Eric Has Been Removed and I Am Back in My Garden

Hello there, I am back and Eric has been evicted!!   This post is in two parts, the first a health update and then a garden update.  You are free to skim the first part and go to the garden, which  is probably of more interest.

Eric’s eviction 

As I woke from the anaesthetic I remember patting myself down and saying “Keyhole and no stoma” to the response “Yes, keyhole and no stoma”.  What a relief that was, although if it had been worse I would have just had to deal with it.

Anaesthetics, painkillers and my system do not mix well.   It took me a long time to come round, and although my 4 hour operation started at 8:45 a.m. I was not down in a ward until about 5:30 p.m. and in a comatosed state for the rest of the day on a drip and oxygen.  This meant that the first of the Enhanced Recovery Program (ERP) steps, to get out of bed and move into a chair the same day of the operation, went by the board.   Wednesday was not much better, following a visit from the Pain Team, I was dosed with Ketamine (yes the stuff they give to horses!) and slow release morphine.  By the afternoon I was so spaced out, I couldn’t even form a sentence, was violent sick (not good following abdominal surgery) and every time I closed my eyes I felt black and white patterned walls closing in on me.   It was all very scary, I thought I was having a stroke, and think the doctors had the same worry.   I was taken off all painkillers except good old paracetomol and by Thursday was back in the land of the living – it was certainly an experience I don’t want to repeat.  I was then two days behind the ERP but caught up quickly and was discharged on Sunday into the capable care of my youngest daughter and her husband.

The Surgical Registrar told me they had taken out just over a foot of my colon, and happily announced that they had “removed all the cancer” – making it sound as though I had only had a tooth pulled.   I have an appointment with the Consultant on Thursday 23 May to find out what the staging is and what chemotherapy treatment may lay ahead of me.    In the meantime, I now have to build up my strength and get my appetite back.  I have lost a lot of weight and have cheekbones I haven’t seen for years!

The Garden

I came home yesterday, Saturday, and it was a joy to wander around the garden.  The Forget-me-nots, bluebells and Lilac look wonderful, especially with the alliums just about to come out.  Stupidly, I had left my DSLR camera on and the battery was flat, so the photos below were taken using my little Fuji FinePix and sadly they are not quite as sharp as I would have liked them to be.

The garden over the wall has a magnificent Ceoanthus in full blue bloom, mine is still in tight bud, but then it is probably not getting as much sunshine.

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The Lilac needs pruning hard after it has flowered to encourage more flowers next year, it seems a little top heavy at the moment.

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Imagine this is smellie vision, the perfume at the end of the afternoon today, with the sun shining on the lilac was breathtaking.

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As I said earlier the alliums are just about to flower, which will add to the blue/purple hues in the garden.  Not to mention give me the opportunity to take lots of photos of them from all angles.

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Nestled between a prolifically growing hardy geranium (cranesbill) and the Aquilegia I found the Geum Bell Bank flowering away to its hearts content.  It is such a pretty plant and I am pleased it has decided to return again this year, so many plants in my garden give up the ghost after the first year.  Knautia macedonica is a prime example it clearly doesn’t like my garden.

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Finally, another allium, a giant one this time, which is going to look really colourful against the Eurphorbia when it is out in full.

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22 thoughts on “Eric Has Been Removed and I Am Back in My Garden

  1. Ronnie what wonderful news that Eric is gone….and what a perfect place to relax and recuperate but in the beauty of a garden.


  2. Thank you for the walk around your garden. I was pleased to hear that all is going well for you in your recovery.


  3. You’re ahead of the crowd Ronnie – Alliums are popular at Chelsea this year!


  4. Sending you positive thoughts and best wishes from San Diego, California.


  5. marysmemories May 20, 2013 — 7:07 pm

    Lovely for you to come home to your garden. The photos are gorgeous.
    Good luck with building your strength back up again. And lets hope we have some good summer weather


  6. so glad to hear they could remove all the cancer ! enjoy Spring !


  7. It’s lovely to have you back. Praying that everything goes well from now on.


  8. God bless you with a complete recovery and a minimal amount of chemo or other treatment necessary. I pray for good health for you going forward.

    Your garden photos are stunning! I hope blogging about them was good therapy for you. Reading your post tonight has been good therapy for me!! =)


    1. Thank you. If I can bring some happiness from sharing my garden, it is my thanks to those kind prayers.


  9. I like your garden and love to see pictures from your garden.


  10. Wonderful to have you back!
    Lea’s Menagerie


  11. The garden is looking lovely and you are doing well brave lady!


  12. Lovely garden blog. The lilac reminds me of when I was 10 Yrs old in the garden with my bunny- thank you xxx


  13. Hi Ronnie,

    I’m glad to hear you’re home – was thinking about you the other day. I hope you are feeling much better and I can understand your painkiller delerium. I too have a sensitivity to painkillers and I feel completely off my face… Not to this extent, but so far I’ve only tried Codine and Tremadol. It’s not worth taking either imo as it feels so much worse being out of it, trying not to spew everywhere and then having a hangover the next day. So paracetamol for me it is!

    Your Lilacs look wonderful and I can imagine the scent! I was sat sniffing the last of the magnolia blooms earlier planning to ‘steal’ some Lilac blooms from next door to put in a vase… technically they’re on my side, so actually belond to me 🙂
    At the moment I have spanish bluebells in vases so they don’t hybridize with my own – normally it’s not much of an issue as the Spanish ones normally bloom earlier than our natives but this year both are blooming at the same time!


    1. Hi there!
      When I first moved here the garden was a mass of Spanish bluebells and I have systematically pulled them up over the years. I have, however left a few at the back of the flower beds because they do give colour where needed and look good with the forget me nots. I do keep them in check though.

      Painkiller delirium is a good description, I felt I was tripping!


  14. Brilliant glad you are home and out in you beautiful garden. Enjoy and be kind to yourself.


  15. Your garden is so gorgeous, thank you for sharing the photos.


    1. Thank you, it’s a pleasure to share one of my greatest loves. I hope you are keeping ok.


  16. A double pleasure to be in your garden. 🙂


    1. It’s a pleasure to be able to show it off.


  17. Helen Johnstone May 19, 2013 — 7:51 pm

    I was wondering about you and its so nice to see you blogging again. Cheekbones!! well there had to be a plus in this somewhere. If they have removed the cancer I presume that means the chemo is to kill off any possible remaining cells. I am so keeping my fingers crossed for you.


    1. Hi Helen. My liver and kidneys are clear so I am hoping for a short sharp chemo therapy as a final clear up. Keep those fingers crossed. X


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