Wednesday, 16 March 2011

I really didn't miss the hospital

I am writing this on my phone in one of the public areas of MD Anderson. My parents were in Bangkok and had to fly back as a matter of urgency. Why? Because in the space of a week my father's test results tanked. He had very low haemoglobin, albumin, and other bad things and was sleeping 20 hours a day.

So off they flew for 26 hours, picking me up in London on the way. We drove straight to the ER on arrival and, after 8 hours and 3 tests, my father was admitted and has been there ever since (monday).

He has multiple system dysfunction which is causing pain, fatigue, confusion and a scary amount of fluid to build up in his abdomen. The question, though, is why.

We have now had opinions from 4 oncologists. 1 believes that it's a blockage of his portal vein. This is problematic and potentially serious but not time critical or cancer-related. Doctor 2 is hoping that it was an infection in the fluid which will go away now that he is on antibiotics. Doctor 3 thinks it's the cancer that is spreading to his spleen and that he could do everyone a favour by dying faster and not wasting anymore time and resources. Doctor 4 thinks patients are idiots and should only be interested in treating the symptoms rather than the problem. Overall, I am thinking of taking a sledgehammer to the lot of them.

He's had the fluid drained as is feeling a bit better, but he will be staying in hospital until they bloody find the cause of the problem. In the meanwhile, the tumour is acting oddly in that it is changing shape and no one knows why. His brain is clear, which is nice to know.

And, oddly, what I have noticed most over the last few days are the number of child patients kicking around the hospital. Now, cancer is horrible at any age but to see patents with their 5 year-olds waiting in radiation is one of the most heartbreaking things I can imagine. Sod pancreatic cancer. It's the cancers that kill children that we need to eliminate as quickly as possible. Because right now, there is no justice in this world.
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