Chapter 3 Reality check and first complications

I left you when leaving intensive care and moving in a room in protected environment… As you may imagine you are not in the best of shape when that is happens I.e. I do not have all the details.

What clearly made my days much better was that I could see my father and my boys for the first time since I was hospitalised. Even if I asked not to be visited, I am sure that they brought hope to my tiny life and with my wife and mum, it was great to see them when I could open my eyes. These are the moments where you realise what brings a family together and why this relationship is key to go through whatever challenge you have to face.

When I arrived in haematology it was obvious that the treatment would be hard, no certainty about the outcome and I was really far from full consciousness if you think of all that was flowing in my veins. Again, the sequence of treatments, tests, etc… that will follow might not be scientifically correct… so please don’t sue the hospital, professors, surgeons, doctors or nurses… this all my memory!

Back to fun announcements, we need to start the chemotherapy but as we need to decrease the risk of infection and other issues of that type, a first surgery will be needed! Let’s have a portacad i.e. a piece of equipment, a probe where to needle and of course built to stay for a while and also to avoid change equipment on regular basis… I still have it and use it when in day care hospital.
I must admit that this was a strange experience! It was a local anaesthetic and so could realise all that was happening… Interestingly enough, there was that surgeon (young one) and also a student (good looking blond girl) and waiting for a senior surgeon to come, check and sew me, he did not stop hitting on her to get her out and have date… I must admit I remember having laughed to hear all that as it was almost as if I was invisible! This is one of the little nuggets I could experience during the story.

Being now ready to accept treatment, I had to stop eat and drink for a long while… All was provided though but straight in the blood! Sure I never was hungry as I was linked to a white substance called a “steak and chips” (medical sense of humour for sure) and all in all it made me lose more than 50 pounds! I do not recommend that diet though….
In parallel of my meals I did also get the chemotherapy that destroys everything bad in your body but also some good ones! During these days, I was unfortunately doing much better and you can read that on faces, family and hospital, even if they do their best, there is so much you can hide. If you link that with the nightmares I had due the medics, it was not too brilliant and few tests will show me what that leukaemia was doing to me.

As a parenthesis, I would like to take the opportunity to express how I see this illness. I compare it to HIV as it destroys your immunity leading you to die from an infection, pneumonia or any other like septicaemia. So fun was at the horizon and further exams became necessary to understand what was at the corner as I had all the symptoms of an infection. These showed that I had diverticulitis and it was going worse everyday. Those results will trigger all the subsequent actions that will highly impact me till today.

Not getting any better pushed the doctors to make a hard decision… Emergency surgery was becoming a necessary next step to keep me alive or at least increasing the probability for me to see Christmas in a few weeks. The main issue there was the hard fact that I was in aplasia (absence of immunity) due to the chemotherapy and so the statistics where definitely in my favour for this shot. Nevertheless it was a no brainier as the “non-surgery” option looked like a dead-end and this is no figure of speech.

So here you go, I now know what is going on, the root cause and how to fix it! Sounds like a situation at the office but no work-around and closing the ticket is, believe me, something I have at heart. Fortunately great professionals were on board… Next chapter will be about this second surgery, the third one (also in emergency) and their outcomes… That was one of the most painful period at the hospital…

I would also like to thank you for your comments and support, Facebook, on this blog and by e-mail… Do not hesitate to reach out to me.

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