My port replacement surgery is done. There were a lot of needles and poking and waiting, but I’d rate it at about a “3” in level of discomfort/hassle for medical procedures. I’ve had experiences in the dentist chair that I would rate higher.
The new port – a “vas cath” – was implanted in the same “pocket” as the old one, simplifying the procedure. I was given Versed, a conscious sedation, and though I was making efforts at being aware now I find that when I try to recall what happened my memory is vague. I think I talked to the doctor about Kentucky and bourbon while he was working on me, and that seems weird to me. (I rarely talk about bourbon. The doctor must have asked me where I was from and that led to the bourbon.) Then again, maybe I dreamed it all.
I like Jupiter Medical Center. It is a small, local hospital and after so many years of being in and out for one reason or another, I find that I know a lot of the people. The nurse who draws blood, “Angel”, has been there for more than 30 years. Angel has pictures of herself and Perry Como. She says that he sang for her. She is always good for gossip about Burt Reynolds, who is also a local regular at the hospital. (“He’s getting awfully skinny.”) Burt calls Angel, “Angel Face”.
And the radiologist, Doctor Fox, who replaced my port, is the same doctor who put it in 4 years ago. There is comfort in this familiarity.
I’m a little swollen now but not in too much pain. The biggest risk is infection in the blood because a foreign device is introduced directly into the blood stream. They take a lot of precautions to make sure everything is sterile. A lead from the port chamber threads up around my clavicle bone and directly into my jugular vein. (You can read more about it here.) Surprisingly, I don’t even have a bandage. The opening was stitched on the inside and the outside skin glued shut. Some strange blue stuff was wiped over the whole area.
Basically, it is not a big deal, and I’m feeling more ok now.
My rant was helpful, though. I got such an outpouring of love and care from friends, as well as the reassurance that it’s ok to not be ok. It’s not quite like having a mother and father, but a very good substitute. I realize that it is not always easy for me to let myself rest in the arms, care, and love of others. The ability to be dependent and part of a web/community of love. To trust that arms will catch me and carry me. I tend to want to go it alone (or think that I have to). I suppose it is the disappointments that leave me with these insecurities.
I am grateful to all of you. Love.
(P.S. Brain MRI on Thursday, so hang on. Results will indicate the effectiveness of the Kadcyla in crossing the Blood Brain Barrier.)
Artwork from Felicia: