I spent five days in the hospital. I remember getting up with help from the nurse. "Walking," she informed me, "will help 'wake up' your organs. They don't like being touched in any way. Their response is to freeze if they're so much as brushed against. It's almost like your intestines are a separate being."
Out of bed, holding onto the roving I.V. pole for balance, the nurse and I headed out the door to roam the halls for a bit. I didn't have too much trouble walking. I was, however, very, very hungry. I was told that I couldn't eat anything until my intestines "woke up". It could take hours or days, there was no way to predict.
Visitors came. Thank God for visitors! I think you have to be pretty brave to visit somebody in the hospital. You don't know if the patient will be sad, or scary-sick. You could be stepping into a hornet's nest. I thought all of my visitors were courageous, and was delighted to see each one!
Doctors cycled in and out. At one point six of them pressed in around the foot of my bed. They all looked concerned, but none had any new information to share with me. "We will know more when pathology is in," said the oncologist. She would repeat this many times over the course of my stay.
I was contentedly naive in those early days, hoping maybe it was a Stage I or II situation. I didn't even understand the stages of disease at that point. I knew that Stage IV was "the worst", but had no experience with cancer or its jargon then. I was willing to stay ignorant for the time being, and concentrate on healing from surgery. Knowing more wouldn't improve that progress, so I didn't press for many details.
Patrick emailed the following:
Sep 6, 2013, at 7:52 AM
Celine says it only hurts when she breathes or moves, but other than that she's alright. The nurses will be starting to get her out of bed today. She has a good attitude about getting up and cooperating with the nurses, so that is good.
Keep praying for us. We have a long way to go.
The next day I sent this:
Sent: Saturday, September 7, 2013 7:59 PM
It has been a good day--clear liquids are allowed, yaaay. I am feeling great, just hurts to cough and you know, move certain ways. No big deal. Haven't eaten since Tuesday! The previous Monday was also a fasting day.
Saw many, many docs today. Surgeon wants a bladder x-ray Monday. Oncologist wants a PET scan. Pathology not back yet, so no other plans are being made until they can review that. I saw my GP, urologist, ob/gyn, gastro, oncologist, and the surgeon. Some had better news than others.
Think I will be back home Monday night, but things change pretty quickly around here. But that's the latest guess.
Spirits GREAT and learning the Responsibility of the Present Moment in a whole new way :)
Thank you again for keeping us in prayer.
Friends were helping to hold down the fort at home, sending meals, and watching kids. My children visited often, and Patrick was there as much as he possibly could be. I warned them all though, "Don't come here smelling of french fries, or I might accidentally gnaw off your arms."
I was sure the hospital staff were trying to starve me to death.