Friday, December 30, 2011

a tale of 2 surgeries

Hard to believe that I'm back on here already. Yes a mere 2 and a half weeks after brain surgery, my second. I had my first 19th Feb 2010 and this last one 12th Dec 2011 and the experiences were poles apart. Just briefly (I am post op still after all).
1st: I was in theatre 12 hours (roughly)
2nd: I was in theatre 3 hours (in anaesthetics pre op for ages and I cannot recommend midazolam highly enough as a pre op relaxant)
1st: I don't remember the first 2 days (spent in ICU and high dependency)
2nd: I remember the first night telling my husband to go home to the kids at 10 o'clock (spent the night in high dependency)
1st: I slept more than I was awake, for weeks!!!
2nd: I only have 1 nanna nap
1st: they only got 80% of the tumour (it probably would have killed me if they'd tried to get it all admittedly)
2nd: it's all gone, even the bit in my ear and around my trigeminal nerve
1st: I needed allied health therapy of every sort and a walking stick
2nd: so far I haven't needed any of it

All told I am very grateful to both doctors at the PA (princess alexandra hospital) even though they didn't get all the tumour and were very much against me going a 2nd time, as well as Dr Teo (at the prince of wales private) for getting it all out, with far less side effects this time. With luck this is the last time I ever have to go through this. While I still have to recuperate (face still fairly numb, ear still pretty deaf and eyes still not coordinating), I have no permanent nerve damage and no tumour. I am also eternally grateful that I had a benign tumour and not a cancerous one and send out my best wishes to those fighting a cancerous tumour.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

End of year

Yes, it's the pointy end of the year. The countdown to Christmas is on.  The tree is up, pressies bought and wrapped, cards given/sent. I've also...
shopped for the kids (for while I'm away), packed (mostly bags), washed sheets, doctors appt attended, paperwork for work done, attended to emails (mostly) and have prepared garden for while I'm gone. We leave for Sydney and a date with Dr Teo at the Prince of Wales private (on the 12th) tomorrow. Just quietly, I'm bricking it (as the poms would say). On the one hand, he said he would prefer to get rid of the tumour while it's still small and I'm still young (thanks). On the other hand the doctors at the hospital I had the first operation have said different things to me every time I've seen them, the latest being leave it, it's risky and it's not growing at the moment, wait as long as you can before we operate (which is inevitable). As my GP said, damned if you do, damned if you don't. After careful consideration, I'm going with operate now, while I am still young and recovery will be easier.
So, we leave tomorrow, driving. One day I will have to post about the many fun trips we've done in the car across the country, but today isn't that day. We are going to the Harry Potter exhibition and miss 8 is dying to go. A friend from work has kindly emailed some things for us to see in Sydney (we're catching up with her, when she also goes down there with her kids). So, it won't all be unpleasant. I've also dragged out the comedy DVDs. I bought the box set of Frasier while I was convalescing (love that word) last year. I think I got through seasons 1, 2 & 3. I also have the last season of Seinfeld with me. Daytime tv was driving me bonkers. All I ended up doing was swearing at the infomercials and marvelling at how petty all our problems seem. I probably won't be up to much reading, but I have a couple of books and my nintendo DS (brain training games) and of course, my trusty ipad (pats fondly). We'll be fine.
I have set myself a challenge for when we get back home (22nd/23rd). It is my back yard at the very bottom of our 1 &1/4 acre block, about 10m2. After 13 years, G finally fenced it off properly and I am going to rescue it from the bush and weeds and turn it into some sort of garden. When it rains heavily it gets rather wet (it's on a slope), it's mostly in shade and it's close to the bush.