The Other Stuff – Life is Good!
During the next few days I took time to evaluate my future work options. I have been working well past retirement age and had never seen myself giving up work altogether but now I relise that I must make the most of my life and not continue in a job that i really no longer enjoy. My years as a librarian have been fun, fulfilling and mind-opening but the job has changed considerably over the past few months and I no longer enjoy it as i once did. We have also very recently sold our house and bought into a village complex (not a retirement village) where we are planning to move sometime in July.
I therefore have decided to take all the sick leave my GP recommends, then all the other leave due to me (including long-service) and then slide gracefully into retirement. I would heve preferred to choose the date but might have procrastinated for several more years.
A week is a long time in hospital but I have been very well looked after and am recovering well. There is some advantage in being a stubborn Taurean as this disease has not been allowed to get the better of me; in fact the doctor gave us the welcome news immediately after the op that it had not spread to any other organs, lymph or blood and I have received the all clear.
The following Monday I booked into hospital at about noon and had to repeat the dreadful procedure of cleaning out mt bowel before the operation. At least I had the assistance of the nurses this time. My surgeon came to see me and i jokingly asked if he could perform a bit of lipo on my tummy at the same time (he was not amused).
Tuesday arrived and Iwas exhausted, hungry and thirsty. I was allowed to drink a bit of water early on but nothing after 9:00 am so I just stuck it out, Timo sitting with me all the time. Eventually my time for surgery arrived and I was wheeled into theatre and very soon placed under anaesthetic. Of course I remember nothing about the next few hours but when I came to I had pipes and tubes attached to me at various places and a buttin I could press whenever i wanted to control the pain, not that i used it much.
When my surgeon came to see me he gave me the welcome news that he had removed all trace of cancer and the autopsy revealed that, although it had gone through the bowel wall, it had not spread to any other organs or to the lymph glands.
The first few days of recovery were painful but I enjoyed every tiny positive bit of progress. The first time I was able to sit on my own was exciting and when I could shower without help and without even sitting in a chair I did a little happy dance around my room. Food at first was almost non-existent. I don’t know how much weight I lost but the so-called ‘nourishing fluids’ that followed my ‘clear fluids’ diet was far from nourishing. Nurses asked me every day if i had ‘passed wind’ and when that exciting event occurred I was at last allowed a few solids. When my diet reverted to normal my only regret was that I hadn’t the appetitie to eat everything on the too delicious menu.
I was thoroughtly spoilt flower-wise and the staff said that I seemed to have more flowers than any other ward. The rooms are badly designed in that, while lying in bed, one is unable to see the flower shelves but once I was up and about I moved my bed so I could see them all the time.
While in hospital I kept busy reading, knitting, or visiting and partying in Second Life. What wonderful friendships I have made there; two of them even phoned me in hospital, one from Melbourne and one from Chicago. Nurse say that all my activities probably helped my rapid recovery and friends and relations who came to visit were amazed to see how well and cheerful I looked. I had lots of visitors – one day as many as 10 though fortunately not all at the same time – and laughed a lot.
What reason is there not to laugh? I’ve been given new life in so many ways and don’t want to waste any of the many days left to me. In mid-July I’m going to Melbourne to visit my son and his family (my granddaughter there is almost 8 months old) and at the end of July I’ll be jetting off to Bali for a two week holiday in the sun. before that happens we have to pack up our belongings in preparation for moving house (not sure when that will happen yet). It may be pouring with rain and the wind blowing great guns. We may have had the domed skylight blown off our roof and have to catch the drips in buckets on the kitchen floor. But who cares, I’m alive and life is GOOD.
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