My liver surgery was a couple days later and I was sent home two days after that; only to return to the ER in less than a week. The original plan was to wait two weeks before starting radiation therapy so my body could heal. The tumor had other plans…
I was sitting on the toilet thinking I was having a bowel movement but when I looked, there were several bloody “blobs” the size of soft boiled eggs floating in the water. I knew this was bad and the tumor in my rectum was probably hemorrhaging! Luckily Hubby was home with me. We called my son, Jim who had just left to come back home quickly. I needed to get to the ER.
Hubby lined the front seat of the car with a large disposable pad and it was a good thing he did because it didn’t take long before the blood seeped through my clothes on to the pad. Jim was driving and Hubby was in the backseat. Jim looked over at me when we stopped at the stoplight and saw the blood soaked pad.
He shrieked, “Mom! I have to run this light. You’re bleeding too fast!”
The last thing we needed was to be in a car wreck, so I calmly told him, “Take a breath. Slow down. We’re only a few blocks away and if we get in accident, it will only take longer to get there.” But inside I was getting nervous about the amount of blood coming out of me too.
Luckily, he listened to me and didn’t run the red light, but when it turned green; he drove the rest of the way like a “mad man.” I don’t know if I was more nervous from the bleeding or his crazy driving! When we made it to the ambulance entrance, Jim ran inside and quickly came back with a nurse who showed up with a wheelchair. I was taken inside to a trauma room where a nurse came to take my vitals. As I lay on an exam table I watched the nurse move around the room, talking to me calmly. I immediately relaxed and thought, “If she isn’t worried about the amount of blood coming out of me, then neither will I. She sees this kind of thing all the time.”
The nurse inserted a catheter into my urethra because, according to her, I was being admitted for another hospital stay. (Crap! Not again.) I was also not allowed to get off the table, so in case I eventually had to pee, I could do so using the catheter. Next she placed a large plastic pan under my butt to catch the clots of blood that were now popping out at a steady rate.
Hubby was standing by my side when I felt the “presence” of my dad and my friend, Emily, both of whom had died years earlier. I never actually saw either of them, but I just “knew” they were there. I looked at Hubby and said, “Emily and my dad are here. So don’t worry. Everything is going to be alright.” Right after I said that, they were gone. Or maybe they were never there. My mind could have been playing tricks on me. Either way, I felt better about what was going on.
Hubby stared at me for a minute and then spoke to Jim who was standing a few feet away, talking on his cell phone. “Hey, I think your mom’s having some kind of spiritual experience or something. She says Emily and your grandpa are here.”
Jim looked scared. He probably thought my “vision” was some sort of sign I was dying, but I knew I wasn’t. I reassured both of them that I was okay.
My sense of calm changed quickly when an intern showed up to start an IV on me. For some reason, she wanted the needle to go on the inside of my wrist. After poking me four times, claiming my vein kept “moving around,” she announced she would make an incision. That’s when I said, “Over my dead body! Find someone who knows what they’re doing and don’t use that spot. It hurts too much!” My yelling must have worked because a new nurse showed up and the IV was inserted in a less painful spot.
A few hours later I was back in a hospital room, getting a couple more pints of blood, waiting to hear what “adventures” awaited me this time.
My colorectal surgeon, Dr. C. showed up a few hours later, and decided the best way to stop the bleeding was to cauterize the inside of my anus. He said it would be a simple procedure. When he was done, my ass felt like he had taken a blow torch, shoved it up my ass and fried that sucker until it stopped bleeding. Simple procedure, my ass! For him, maybe. For me, it hurt like holy hell for days. Even a fart felt like a hot poker.