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Day 15 Goodbye Kidney & Cancer its Surgery Time

It was a fretful sleep, worrying about missing the alarm as well as the obvious, my first operation. It was snowing so we left earlier than planned and made our way to admissions lounge where we sat amongst other patients booked for surgery in a quiet, sparse waiting room. I was called to a smaller room, my husband came with me and I was asked a series of questions by a nurse including, ‘which kidney is being removed’ – I had hoped they knew this. I had some routine checks, blood pressure, heart rate and then an anesthetist came in and asked more questions, cant remember what now. I was sent back to the main waiting room and another doctor came to see me and from there I was sent back to another small room (again my husband was allowed to come too) where I was given a gown and surgical stockings to put on. It was then the surgeon came in, the first time my husband had met him or for that matter any of the team of doctors that had looked after me. As I have written previously, this wasn’t like a TV drama where your family are taken to one side by a doctor or nurse and have news broken to them or even updates on your condition. At this point my husband had had to rely on me relaying information to him. The surgeon went through more Q&As and then drew on my side and back the points where he would be making incisions. He was very kind and answered our questions and then said he’d see me in theatre. It all seemed to quick at that point and I think finally hit home. We were sent to sit out in a corridor where a theatre nurse in scrubs came over and said it was time to take me down. That moment was awful, having to walk away from my husband sat in the corridor I felt so scared. I was dressed in one of those gowns that you have to hold together, my pants and a pair of adidas trainers. Incidentally, in the past week I’d asked a friend to cut my hair as I was unable to wash or look after it while in hospital so I decided to cut it all off. It was the shortest of pixie cuts but in my gown and trainers I looked particularly waif like. Our first stop was another small room where I answered more questions again including, ‘which kidney is being removed’, should I worry…? From there I went through to the room outside the theatre where another nurse asked me questions with, yes you guessed it, ‘which kidney is being removed’. Apparently its just procedure. The strangest thing for me was walking into the operating theatre, I had envisaged being wheeled in on a bed but going in on foot was bizarre. There were several people all in scrubs and I was invited to climb up onto the bed and leave my trainers underneath, it felt so weird. Then an anesthetist came to check my veins but took some time to admire my sleeve tattoo which he decided was too nice to puncture. Then the team proceeded to hook me up and before I knew it I was gone. No countdowns, no dreams nothing to report. My next memory is looking up to see my husband in a recovery ward. It was all over. Five and a half hours had passed, my kidney along with the cancer had been successfully removed.


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