It’s a foot long!

Finally, the day came when the drain really would be coming out. It had been in for four weeks. I’d love to tell you I had grown to like it, but I hadn’t. The area on my thigh where it had gone in had become quite sore and, I hope you’re not eating, maybe even a tiny bit smelly. I had become completely paranoid that I would catch the tube on something and yank it out at in inopportune moment. I had visions of catching it on the corner of a table in a café and the contents spreading down my leg for all to see – I know, it’s not the stuff of dreams.

It has to be said, we drove to Cork fairly apprehensively. I knew the collection of fluid was considerably less, it was less than 25ml each day, and it was certainly clear, but there was still an unspoken fear that the team might say it had to stay in even longer.

The dressing clinic seemed to be even busier this particular morning and a few familiar faces nodded a greeting to me, but we did manage to grab a chair each this time. Katrina (guardian angel nurse) appeared out of nowhere like the chap from Mr Benn (if you’re too young, google him) and ushered me into a bigger room where the beds were in a row & curtains drawn around each one. Not as private as the previous visit and we did have to listen to the elderly gent next door talking about ulcers on his leg from sitting too close to the fire – I know, but I like to build you a picture.

A dressing nurse arrived, removed the remaining dressings whilst discussing the upcoming All Ireland Final & we waited for the team to arrive. She was Cork born & bred but she would be shouting for Kerry to beat those Dubs. My partner was just about to share his opinion when, probably luckily, the team arrived.

In the very small cubicle, I am lying on the bed – thankfully with my sporty pants on again – my partner is squeezed into one corner next to the curtain, Katrina & the dressing nurse are the other side of the bed and in comes the consultant with not one, but three students. It’s busy in there. I agreed to let the students join the party, why not, we all have to learn. They were American and were suitably impressed with my old scars and my new one – I like to think I can consider myself International now.

Good news at last! The drain could be removed and the remaining staples could also be taken out. So remember I have spent the last four weeks convinced that this drain would drop out at any minute. I lay back and Katrina asked me to take a deep breath for the drain to be removed. I kid you not ladies & gents, I felt the tube pull as far up as my belly button! It was the weirdest sensation I have ever felt. It was over in seconds and the hole in my thigh was just a tiny spot. I said to the nurse I hadn’t expected to feel the tube so high up. ‘Oh’, she said ‘yeah, it’s a foot long’ – four weeks, four weeks, I had spent worrying I was going to pull the damn tube out – that thing wouldn’t have dropped out in a year!

The dressing nurse reverted back to telling us how Kerry were definitely going to beat those Dubs whilst snipping away at the nine remaining staples. Truthfully only removing the very top staple actually hurt but I grabbed a hold of my partner’s hand anyway as I figured that would stop him telling the nurse he was a Dub and they were going to smash Kerry.

My wound site was now completely free of staples and the nurse put on new dressings with instructions that I could remove these myself in four days time and have my first full, unencumbered shower. These were the best words I had heard in weeks.

I didn’t go out of there with a hop, skip & a jump; it was still a pretty slow walk, but it was a walk with no drains and no staples. It felt amazing and I only had until Sunday to wait to have a shower – this was a good day.

For those of you that don’t know the result of the All Ireland Final – it actually resulted in a draw, had to be replayed & then the Dubs did win it. But we don’t have to go to the dressing clinic anymore, maybe just as well.

Published by rogersmum

I live in Co Kerry, Ireland with my partner, Paul. I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Cancer in 2019. This blog is about my journey through Immunotherapy - the ups & the downs

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