Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Got my chemo port yesterday

I had to go in for outpatient surgery to get my chemo port installed on 12/30/13. Happily I got the same surgeon to take care of my port who did my pancreatectomy/splenectomy. I liked him personally the first time around and felt like he did a great job with a major abdominal surgery. I suffered no complications and am healing quite nicely already. When someone is cutting your body open for any reason, it is good to have confidence in them! 
  Three times in the last couple of months I have had to fast for procedures or surgeries. The first time was for an endoscopic ultrasound. That procedure was not scheduled until 3:30 pm. It was hard, but I knew it was necessary. The second time was for my surgery in November. Mercifully, my surgery was early and I had to check in to the hospital at 7:30 am. My nerves let me forget about things like food and caffeine. This time around, my surgery wasn't until 11:30 and I was losing my sense of humor about being denied coffee in the morning. I know, I have much bigger fish to fry right now, but it really is the little things that make life more pleasant! 
  We got checked in without a problem. The outpatient clinic was hopping. This was the same clinic where our younger daughter, P, got her tonsils and adenoids out, a few years back. So much of it was familiar from back then. I remembered waiting with her back in a room, P in her surgical gown, hair net in place, and her stuffed penguin sitting along side her, wearing his own hair, or maybe feather, net. I remembered images of puppies on the door of the room we waited in with her.
  I saw my surgeon, chatted with him, the anesthesiologist, several very nice nurses, and then it was time to go. The port goes into the top of your chest. The surgeon said they can place the needle into a blood vessel in the chest, where there is a 1/100 chance of puncturing the lung. Or, he could put it in a vessel in the neck, where there is a 1/10,000 chance. He preferred to do the neck, and that was fine with me. He told me he would try to place it out of the way in case I wanted to wear a low cut dress or blouse, but I was most concerned about my sports bra. I need to be able to wear a sports bra. How often am I going to be going out dancing in a low cut dress over the next six months? I am guessing never. I hope to run a few times per week, though. A girl has to have her priorities!
  While they were prepping things in the OR, the doc, nurses and I discussed running, hiking the manitou incline, and other Colorado staples. There are certain shared experiences here that unite Coloradans and that is one thing I just love about living here.
  The anesthesiologist told me to have a nice nap and I did. I woke up about an hour later, feeling quite groggy and a little sore. I had to get an X-ray to make sure things were placed properly. After the X-ray, they brought me to a room to recover, and low and behold, it was the puppy room that P had been in for her tonsil surgery! I waited in the puppy room until they got my X-ray results back. Everything looked good. The nurse brought me some crackers and coffee, which was wonderful. By mid afternoon, we were headed home.
  This surgery was very insignificant compared to what I had gone through a few weeks ago, but it still isn't without discomfort. I have stuff in my chest that doesn't belong there, and they had to cut through my chest to get it in there. I am a very small female. My skin is bulging out where the port was installed. I have been icing and taking over the counter pain meds, but I didn't get a lot of sleep the last two nights. I am guessing as my skin stretches to accommodate things, it will hurt less. 


1 comment:

  1. Interesting that they put you out for the port implant - I only got local anesthesia - and I wished I had more. Had a young surgeon, very talkative (big fan of American national parks, so happy to have an American patient), but at one stage I hear "merde, merde!" (shit, shit)... he thought he lost a needle... great (but then found it, thank goodness). I could have done without that ;)