Eric here, at Toronto General Hospital. Anne was taken to emergency last night by ambulance after a couple of days of not passing anything via the bowels, including gas. She had also been feeling nauseous, and vomiting. She was in considerable discomfort, and the doctor who came to the house recommended going to emergency sooner rather than later. The ambulance service was used (at our friend Nikki's wise suggestion) for purposes of comfort rather than for any kind of urgency, as sitting up for long periods was very painful to Anne. The added bonus was that the EMS workers dealt with the triage nurse at the hospital, and that Anne was able to wait in a gurney instead of a chair.
An x-ray was taken and showed a lot of gas and stool in the bowels; the doctor subsequently ordered an enema to get things moving, and a second one when nothing happened. As there were still no results, he ordered a CT scan to look for obstructions. It being Sunday, the hospital was short-staffed and we didn't see another doctor until just after twelve noon (arrival at emergency was around 8 PM Saturday). He and the radiologist determined that there was (were) indeed some obstruction(s), caused by the cancer, which is pressing against the intestine from the outside.
They've gotten us a bed at the Princess Margaret Hospital - the only bit of good news so far, as it is an excellent hospital - and the next steps will be to get Anne some pain killers, some medicine to help move the bowels, and possibly a nasogastric tube to extract gastric fluids from the stomach. At this point, she has refused morphine (quite a jump from extra strength Tylenol) and awaits the other medication and procedure.
The news is not good. The worst of it is that Anne has been in considerable discomfort for a while now, especially the last couple of days, what with the pain (which can be like "labour at its worst"), nausea, and malaise. However, she remains stoic to both the pain and the news. We remain by her side - Miriam spent the night with her last night, and will do so again tonight - and hopeful that this will pass.