Friday, August 1, 2008

Contemplating Beijing

I’m still in hospital doing the food tray typing. Today the network is down, but I am determined to get a message out, so I’m going through the back door as it were—composing the old fashioned way in Word then moving it over to the blog, hopefully without incident.

I am feeling way stronger than a few days ago. They have me back on that artificial feeding routine from my previous hospitalization. The dietician says I am getting a perfectly balanced diet. That’d be a first in my life. This time they had to resort to drip and suck, so I have a tube down my nose to drain excess gastric fluid. One of life’s lesser joys, I would say. For several days I wasn’t able to take in anything by mouth, but yesterday, oh joy of joys, the doc suggested I could try a latte if I wanted—more for the taste than anything, since it ends up being sucked up into the tube. What an amazing treat. Good coffee, my mouth smiled—and I will never take a sip of coffee for granted again!

Alas, there has been no talk of barbequed salmon or steak. Too bad.

So things have gone significantly sideways in terms of this obstruction. I was admitted to the palliative ward of the Tom Baker Cancer Center, in part because my palliative doc was doing a home visit assessing what was happening, when I threw up all over her. She said she had been wondering whether another obstruction was developing—and she got her answer in a big way. As a rule, I would say no projectile vomiting over your doctor, but it sure put things into motion! She actually had to continue her day wearing a pair of my trousers, while I got whisked directly in, do not pass Go.

I have a very lovely big room with floor to ceiling windows, Totally unlike being on the surgical ward. I am also getting a sense of what it means to be a palliative patient, and have palliative docs. I like them very much. In this I have always been lucky, because I adore my oncologist as well, so I feel like I am being well held, and becoming well known to a new set of people who care for me equally well, but somewhat differently.

And here’s a surprising thing. Many of you know that I have had a meditation practice of sorts for many years. I have certainly been working on my spiritual journey, and on pain control. One of the palliative docs is amazed at how little pain I actually experience. She says the only other people she sees with this degree of comfort in what should be a pretty hard situation are elite athletes!

Now if you had to place me with fellow travelers, would it be with athletes? I’m thinking we might be in trouble in Beijing.


Sherri Rinkel Mackay said...

Hey Pat,
I heard Starbucks is lookin' for an athlete for their Olympic advertising campaign. I'd put in a good reference for ya. You're gold medal caliber all the way.

A huge fan.

Anonymous said...

It's wonderful to hear your voice. Thanks for making sure to keep us posted. YOU want the loop open - we sure do too.
Here's to more lattes - and your new role as the athlete poster woman for Starbucks.
With hugs from another huge fan,
Patti Morris

Michele Jacobsen said...

Dearest Pat,
It was great seeing you today -- hope you enjoy a purple popsicle later.
I love you,

Barb said...

First a lattee and then Beijing, I can't see how Starbucks could refuse. Donovan would like to be your coach but only if you can "go left". I told him you could probably teach him a few things as well ;-)

Hugs and kiss and love,
Barb and Donovan

Mary Cameron said...

Hiya Pat-

ya but no but ya but no but ya.

I'm thinking you should carry the freaking torch.

Will send more news to you via email this weekend. I have lots to share with you.

Much love,

Vicky Pollard's friend, Mary

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