Inpatient Escapades

Because of my IV pole, and the fact that I’m an inpatient and all, I’m restricted to the hospital grounds. Over the past three weeks, there have been many days where this is no problem. During this time, I’ve undergone a lot of tests, two surgeries, two biopsies, and one killer stomach flu. Because of this, it’s safe to say I’ve probably spent more time horizontal in my hospital bed than vertical. Not to mention, the cancer makes me feel sick almost all the time. Headaches, chills, sweats, aches. It’s a big shithead like that.

Well it’s now been exactly one week since my last surgery (when they removed an enlarged lymph node from under my arm) and I find my energy levels slowly increasing. No more tests to beat it back down. Which means, being horizontal in my hospital bed isn’t as appealing as it once once. Exploring this hospital I’m stuck in, now that sounds like more fun.

I’ve only just begun, but so far the geriatrics ward is the place to be. Their TV area has a flatscreen, no VHS player, and a PIANO. I keep joking that being in the hospital is like being in prison, except there’s no organized recreation. Well geriatrics has that! Craft time, and special lunches with strawberry shortcake dessert.

That’s not all…

A FULL KITCHEN. Oncology has a fridge, sink, microwave and toaster. But geriatrics has got a stove!! And china tea cups!! And a tupperware filled with homemade cookies! How do I get transferred here? I need to craft, drink tea, and bake cookies with the old ladies here.

Eventually, the hospital air gets to be enough and I require some small-city oxygen outdoors. It’s hard walking outside with my IV pole, so we usually just sit and watch the smokers smoke, the taxi drivers eat lunch, and the buses go by.

Mommy & Me. We usually do a midday walk. We talk a lot about my cancer, it’s a really great time to open up honestly about how both of us are feeling about everything.

Sara & I. We usually do an after dinner walk. We talk a lot about the cancer too. But also about how Sara is going to save the world, with some offbeat humour thrown in for good measure.

And sometimes Dad shows up:

The only person missing is my sister Jane!! Pretend there is a cute blonde in these pictures somewhere. My family are my ROCKS. Apart from being there for me when the going gets tough, they care for me in ways the nurses can’t, and provide endless hours of entertainment.

Rumour is I may get to escape the hospital grounds for a day this weekend. I’ve been bugging the doctors about it nonstop. It requires a needle of a lower dose blood thinner, so they hum and haw over it. But it’s been two weeks since that trip to Saint John and I’m beginning to forget what the world outside the hospital parking lot looks like! Cross your fingers :)

Posted on July 15, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 34 Comments.

  1. fingers crossed … and since I’ll be close to you tomorrow … but not close enough :( my positive vibes will get there faster!!!

  2. I hope you get a day pass ,even if it is for a few hours!!!Hopefully the sun will shine and you can enjoy some freedom.
    You look amazing Susan!

  3. Yes, fingers crossed for you! How awesome would it be!

    Can’t wait to hear about your adventures!!

  4. greensandjeans

    I’ll cross my fingers and toes for you Susan! Do you get to watch the Tour in the hospital?

    • The hospital internet sucks so I can’t live stream. Just been keeping up with the live blogging updates then going back and watching the video highlights after. Definitely some added entertainment :)

  5. LOL! Maybe offer to be an activities coordinator for the geriatric unit; get your foot in the door and hands on some cookies. :-) Cheers to you making lots of proverbial lemonade, and prayers that you get your much-needed mini-escape! :-)

  6. JUST found your blog (via twitter, the internet is a strange and wonderful thing)…I am originally from Moncton, now living in Fredericton.

    Just wanted to say that I am reading along, rooting for you to kick cancer’s ass. My mom has successfully beat it 3 times so far…our family knows a bit too much about this topic.

    Hoping you get that mini-escape this weekend!

  7. Fingers are crossed! And I think the geriatrics ward sounds like a hoot. You should volunteer to do some crafts with the olds – I’m sure they probably wouldn’t mind! Maybe they’d even let you cook for them on Waffle Wednesday!?!!

  8. Your pictures remind me of all the time my momma spent in the Moncton hospital (right down to the same floor and rooms). That place hasn’t changed one bit in like 4 years and probably before that, haha.

    Aim for a Saturday morning outing – maybe the Moncton market and then lunch at the Calactus Cafe??? Mmmm, a Big Marc burger would be the bomb right now.

    • That’s why I’m excited for “The Great Fundraising Act” to update the oncology ward a little. People donate to the other wards all the time, but the stress that surrounds people being in cancer ward doesn’t really inspire people to give money…

      Calactus is already on my brain :)

  9. Befriend the grannies, Susan, and they will soon take you under thier wing and share the cookie jar! Crafts and cackling laughter will soon be yours! Love how you continue to make the hospital stay an adventure. Cheers – Trish

  10. Fingers crossed!!!

    When my dad was getting chemo in NYC they had this room for families every day filled with pastries. I remember stuffing my face with cake for weeks and inviting friends to join me.

  11. My family is everything to me too. I’m glad you have such a great one. And I hope you get to take that trip outside of the hospital!

  12. I do the same thing when I am stuck in airports. Exploring is fun, even in a hospital. So glad you are feeling well enough to be on your feet again. Crossing my fingers you get to escape this weekend!!!

  13. Your family seems so awesome! I can’t believe how much you, your mom, and your sister look alike!

    Wow to the kitchen. I’ve never seen a kitchen in a hospital. That is a really great idea!

  14. Aww you and your mom and your sis all look so alike!! PS. Can you crash the geriatric ward so you can use their kitchen???

  15. I just found you from reading about the fundraiser. I’ve read through your entire archive (since getting the cancer) and you are now bookmarked! I’m a nurse – probably older than your mom (definitely older!) and used to work in Oncology. I wish you the very best as you go through this. Your spirit, honesty and candor are remarkable, and with that incredible family and boat loads of friends, you’ll get through this a day at a time. I’ll be reading every day you post now! Look forward to when you get the “all clear”, and that will make everything you go through worth it. And I know you’ll be helping tons of folks along the way!

  16. Hope you get to escape this weekend!! The kitchen looks nice!

  17. Oh man, I REALLY hope I get to read a post about you cooking with the little old ladies! :) Hope you can escape this weekend and get some r&r and good food!

  18. You should sneak off to geriatrics more often! They do get to have all the fun :-P
    Your family is so great. I can feel the love (cheesy, but true) through these pictures.
    Hope you get to escape this weekend!!

  19. Dude, the only thing missing from that kitchen is the Viking appliances and granite countertop! LOVE it. And I always knew that there were perks to getting older. Now it’s confirmed and I’m no longer afraid of getting old.

    Good for the soul to be out on numerous walks with your sweet family. Hope you break out this weekend! Will you get to see Archie?

  20. I just recently stumbled onto your blog, and have to say, I am moved to tears by your words and your spirit.

    No doubt you will get countless book recommendations, but here is one I think is awesome. It is not about cancer; it is about attitude.

    You are so going to kick the crap out of cancer. I look forward to being a witness.

  21. Susan I am so happy for you that you and your mom have the time to have walks and talks and share honest feelings. SO important!

    And I am loving that kitchen. It’s so retro and perfectly clean. Like a shot from 1986 and my childhood. I love that you HAVE a full kitchen, retro, clean, or otherwise. A kitchen is a kitchen and it’s KEY to making a place tolerable. When I travel and dont have so much as a microwave, I feel lost!

  22. Susan, I sure hope you get out!!! I have watched cancer so I so send you hugs!!!! I hope you get to see my note on your previous post about A fantastic support site & groups for every kind of cancer with the patients & family that write in.

    You know, when I was visiting people at the hospital, it amazed me on the smokers that worked there but also people that pulled out their iv to smoke outside. I understand the addiction but it just kind of made me sad…


  23. Enjoy your weekend release! Just don’t try to cram in too much with your freedom (I know I would do that).

  24. I am hoping you get out!

  25. Love this post. Can totally tell your spirits are up. Sunday is calling for a warm day, so I will keep my fingers crossed for you! Soak up some Vitamin D!

  26. Hi Susan, Matthew has been telling me about your recent cancer. I know what you are going through although mine is breast cancer. I am sending you some positive thought and prayers. I will send you another note later. You are young and strong and you will get through this.

  27. They gotta let you out of there for a day! Lots of thoughts and prayers from Ottawa m’dear!!

    ps: I put July 25th in my calendar at work :D

  28. *crosses fingers* I’m glad your energy levels are coming back up, hope you get out soon! xxx

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