a little c

because I refuse to give it a big one

Ports and Scans

Posted by wendy on 2011/01/14

Yesterday, I had my port-a-cath inserted.  It’s resting under my skin today like some alien probe.  I told my Dad I feel like I should be able to interface directly with my computer now.  haha.

It was actually a really hard day–I’m very regimented, meal-wise (leftover habit from my year of Weight Watchers), so going without food or drink for 12+ hours did not sit well with me.  My other surgeries were in the AM, so it wasn’t a big deal, but yesterday, they didn’t take me back until nearly 3PM.  I was pretty sick and stabby by the time they got back.  Of course, the surgery itself didn’t take long, and I was completely alert when I woke up in recovery–no grogginess at all.  I was a bit sore around my neck, but nothing else really started to hurt until later in the evening.  The real pain hit me this morning when I woke up.   The mornings are always hard, though.  I’ve been sleeping on my back since the first surgery, and it feels like when I sit up, all the blood just kind of rushes to my chest and the pain just…settles in for the day.  It hit me that I’ve been in pain every single day since December 10th.   It’s kind of mind boggling (and depressing) when I think about it.   The upside is that yesterday was my last surgery for a while at least–as long as they don’t find cancer anywhere else, I think my next surgery will be the day they remove the port.   I hope.



So, the port was put in yesterday, and this morning, we had to get up and go back to the hospital for my MUGA scan.  We had to go back through admissions–and I think I must have looked pretty rough this morning, because they offered me a wheelchair to get through the hospital (and I nearly took them up on it-ha).  I think I’m just exhausted, though.  Too much happening in a 24 hour period.  bah.

So, we went through admissions and I got yet another white bracelet with my name and info (if I bothered to save them, I’d have quite the collection by now), and went down to Nuclear Medicine.  They gave me my first shot, then I had to wait 20 minutes for the second shot (full of radioactive goodness!  I’m a bit disappointed that no super powers come with this second shot–unless you want to call copious weeping a superpower.).  My veins have never been great, but since they can’t stick my right arm anymore, they’re stuck with my left arm.   I’ve got marks all over my arm and wrist and the back of my hand now.   I think I’ve hit a wall with needle sticks, because now it just takes one stick and I start crying.  I don’t mean to, I don’t want to–it’s more reflex than anything else.   I feel really lucky because the nurses at Decatur General are fantastic and compassionate and appear to “get” that it’s just a stress reaction.   So, they cluck and fuss over me and hold my hand, and somehow manage to do it without making me feel like a big wimpy crybaby.

So, immediately after the 2nd injection, they took me to the scan room and had me lay on my back with my left arm over my head and the RN pointed the scanning machine at an angle over my heart.  The MUGA scan itself is painless, though the position was uncomfortable to hold, but that’s more just because it’s still hard for me to raise my arms over my head.  Luckily, I just had to put my left arm up–it’s sore  from needle sticks, and it pulls at my scars, but it’s not an impossible position to keep for the length of the scan.  (which was 20 minutes, tops-it didn’t last long at all)

I’m home now, and resting up for the weekend.  I’ve got a PET Scan and a bone scan scheduled for next week, and there is a bit of dread regarding them both (more needles–ARGH), but I’ll get through them.

The BEST news I’ve had all day is that M is moving heaven and earth and  everything else to be here with me for Results Day.  As bad as everything else is, the thought that he’ll be here with me makes me feel like I can handle  whatever gets thrown at me that day.

2 Responses to “Ports and Scans”

  1. helene said

    You’re going through this ordeal with such grace & beauty. My thoughts are with you… sending positive vibes your way.

  2. wendy said

    Thank you, Helene–ooh, you made me blush. xox

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