surely! She had definitely suffered through this and maybe she had just been unlucky. That had to be it for her now in terms of pain, her body had been through so much, I worried how much more she could take.
Weeks later she found out at her post op appointment with her surgeon that they had removed 61 lymph nodes and 5 were cancerous. She was facing chemo over a 6 month period.