The Sister-In-Law


Yesterday was a big day for my sister-in-law.  She’s been hospitalized since the end of October while she battles sepsis.  The sepsis was the result of a complication for surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from her intestine.  Yesterday she had a meeting with her surgeon as well as some of the other medical professionals at the hospital.  They are preparing to release her to her home as early as the end of this week and wanted to go over what to expect, what supports would be in place, what supports she will require and also, of course, the results of the original surgery back on October 20th.

The medical team are pleased with my sister-in-law’s progress in the last five days.  She has done well and has achieved the key physical requirements necessary to consider releasing her to convalesce at home.  There are supports that have been contacted, including CCAC and another program recently started that will provide her with a PSW on a daily basis for the first week.  There will be ongoing assessments throughout, so it appears that this part of her care is well addressed.

The surgeon needed to discuss future treatments as well as the results of the surgery in October.  Unfortunately this was not the best of news.  During surgery the tumor was removed along with some lymph nodes.  Of the 18 lymph nodes sampled, two proved to be cancerous.  Consequently my sister-in-law will be required to undergo, at a minimum, chemotherapy.  The surgeon has now moved my sister-in-law’s file over to the oncology department at a nearby hospital and has advised her to expect a call within the next two weeks to start this part of the process.  Not the greatest news, but hopefully the spread of the cancer was caught early enough that the chemotherapy will put an end to it.

One thing is for sure, this will be a very different Christmas from any we have had in the past.  This Christmas will be about celebrating our family and friends and valuing the time we have together.  Life can, and does, change in a heartbeat.  Never has this been more apparent to me than this year.  There’s a degree of complacency that most of us have when things are going well and it means that sometimes we don’t value or recognize how good things are.  For me, I often long for our ‘old’ normal back but I know it is gone for good.  So it’s about what we do have, not what we used to have, this is our new focus.

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