Tag Archives: portocath

Words from the big chair #4

(I thought I posted this 2 weeks ago after my 5th chemo…but apparently I only saved a draft. So here is an old post that is now a new post.)

Even though this is my 5th chemo, I’m still only writing from the big chair for the 4th time. And what a week it was.

On Wednesday, I had my portocath put in my upper chest. It took quite some more time than they told it would, but the surgeons were just being cautious. My tumor is still restricting my Superior Vena Cava in my upper chest and the catheter goes right down this restricted vein, which needs a little TLC. After they got that figured out, there was some bleeding from the port site because my other veins are picking up the slack and are particularly full of blood. In the end, it was all under control and I finished up in a couple of hours.

My new buddy - Petey the Port

My new buddy - Petey the Port

It was my first time in surgery, tho. I told the nurse (my favorite nurse I’ve had during this whole process – she runs a tight ship) and her response was “Yeah, but its nice to know we are here.” True dat.

I also kept bugging them whether the port had any other functions – could I use it as a panic button? Is it in any way considered ‘bionic’? Can it help me jump over tall buildings in single bound. Alas, it is only a way to get the chemicals to my heart faster. *Yawn*

I have a small incision on my upper chest and the ‘port’ device sits in a little ‘sack’ stitched to the inside of my skin. Then the catheter runs through my vein and to my heart. This helps the drugs get into my blood flow faster (no more phlebitis in my arms!) and also helps for blood draws and takes the place of an IV. Every other cancer patient I talk to says it is a blessing to have a port put.

My 2nd happiest port day will be the day they take it out.

So, long story short – it feels like someone punched me in the upper left chest and the area is sore. But not so sore that I couldn’t go back to chemo today – hooray!

Today, I went into chemo with a different attitude than last time. Whatever happens to me over this weekend I know it is only temporary. And the war in my chest is being won by ABVD. So, although me, the chemo kid in Minnesotta, my friend Vanessa, producer Jon and everyone else I know who is going through this right now thinks it sucks – we all have to be strong together.

So chemo went well. The port worked just the way it was promised. The most uncomfortable thing was taking the tape off of my hairy chest – which sucks so bad that I might start another blog about it – Mr. and Mr. Follicle.

The nausea is starting to set in tonight. Looking forward to a long week of watching movies in my jammies and catching up on some PS3.

Nothing new to report except about a dozen super-human people installed and injected super-human technology into me for 2 days.

Me and my surgical team

Me and my surgical team