My brother surprised me by flying in from Queensland. This has meant the world to me! He brought with him a bag of facetious comments and a bucket filled with his supreme wit. He hand delivered some cards and pictures made by his beautiful kids, for myself, hubby and my little boys.

My pain medication has been tinkered with a bit after experiencing some breakthrough surgical pain at night. Some medications have been sending me on a little trip.

While waiting for surgery on Tuesday, I experienced a hallucination from some pre surgery medication. My head felt heavy and rolled around on my neck as though it was losing it’s balance. It then grew into a granite boulder and rolled off my shoulders. As it landed, I remember seeing some moss and lichen fall off onto the vinyl floor of the admissions ward and thought the nurses would have to sweep that up. The floor would have to be polished to remove the scratches. The boulder rolled down the corridor towards the surgical theatre. I wondered if it might crush the theatre staff. I was unsteady on my feet and laughing and was kindly assisted by a nurse into the surgical ward. By the time I was prepped and ready for surgery I was lucid and was annoyed that I had missed some pre surgery comedy action with the bearded nurses again.

As luck would have it, one of the original team of bearded nurses was on duty that afternoon, and I saw him in the corridor. He was the one with the thickest beard and like me, wore spectacles. This time I learnt his name and I thanked him for caring for my glasses a few weeks ago while under anaesthesia. Only a glasses wearer would understand the importance of that. One of the other theatre nurses told him that I had written a blog about him. I wasn’t sure if he was embarrassed, flattered or indifferent. He probably has no time for reading the blogs of strangers.

I took another trip today, this time with a different medication. Now I am wearing red arm bands labelled with several off limits medications. Next to them, is the green one that says I am a falls risk and a yellow sign on the wall behind me that says the same thing. Something to do with my drains and medication. All of this makes me laugh as I ran a 10km fun run just five days ago.

My brother believes my reaction to the drugs is happening because the nurses are overdosing me so I can’t write about them. At lunch, I was brought my third combination of laxatives and stool softener. There were two more types yesterday. Nothing has worked so far as the pain medications have slowed everything down a bit like when there are roadworks on the South Eastern Freeway. I think my intestines have gone into hibernation. I am reassured this is common post surgery. Brother warns me that he thinks the nurses aren’t happy with what has been written here, and just want to see me have some terrible toileting accident. “Here’s your triple dose of an non-gentle laxative Lise” (insert evil nurse laugh here).

Our time together was special. We talked about the recent loss of our Dad to cancer. We talked about what it feels like to have cancer and to be on the interior instead of the exterior of it. We reflected on the impact that cancer has on families, especially our family. We laughed at the idiosyncrasies of our young children and the quality of the partners we chose for ourselves.

In true ‘Oh Brother’ style, as he went to leave he asked me why all of the nurses in this hospital are ‘hot’. And he joked that he might just take photos of them from the lift as he left. Just as well he hasn’t come across the bearded nurses. And fortunately for me, he hasn’t seen my surgeon.

Minutes after he left me, he took a picture of a dragon in a children’s playground near the hospital and sent it to me. Perhaps this could be my Dread Dragon. After a visit from my brother, my Dread Dragon isn’t so fearsome anymore.