Yesterday around 3am I woke up and had to pee. When I tried to get up, I had a shooting, hot, lightning like pain shooting from my groin down my inner thigh, and then across the front of my thigh. 10/10 on the pain scale. I’ve never felt anything like it. I was terrified.
Because the doctor said I was much more susceptible to blood clots right now, I grabbed my phone to Google the symptoms, but they didn’t match.
By then, Jeff was awake. I was freaking out in fear. I asked him to look at my leg and see if it looked normal. It seemed to look normal.
I thought I should just power through it and drop my leg off the side of the bed, but the pain was out of this world. I couldn’t move. And what was this? Should I move? Or would that do something bad?
Of course, just between you and me, I was sleeping naked. Everything else is just too tight and uncomfortable on my abdomen right now.
Jeff decided to call the ambulance.
The Yukon territory where we live just got 911 service a year or so ago. They answered right away. They asked if Jeff wanted fire, police, or an ambulance, and what community we were in. And then they redirected the call.
The call went into the nursing desk at the ER in our hospital, that is just a block away from our house. They said they’d have to wake up the paramedics, because they are just on call, so they asked if we could just walk over ourselves.
Jeff asked for the ambulance and they said it might be awhile. In the meantime, he was able to get a t-shirt on me, but there was no way I could move my leg to get pants on.
Because I can see the ambulance bay from here, it is so close, I could hear from my bed when they fired up the ambulance and drove over. Jeff moved all the furniture out of the way and let them in. I warned them I was pantless, but they weren’t phased. I’m pretty sure that sharing my nakedness in a small town community wasn’t on my bucket list! 😀
They took my vitals and did some tests for blood clots. I seemed to be okay, but my blood pressure was pretty low. They decided it would be best to get me in this chair like device to carry me through the house and out to the back lane where they could put me on a stretcher, to avoid all the steps and obstacles and new gravel we just put down in our parking spot.
I was so scared. I knew if I moved, that pain was going be out of this world. First they sat me up, without me engaging my core muscles myself. Just being upright seemed to ease the pain. With their help, I was able to get up and turned around in the chair (and get some pj pants pulled on!!)
That chair moved in every direction so I had to just cross my arms, get all buckled in, and close my eyes for the ride. Of course it is still sunny, birds chirping, at that time of night here in June (midnight sun), so I wasn’t stealthily leaving under the cloak of darkness. Bed head for all to see 🙂 And I still hadn’t been able to pee!
Once in the ER, I was able to move around much better without the shooting pain. My primary care doctor here is away for the month of June, but fortunately the doctor he recommended for my care in his absence was there waiting. Not sure if she was called for me but there was someone else in the ER so I suspect she was just on call and already there.
She was so caring and gentle and checked me over and had me walk the hall so she could see me walk. She saw no signs of a blood clot and thinks I just tweaked something in my hip, or likely the mass pressed on a nerve. She sent me home and promised we’d talk later in the day.
We talked on the phone in the morning and she said to be safe, she wanted to do a hip xray. She wanted to see if the cancer was in my bones, or if there were any blood clots hiding in my hips. Luckily the xrays were clear! Except they showed arthritis in my hips! Ha! News to me!
She had me come back at the end of the day and sat with Jeff and I for 30 minutes. She was so caring, candid, and informative. She reviewed every report from all my hospital visits lately, and wasn’t sure how much I knew. She said the cat scan I had in Whitehorse showed the cancer has likely spread to my lymph nodes in my abdomen, although they will do tissue samples to confirm, and she wasn’t sure if I had been told that. She said the mass has grown tremendously just in the last two weeks and took up the cause to make calls and see why my surgery is scheduled for so far out.
She had a candid talk with us, saying she didn’t want to scare me, but now is a good time to work on my will and make these type of arrangements now. For some reason, this talk doesn’t even phase me now. Maybe I’m numb.
She also said she isn’t an oncologist, but she expects I’ll need to be off work likely for longer than 6 months for the treatment, and I’ll likely be quite sick and feeling miserable. She explained what they use radiation for, and what they use chemo for, something I really had only Google’d early on, but have been ignoring lately. I’ll know it when I need to know it I suppose, but I still appreciated her sharing this with us.
She then had a long talk with me about pain medication. I have been avoiding the hydromorphone and she said she needed me to start taking it. I’m in constant pain. She said the Advil I’m taking isn’t doing anything, and being stubborn about it isn’t the best plan. She asked me really good questions about why I wasn’t taking them. I guess I wanted to know I still had something in my arsenal should the pain get worse? I’m not sure why I’m so stubborn. Something about wanting to be tough? I don’t know. Anyway, she wants me to take it regularly, and increase until I find the right dose to handle my pain. Then she will switch me to something longer acting. She said she was my arsenal now and I was to contact her for anything.
Today I got a call that choked me right up. She was able to have my surgery in Vancouver bumped up. I leave in less than a week!!!!
She talked to the cancer team and they will likely push forward with the surgery rather than going with chemo or radiation first, just due to the sheer size. Either the mass, or maybe fluid, is up to my diaphragm. It is difficult to do almost everything like this. Like bend over, roll over in bed, take a deep breath, wear a bra…
First I’ll have a pre-op appointment with the BC Cancer care gynecology-oncology team and that is when we’ll learn more about what type of incision and surgery they’ll do, and how much they’ll remove on the first go. Will I have a complete hysterectomy? Will they poke around for signs of spread and remove it now too? These things I don’t know yet.
I’m so happy. I really feel like that middle of the night nerve pinching event was just meant to happen to speed this all along. I kinda felt that it was coming to be honest – not this specifically, but I had a pretty good feeling I wasn’t going to make it to mid-July without having some hospital admitting type of complication.
So now I’m high on pain killers. Please pardon any errors above, my fingers type whatever they want now. I’m still in pain, so I haven’t found the right dose yet, but I’ll do what I’m told.
Also, sleeping Hank has nothing to do with this tale, but I wanted a cute picture for this post’s featured image.