Dr Archer had a space for me to have my spleen removed at the Mount Hospital on May 4th. It was all booked in. He was having a few weeks off beforehand, so I had to wait. I think the time frame was about a fortnight and in that fortnight was easter. On the Thursday before easter I had a call from Dr Archers lovely receptionist – Andrea – think she is more a life saver to Dr Archer than a receptionist – “Lynda you need to have some immunisations done before the surgery. Neumacoccil, Haemacoccil and Meningacoccil.” You need these done when you have no spleen, they stop you getting sick. “Ok, where do I get those done?” “Your GP can do it – its important to be done asap.” “Its easter Thursday I’ll do my best”. Then began the ring around all my local chemists to find out if there were any of these in stock – no one had them. Then I couldn’t find a Dr to inject. One chemist said he would ring around and call me back. I waited till 5pm – trying to be patient as cancer patients must learn to be. I ended up calling him. “Look he said your best off going to see the travel doctor they always have these in stock and you can have them all at once” I called the travel Dr, booked in for the Thursday 28th April. When I called to confirm the day before – they couldn’t find my appointment. Geez, if i didn’t have enough on my plate. So I called a different one, while I waited for the first one to call me back. I booked in a bit closer to home for that evening and all three immunizations were done. We arrived to have our injection and the lady before me had a reaction so we had to wait 40 minutes for her to recover before the Dr could leave her side. Waiting waiting. Three injections and we went home. Safe to my home again. My arms killed me that whole weekend. I’m sure they had killed my tricep. My shoulder muscle refused to lift my arm. Ouch – it hurt another prick another three pricks. I cried, I whinged, I sat still all weekend reading on my verandah. It took 5 days for the arm to move again. Now I know what our little babies feel like every few months when the vaccines are due. It damn well is sore so, if you choose vaccines, look after your babies heaps and love them lots. All the time I’m worrying is this right, am I doing the right thing. You really can’t question. Well I couldn’t, I didn’t have the energy. I didn’t have the concentration. The injecting Dr advised me that I was in the best hands with Dr Archer and Dr Crawford. he said if he had lymphoma that’s who he would want to take care of me. So I had to rest in the knowledge and just let them get on with their job.
Finally, the day before surgery and we had to visit Dr Archers rooms late in the day on Tuesday 3rd. We left home in plenty of time – reached Mt Henry Bridge and my phone rang. “Lynda its Andrea – Dr Archer has been called to an emergency procedure at RPH can you see him at 10 pm tonight?” “It’s not possible – I live 40minutes away if he rings me and tells me to come he’ll have to give me 40 minutes to get to him. Do you have an estimate of a time when he’ll finish we can have dinner somewhere in the city.” “No not really it could be 8, it could be 10”. “Oh dear”, I said ‘What will we do ? – I’d rather him have a good night sleep if he is taking my spleen out tomorrow”. Andrea said, “Yes I’ll call him, wait by your phone.” We keep driving, how can you stop on the free way. My phone rings and Andrea Says, “He said come in the morning at 8am we will send you off to get your bloods then.” “Bloods? Why do I need bloods?” “It’s ok, they cross match to have some blood ready, incase they need to transfuse you when they take the spleen out – see you in the morning – no eating after 7.30am”. I think we went and had a coffee. Another worry. Another wait and another damn blood test. Home we went to leave again, at 6 am the following morning to get to the city with our bikes in tow so we could ride around the river while we waited for the surgery. Nice brekky at Atomic, quick trip over to Subiaco. Dr Archer then talked us through the procedure. “Its a big spleen – I’ve seen bigger but its big. When they are big the arteries supplying are big and we have to get behind the spleen to remove it so it will be open surgery I’m sorry”. “Then we have to send it off – pathwest closes at 4 so, we better get a shuffle on take this form get your bloods done and I’ll see you at one.” He explained the Ct scan pointed to my spleen which I thought was another LUNG! “That’s HUGE “, I said “That is one massive thing”. “Yes but I’ve seen bigger, its going to take about 3 and half hours to remove” Now I began to really worry. Now I began to realise the skill that this Doctor had. The knowledge that he has stored in his mind. His good sense of humour, and the realisation he was a cyclist too, made me feel strangely safer – like he was on the same wave length maybe. I was scared. I was worried. I was high on adrenalin. We went to the hospital, and the bloods were taken AGAIN – are we up to 6 or 7 pricks now? we changed into our clothes and we took off on a quick cycle around the river. It was a nice day and we had 2 hours to kill before we could book in. Felt good on my bike. I felt free. Felt the air on my skin. It was great. Bernie by my side worried that I’d fall off and break this spleen right open. We booked into the hospital and soon the anaethatist came to give me the pre med.
Now…… I knew I had some anti bodies in my blood. I’d always had them. They were part of me. I figured it was because of those that I didn’t ever really get sick. I thought I was made of tough stuff. Well, maybe I am who knows. When I saw the anaethatist I thought well it must all be good he’s here and I’ve had my pre meds up and I’m in my bed. Hurry up pre meds work so I can feel not so scared. Bernie came with me down to the theatre. Both my girls waited for me in my room we said our goodbyes. I was so scared I wouldn’t see them again. I’d had to sort out my Dads will as I was executor and he hadn’t filled it in properly, I’d had to place his home on the market, I wanted all that done so I could go to theatre and know that If I didn’t come out it would all be looked after for him. Where are your family when you need them? So we went down to theatre it was 1.00pm. We waited for a while Dr Archer came to see me at 1.45 – “We are having trouble cross matching your blood – if we cant cross match we are going to postpone surgery as I have to have your spleen to pathwest by 4 and its putting me under too much pressure”. 10 minutes later the surgery was canned and I floated back to my room full of pre med. ☹ What could I do? I couldn’t rant and rave – I couldn’t complain I had to wait patiently. Dr Archer had said something about rescheduling for May 16th. I went home we had lunch on the way at a pub and then I crept into bed and slept till the next day. I was glad to have had those pre meds else I would’ve spent all night worrying. I did expect a phone call to tell me when I was booked in – but no nothing. I didn’t want to be a worry wart so I waited for Andrea to call me – worrying of course. Worrying if they can’t cross match my blood I’m going to die. If I cant have this surgery there is no hope. Why aren’t they calling me. I didn’t call the Drs – on Friday I rang the blood bank – “Did you cross match?” “Oh yes of course but we didn’t have the volume that’s why you couldn’t have your surgery – when are you rescheduled?” – “Im not sure” , “Well when you find out come in three days before for cross matching – then we will have plenty” To hear those words the massive sigh of relief the whole demeanour in my body changed. I was going to be ok. I was all good my blood was fine I’m nearly normal again. I had really expected Dr Archer to bale on me and say its too hard I cant do this. That was my main worry. I had a cup of tea calmed down, took a deep breath and rang Andrea – “Hi its Lynda Rose just wondering if we have a rescheduled date and time please?” “Yes of course its May 16th at 8am we are going to do it in the morning gives Dr Archer more time”. Think I cried right there and then. Think I nearly had a break down. “Andrea I’m so glad to hear that Ive been so worried I didn’t know…thank you thank you” “Oh poor darling,” she said “I’m sorry I thought you had been told”. “I’ll email you the form for the blood test have it a few days before and we’ll be good to go.” The next two weeks dragged. We were filling it in with nice things. My aunty took me out to lunch at some stage in there I cant remember. I wanted to gravitate towards my kids. I felt a real need for my own nurturing almost to be close to them. To feel them near me. It was important. I can’t explain it – almost like well I could absorb life and hope from something we had created I figured if we could raise 4 healthy well balanced young adults we can beat this too. My bodies not ment to be sick. I don’t feel sick. Its strong I take care of it – its never let me down before. Will it this time?