Wanna Get Some Port???

I got a call yesterday from another doctor’s office.  The office invited me to come over and get some Port. My Wendy and I love a good port... PasoPort is our favorite.  It sounded almost too good to be true. Guess what…? It was! 

The office invited me to come on down so the doctor could install a Central Venous Catheter, nick named a Port.  This is designed to dump the chemo into a vein that leads directly to the heart. Benefits of using the Port are 

  • The chemo is administered through a large blood vein so the blood flow can quickly dilute it down 
  • Repeated IVs are not needed, which is good cuz I am already tired of being punctured. 
  • I think blood can be drawing from the Port… even less needles and punctures. 

This same-day surgery was NOTHING like last month’s surgery.  I was awake for the whole thing! 

The pro-op activities were the same as before: insert IV (more needles), collect information, meet the doctor, discuss the day’s activities, etc.  I laid on the gurney and checked my eyelids for cracks… none detected. My Wendy and I made small talk cuz there was a post-op patient in the same area.  The nurse was very nice and informative too. Finally… it was time to roll into the operating room. 

The room was normal to me.  It looked like an operating room; bright lights and four people all gowned up.  The procedure was very different. I was awake!!! I wanted sleepy night-night time, damn it!!!  Here’s why. 

“Oops…” is not something I want to hear when someone is slashing up my neck. 

“That could be a lawsuit in the making...” is the last thing I want to be aware of. 

The staff prepped my neck and chest area to insert the Port through the jugular vein in the left side of my neck.  It would then be nudged down the vein to the opening of my heart. The nurse administered a painkiller through the IV but its effect was gradual.  During the last surgery, I was OUT COLD within 30 seconds of being transferred to the operating table (that’s what I wanted this time). Local anesthetic (more needles and punctures) was repeatedly used to numb the area being worked.  I am guessing six to seven micro injections were used: pin prick, sting of medicine when administered, wait for the area to go numb. 

I’m not sure the doctor had the “wait” part down too well.  Time and again, I felt the pain of the Port's movement as it slid down the jugular.  Eventually I felt pressure but no pain, and, by the end, I was not aware that he was doing much in the area.  The doctor, the staff, and I talked about stuff and cracked some jokes. I even confessed that I am a serious wimp with a monster aversion to pain… a weeny-boy par excellence!  They confessed that most men are. I let them that I was not fronting: I am a wimp all the time, not just during operations and medical procedures. We all had a chuckle at my expense.  I think that will happen a lot of the next seven weeks. 

Post-op was uneventful.  My Wendy and I patiently waited for the nurse to remove the IV from my hand.  The nurse turned us onto peanut butter cookies and juice too. She rolled me out to the car in a wheelchair and poured me into the car like a fine port.   

My neck remains kind of stiff as I write.  That could present a challenge. I will visit both oncologists today.  First, is the dry run with the Big Doughnut to ensure the radiation treatment plan is solid.  Next is the chit chat with the chemotherapist to learn about all the possible side effects and their treatment options.  This will be another brain-overload event! 

The beginning of cancer treatment is a few days away.  I am not sure how I feel about the process. I suppose it doesn’t matter cuz I am committed to enduring it regardless of my opinions, thoughts, and feelings. 

There is a full life I want to live.  I want to be useful and make the lives of other people a little more gooder, though I do not know how I will do that today.  I want to live long enough to figure it all out and see the results. 

For these reasons I will stand toe to toe with cancer and see who wins this round. 

How do you make another person’s life more gooder? 

I’d love to read your stories. I believe there is inspiration to be found by the drummer.  Please share them. 


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