Few pictures from time in hospital

16th July 2015: Westmeed Hospital, Australia

The following pictures were taken by a friend during my stay. An explanation for some of the images is probably needed. Firstly, no I am not auditioning for a part in Game of Thrones in the opening image. The second image was taken when my friend and I were playing around on ward, it was intended to seem as if I was attemoting a break out. I must say, the doctors and nurses were amused at the antics. Finally, apologies for the nudity, my friend was just snapping away throughout the session 😄

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Pathology results show all the margins were clear of any Cancer!

15th July 2015: Westmeed Hospital, Sydney, Australia

All the information I have been filling my brain with recently revolves in some way about success in life stemming from difficult and challenging experiences. The relevance of the information came to fruition upon hearing the pathology results this morning. I was informed the surgery appeared to capture all the Cancer, and it seems rather fitting, especially bearing in mind the constant within the past few entires. In hindsight, yeah some times were tough, annoying and painful, but I will no longer focus any attention on those matters. Instead, I will chose to relish the confirmation of the results whilst reflecting on the irony of the lucid dream I was stuck in moments before the doctors advised me of the news. I know it is all very vague, however, I am content at cherishing the happiness currently experienced, especially as the confirmation linked directly to the dream I was enjoying.

Are patients empowered during their hospital stay?

14th July 2015: Westmeed Hospital, Sydney, Australia

I honestly believe the compounding events have resulted in a sense of me feeling like I have lost my voice. For instance, is it ok to not have a warm water when showering? Is it ok to simply submit to the nurses when trying to administer drugs you do not wish to take? Is it ok discard the lecture provided yesterday about having Liver Cancer as just a mistake?

Maybe some leeway is needed on the latter point, however, I strongly feel my input seems to have been removed from most, if not all decisions recently made regarding my health. Furthermore, when putting the circumstances into context, it seems the level of care does not reflect the situation for someone living in Australia with premium private health care. The conundrum then becomes one pondering the type of circumstances for many of those in a less fortunate position. I acknowledge how fortunate I am to have private health care, however, if I feel a loss in my input, then I am curious about the capacity for people to voice their opinion when severely impaired, lacking in support, discriminated against or simply overwhelmed by their circumstances?

To conclude, I hold grave doubts about the intentions behind certain policies when the focus is meant to foster empowerment in people, however, conversely the reality seems to ultimately result in people losing control over their own health. I would greatly appreciate words and other experiences to collate information as a means of gauging the current systems governing us?

Miscommunication in the hospital system impacting patient care.

13th July 2015: Westmeed Hospital, Sydney, Australia

The entirety of the circumstances today has made me feel extremely unsatisfied with the overall level of care I have received since my admission. My surgeon is of course the exception to the rule. An incessant beeping for the past two hours has only heightened my feelings, particularly as the beeping indicates the necessary pain relief medication is unable to be administered.

A list of my eventful day would show:
– I was brought out of my sleep during the early hours of the morning by a nurse who pulled on my IV stand to wake me. Upon rising, I was advised the bed needing to be used, meaning I would be changing wards.
– Two nurses tried to convince me of having the same dosage of medicine required when my pain was scoring an eight opposed to a two (10 is the highest possible score).
– A doctor confirmed my name, however, thought the reason for my admission resulted from liver Cancer, and advised me all prior plans discussed with my surgeon were inaccurate. Just to note, no contact had ever been made with this person before.
– A second doctor reinforced the fact of my admission resulted from having Liver Cancer, and implied I must have been too sedated over the past three days to recall this information as numerous conversations had occurred. Just to add, my mum was in the room throughout this conversation, and I observed her nearly fall off the chair. My mum and I started to digest this new information only to be interrupted after 10 minutes by the same doctor who was apologetic in saying he was incorrect, and I did not have Liver Cancer.
– I was then in pain for over an hour left waiting for a scan to be completed, resulting from the nurse not informing the reception I had arrived nor handing over my notes.,
– Now the incessant beeping has once again commenced leaving me beyond a point frustrated enough to write any further. I am hoping the latest attempts actually bring this annoying sound to cease, and finally a place of respite is found.

Drowning in opiates…

12th July 2015: Westmeed Hospital, Sydney, Australia

I am writing in a dazed and confused state from the events endured last night. The circumstances seem evidence of the obstacles to be faced over the coming period. It commenced at approximately 10pm when a sensation of being utterly lost in a cloud of opiates became overwhelming. Consequently, a negative mindset surfaced whereby I felt extremely vulnerable, and when reflecting it is difficult to describe, however, basically my pain increased to an almost intolerable degree, and it was not till 5am when my medication was changed, knocking me asleep.

I am now awake, have had blood collected twice, feel heavily dazed, and not in a position to do anything except lie in bed focusing on past quotes to keep me balanced. The feeling is a perfect example of what I have been trying to explain to staff members about the need to find the balance between having the capacity that allows me to engage in activities whilst keeping the pain away. Hopefully, someone will soon understand this predicament!

A hospital room or scene from Kill Bill

11th July 2015: Westmeed Hospital, Sydney Australia

It has been two days since surgery, and honestly there is no comparison to the healing process post-surgery last time. An overview of my circumstances demonstrates an increased mobility, awareness and energy whilst having an appetite. Furthermore, my bodily functions have already reconnected, meaning there is no need for any concern about a possible future enema 😄

So, some details about the procedure and the planning will assist in grasping the current situation. Firstly, two similarities exist between the recent surgery and the previous surgery 18 months ago. Namely, the expected waiting time for my family exceeding the estimation by approximately eighth hours. Secondary, the epidural did not work, meaning a fair bit of pain was experienced when the anaesthetic wore off. In addition, the news I later received was that the operation was reminiscent of a scene from a Quentin Tarantino film with blood bursting out everywhere. My doctor actually stated, ‘the outcome seemed positive, it just reminded me of how surgery was completed 20 years ago’. Upon hearing the news caused little bother, the reassurance the surgery was successful nullified any concern for how the procedure was completed. In summary, I am very outcomes based, so am extremely happy hearing the end result seemed positive, regardless of the amount of blood spurting from my body. The next steps include, two more procedures under local anaesthetic to remove the spread of the little buggers to both my lungs. I have said it once, and believe the latest antics only demonstrate my previous thoughts about Cancer being quite the narcissistic character!

An entry from the death docks!

9th July 2015: Sydney, Australia

I am currently sitting in the hospital, awaiting my name to be called for surgery. The scenery around me is dire. It is almost like all the people are at a waiting bay of death. In defence of the hospital, I can understand why the environment has such a mood, with a great deal of worry, concern and grief experienced by all in the room. The question I am thinking is how shifts could be made to the mood within the room? Immediately, solutions come to mind. How about:
– Brighter colours to elicit feelings that differ to the depressing wall facing me.
– A change from the sterile display of the room.
– Some cheerfulness or at least some degree of interest shown on the faces of the employees.
– Information about what to expect. Now, I am not asking for a compete layout, however, surely more information would assist then just signing a piece of paper then taking a seat in the deaths docks!

Lastly, I must acknowledge my feelings contribute greatly to being here, and it simply stems from a belief that I should not be here. I deeply feel that I do not belong is such an environment. Instead, I should be continuing my progression and strength towards a life of happiness and love that awaits.

Tomorrow is not D-Day!

8th July 2015: Sydney, Australia

One more sleep separates my current life to the new normality awaiting me. I feel as prepared as possible for surgery, with my mindset playing a crucial role in maintaining overall homeostasis, however, the surrealism of the entire experience is still difficult to comprehend. Namely, the actual details of the reality awaiting me. I must mention, my predictions entail rising from surgery heavily sedated, with weeks to follow stuck within this incapacitated state, however, ultimately I have no idea of what they may find or whether any complications are associated with th surgery. Admittedly, my intentions were to reference tomorrow as D-Day, however, when thinking about the connotations, I did not see the tittle as fitting to the day ahead. Yes, I will have a procedure, and will be experiencing temporary pain, however, on a permanent basis, I have belief in being stronger in a physical, mental and emotional sense. Therefore, tomorrow is not D-Day. Instead, just another day, and the beginning of my new normal.

The countdown is on…

6th July 2015: Sydney, Australia

The time till my hospital admission is rapidly approaching, and I must state that a very surreal feeling in relation to the connection with myself is being experienced. The positive attitude, bursts of energy, and an overwhelming sense of freedom seems ever present, yet, I can feel a creeping sensation that is extremely difficult to define. If an attempt was made to explain the sensation, I would say a slight degree of anxiety only felt at night in the sanctuary of my bed is slowly building in momentum. I understand this is obviously normal, and am confident of managing the impact of the anxiety, namely, a fear associated with what could eventuate over the coming days.

The reasoning behind my confidence is rooted in the belief held about my future. A future made possible by:
1. Family members who continue to amaze me with a level of understanding consistently on display. I actually find it ridiculous how much ease has been added to this whole process from the support provided by my family.
2. Wide group of friends spanning the world that seems to be best described as a combination between a vacuum and trampoline. I feel the support in my life sucks away any concerns through an array of means whilst conversely having the capacity to bounce me back to normality with constant laughter and joy.
3. Yoga and surfing, two activities enjoyed on a daily basis whereby my body is moving to alleviate stressors and allow blood to circulate around my body.
4. Rocky Balboa for providing a strong, vivid and emotive catchphrase that ensures an anchor exists within my life. When my thinking can switch into a destructive mode, all I need to remember is the opening phrase whereby he states, “life isn’t all about sunshine and rainbows”. Those few select words have a powerful effect in helping me realise the reality of the hardships to be encountered in life, and it is these moments that will define my strength.
5. Confidence in the medical team working towards the best possible outcome.
6. Miscellaneous factors also need a mention, they would be grouped as music I have been exposed to, memories of past times and the dreams of a happy and successful future awaiting me.
7. Total belief in my existence!

Judgement day

4th July 2015: Sydney, Australia

I am now aware of my immediate future. On Thursday, surgery will be undertaken to remove the Cancer regrown in the same spot (Adrenal Gland). In addition, a further procedure, called Microwave Ablation will follow a week later if all plans proceed as discussed. The second procedure is foreign to me, and will remain unknown as a means of coinciding with my approach of avoiding over information. I am not at all suggesting I am being naive and relinquishing all decision making in regards to my treatment. Instead, I have every confidence in the expertise of the surgeon, and the detailed conversation had about the range of options left my parents and I assured the right decision is being made. Another notable point in terms of planning is the outstanding decision to be made in relation to whether Radiotherapy will be pursued post surgery. The surgeon brought to my attention the possible permanent damage should Radiotherapy be used. The best way I can describe my understanding of the risks associated with the procedure would be to think of myself playing poker. In the game, I would not be holding a very good hand, however, would be going all in. The reference implies I am risking all my chances on one attempt when the odds are not even in my favour. I am conscious the decision may vary with further consultation and information to follow, however, currently it does not seem to be in my best interest. I am also unaware of what other alternative suggestions are being made. Therefore, am solely focused on getting through the two procedures before thinking about any other matters.