Day 39: Beijing Duck (Tuesday 6 December)
December 8, 2011 2 Comments
Today was my best day in weeks. I felt mildly human again, had some colour in my face and a bit more ‘tood.
I had my vitamins through the canula in my arm and it really hurt again. I thought that was odd because the P53 didn’t hurt at all when it went through. The nurses had another go at unblocking my PICC line and hit paydirt. Thank goodness. It will make the next couple of weeks a lot easier to have my PICC functioning rather than relying on a fairly tenuous canula in my hand to last the distance.
Mum’s volunteering to do the drops yesterday meant that she didn’t get asked if she was up for it again today. Julia knows when she’s onto a good thing! The first bottle went down in around an hour and a half – it felt like the second bottle took six hours. It didn’t take that long, but it did take a lot longer than the first one. No rhyme or reason.
I had P53 again sans fever. Another minor victory. Then, there was HiFU. I have been dreading getting back under the HiFU machine for fear of aggravating my gallstone and or getting more unexpected fevers and pain. But, no pain no gain as they say. It took ages for the doctor to locate the right tumour to zap with the ultrasound before putting the HiFU laser in place. Finally after some time and plenty of prodding the tumour was found and I was squished under the machine. I was due for 34 minutes of zapping. I got four minutes then the power to the machine went out. Mamma Mia.
I was literally sandwiched in the HiFU machine and couldn’t just hop out because there was no electricity to raise the overhead part with the lasers in it. The only thing for it was to release the fluid in the silicon bubble that the lasers go through. That took some time but finally it was loose enough for me to wriggle out from under there.
I got a visit this morning from Dr Yan and the junior doctors and we made some plans for my first progress scan. Although I have asked many times already without success, I asked again how long I could have “off” treatment over Christmas if the treatment is working. This time I got an answer – four weeks. It will depend exactly what shows up in the scan and what treatment protocols Dr Yan recommends for the New Year but I can assure you that was music to my ears. Four glorious weeks in the stinking Perth heat, with family and friends, with my own food and kitchen, and our own comfy bed.
One of the nurses who tends to me made a dinner suggestion the other day. She recommended a place close by that serves Beijing Duck aka Peking Duck. Yum!!! I have been waiting for a day where I was feeling well in order to go and try some fat duck in Xian. Today is the day. Turns out that the restaurant is very close to the hotel in Coca-Cola Street. It was BLOODY COLD outside but since I was feeling ok we walked there and back. We didn’t know if we would have any luck finding this place. I had the name of the restaurant written by the nurse on a scrap of paper in tiny Chinese characters. I figured I could match them up with the restaurant signage. Brad laughed at that suggestion. One of the two staff who speak some English at the hotel drew us a mud map to give us an idea of how far along the street we could expect to find the restaurant – I was dubious. But we got there in the end. Or, at least, we arrived somewhere that served Beijing Duck!
I wasted no time placing our order by pointing to the duck on the inside cover of the menu. The waitress got the idea. In no time a massive, fat, roasted duck was presented to us then carved in readiness for eating with Hoisin sauce, pancakes, spring onions and so on. This sure wasn’t like Peking Duck at home. For a start, there was actually meat on the duck. We were served a plate of skin and a plate of meat along with the usual accompaniments. It was too much for three but that didn’t stop us. It was a good thing I only had fruit for lunch!