Days 20-24 Back to Reality

I’m home again. Just under 3 weeks ago I’d left here with a terrible pain in my side with no idea I had been carrying a tumor around in my kidney for so long* Now I was back to reality, minus the tumor and my left kidney. This must be what is meant by ‘finally hitting home’! The first couple of days of my diary contain mainly personal detail which I have intentionally kept out of this account. My family were going through this ordeal with me and their feelings/memories of it are their own so my blog is about my experience only. Much of what I have written concerns the pain I was in and the change of routine I faced. Being in pain I didn’t leave my bed much for the first couple of days and even then I could only lie with my knees up as the covers or my nightie hurt the wound. I made a kind of tent so that nothing touched my side which although still numb from the surgery, hurt like hell! I hadn’t had a bath/shower for 3 weeks and the thought of either was both inviting and frightening. The alternative was of course washing which my daughter was having to help with – a new experience for us both! Both of my daughters are nurses so in that respect I am very fortunate as their care and understanding of my experience was invaluable. The remainder of my prescription which my husband was to pick up from the hospital had not been prepared as promised and I went another day without it till he was finally asked to collect late at night, not ideal. The missing drugs were Clexane injections which if you are not familiar with have to be injected into your stomach (in my case) to help prevent blood clotting after surgery. I grew to hate this new daily procedure. By my third day at home I was feeling quite unwell and my wound didn’t look good, there was also a huge blister next to it that resembled a slug! Both of my nursey daughters were not happy with this and called the doctors who said a district nurse would come to see me tomorrow. When I was discharged there had been no visits from district nurses set up or appts with doctors advised. I was given a discharge sheet which I can quote from in part (without mentioning Dr names)

Main Diagnosos: Left laproscopic nephrectomy

Findings + Treatment: Pt had left nephrectomy

Pt recovered well post op with no complications

Pt c/o pain after operation but this settled with simple analgesia

She was sent home on analgesia and clexane for a total 28 days

Out Pt follow up 3/52   (this means within 3 months)

The fact now was that 3 days after leaving the ward I was in a lot of pain still and my wound was looking angry. Next new experience, a district nurse.

*When I asked the surgeon how long the tumor may have been inside me (it was 7cm dia) he said ‘how far can a horse run’? I think he meant it was impossible to tell… I have since read another blog in which a kidney cancer patient was told that these cancers grow approx 1cm each year. I don’t know that this is conclusive but the thought that I’ve had cancer for 7 years without knowing is some scary thing! I really have been lucky it was found.

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