Cancer is nothing when you have hope!! This site is all about living … and living well … with late-stage cancer. I hope you will journey along with me through the ups and downs of living with lung cancer.
I am still not loving the port! I hope when I go for my next treatment, I will change my mind about how I feel about having this foreign bump under my skin! It is just so ugly!!
I asked Robert to take some pictures of how the port looks seven days after it was inserted (I always want to say “installed” … what’s that say about me??!!) You can see that there is still significant bruising. I called the doctor on Friday because I was still in some amount of pain from the port. Pain may be a bit stretched … but I was certainly aware that something had been done.
Today, Sunday, I don’t think about it constantly but when I sling my purse over my right shoulder, I remember it is there!! 🙂 Hopefully, by the time I have my next treatment – about 1-1/2 weeks from now, it will be sufficiently healed that I won’t be in a lot of pain when they poke through the skin to access the port!
Well … it is 1:00 in the morning. I have to be at a school at 7 to do who knows what? And, I’m supposed to be there until 4 PM … I have a feeling that won’t happen – especially since I am still wide awake at 1 AM.
I think the place where the port was inserted is healing. I have tried to get a picture of it … it leaves a really ugly bump under my skin. It almost looks like I have grown a third breast. Just what I need! 🙂
It is really weird to have the port. It is hard. And, sometimes, I can feel the catheter in my vein too.
This is what is under my skin and in my vein… I am not loving having it. It is alien. It is ugly. But, everyone tells me I am going to love it when I have treatments. I only have to get stuck once a visit. Blood for labs will be drawn through the port and the drug I am getting will be infused using the port. Since my veins are in pretty rotten shape after being stuck so much over the last 9 months, it will be a good thing to have it, I am sure. I just need to start accepting it better!!
Here is another good thing about it. Because it is inserted completely under the skin, there is no need to try to keep it clean and there are no tubes hanging out… I’m sure it will stop bothering me when the bruising improves and I don’t constantly feel it. I hope so!!!
Robert and I were at UT Southwestern for a long time yesterday. We had to arrive at their St. Paul Hospital by 7 AM so that I could get a port inserted. The chemo and constant pokes and pricks required from frequent blood tests, CT scans, and treatments finally wore my veins out, making the device necessary. Everyone says I will be really happy to have the port.
It was a frustrating morning. We rushed to get there by 7 … it is an hour away from home so we had to leave really early! We waited for 45 minutes to get registered at the hospital. Great! There was only one girl working registration for the entire hospital on a Monday morning. To her credit, she was ultra-patient. I just don’t understand why she didn’t have a whole lot more help. We were behind two people and when we left, there were two or three more waiting. Plus, people kept coming in from the “street” and asking questions, etc. that the girl also had to answer. Because I hate to be late to appointments, I was getting really anxious … and another “a” word … angry!
Once we finally got up to the floor where the little minor day surgery would occur, things started happening. I got an IV so they could give me some medicine to “relax” me during the procedure. Blood was drawn, vitals taken (my blood pressure was lower than it has been in a long, long time … go figure??!!!).
Next, the physician’s assistant came in and introduced herself. The surgeon didn’t insert the port. The PA did. Hmmmm. Hope my insurance wasn’t charged for a surgeon.
The clock was inching toward my 9:00 surgery time and I was anxious to get it over with. But, while things popped when we first arrived, they suddenly slowed to a turtle’s pace. We saw NO ONE from about 8:45 until not 9, not 9:30, not 10!!!!
I already told you how anxious/excited/angry I get when things don’t go like they are scheduled!! I was getting pretty upset because the surgery was going to take an hour and then I had to recuperate for an hour before being released. Well … I was supposed to be over at the Seay building by 1 for my labs, doctor appointment, and treatment. And, we planned to go eat breakfast before we went there since we are usually there for 7 or more hours and I wasn’t able to eat or drink anything from midnight the night before the surgery. I was seeing all of our plans going by the wayside and I was restless and unhappy about it!!!
Finally, at about 10:30, someone came to get me to take me to the operating room. Let me tell you, he was no driver!!! He bumped me into every possible wall from leaving my room until we got to our destination. He said he was going to knock the mean out of me!! (I’m afraid it didn’t work!)
Truly, while I was getting upset, I don’t think most knew it (Robert did). One of the technicians in the operating room – a really sweet English girl with a great accent – mentioned that she heard someone who was jolly was on their way in. Jolly … haven’t heard that word in a long while but appreciated having it used to describe me because I do try to be positive and yes, even jolly, most of the time!
Anyway, while things didn’t go along on the timetable I wanted, the port was inserted (I keep wanting to say “installed!”) with no problems. The medicine they gave me to relax apparently put me all the way to sleep – I was out of it during the actual procedure despite my intent to stay awake so I could write about it!
I got Robert to take some pictures of what it looked like after the surgery. You can see how bruised things already were around the incisions, etc. …
Today, I am sore from the incisions made to insert it. On the other hand, I am enjoying a day at home relaxing – no bath and no driving for 24-48 hours so no work for me!
I tried driving last night when Robert and I went to Subway to grab some dinner. Yeah … I found out why I wasn’t supposed to be driving. The port is installed on my right side. Turning my head to look left or behind me … ouch!!! Nearly impossible at this point!
I’ll post picture of what it all looks like when I can take the bandages off tomorrow. I can’t wait for that!!! The tape is driving me crazy … maybe more than the incisions!!! 🙂