Hospital stay explained

I was home with my mother- in- law for her surgery for a week.

On Easter day, she picked up a breast lump that turned out to be malignant. Being the very aware woman that she is, she diagnosed her condition herself and caught it right at the early stage when it is treatable. Unlike my mother, whose cancer was picked up after she started losing weight and having lymph nodes which were ridden with malignant cells.

She was admitted two days before her surgery( May 11), a Saturday. It was also her 58th wedding anniversary . No one remembered to wish them on their anniversary because of the anxious moments we had. My husband, her eldest son is 57 this year. He was born a year after their wedding. Isn’t it funny how days don’t matter when we are worried?

The days before the surgery were spent in pre anesthetic check ups, cardiology checkups and other tests to ensure she was “fit” for surgery. Fortunately, for her the room allotted to her was spacious and almost suite-like, with a large bedroom( two beds), an almirah, lots of furniture, a wash room and a toilet. It was situated almost next door to the nursing station, so nurses were ever present.

During the anesthesia check-up they noticed her thyroid lumps, those that had been there for more than 30 years’. So she had to have additional X-rays to see if the lumps would obstruct the endotracheal tubes that would be used during anesthesia.She cleared all her pre- surgery checks and was taken up for surgery on the Monday. There was no requirement for blood, so that part was easy.

At her age, the surgeon preferred to do a lumpectomy and just an axillary sampling as she might not tolerate the extended surgical procedures. A part of her chest wall muscles was removed as the lump was rather deep in the muscle.

She stayed in the Intensive Care unit for a day, after which she was moved back to her room. One of us stayed with her every night, while she was in hospital.

My father in law missed having her at home, so he talked to the doctor to bring her home at the earliest. She was brought home on the Thursday, four days after her surgery.

She is in pain now as they have weaned her off her pain killers. But she is moving about normally and is able to do her things for herself.