a little c

because I refuse to give it a big one

Posts Tagged ‘port’

Running with scissors and eating all the paste

Posted by wendy on 2011/09/08

My blue period.

I’m just….gah. I’m restless today and tired and a little stabby and I think I need a nap and a time out because I’m not playing very well with others at the moment. I’m like an unruly kindergartener. I need a red and blue mat to nap on. And a coloring book. And my woobie. (I think CS4 is the adult equivalent of a coloring book, so I’ve been processing shots this morning to keep my mind occupied–it’s working so far. yay!)

I’m not sleeping again, and I keep saying that I’m going to get my Ambein prescription refilled (I’ve been out since March-ish), and I never do. I just try to slog through the non-sleeping periods and hope they’ll go away eventually (they do) because the last thing I wanted to walk away from cancer with is an addiction to Ambien. However, this one doesn’t seem to be going away as easily–it may be the one that breaks me and sends me back. Too many things on my mind. bah. October is coming up fast, though–and if I can hang on til then, I think I’ll be able to breathe.

Our dryer died this week (because that’s how life is rolling these days), so we decided in the interim to hang a clothesline outside as a new dryer is not happening for me right now. We bought it Saturday. Or Sunday. I can’t remember, but either way, it’s rained every day since, so I currently have clothing hanging in every doorway of the house. Classy!!

My PET scan has been delayed and rescheduled three times now–the camera keeps going down, so they have to get it repaired, and it’s kind of making me nuts. The next scheduled scan is for Monday at noon, and I’m hoping this one will work out–this no caffeine, high protein, low carb deal the day before is giving me these weird Atkins Diet flashbacks. I think I have Atkins PTSD.  Just knowing I can’t have carbs makes me extraordinarily anxious. I need my grapes in the AM people. NEED. And, yeah, there’s the need to get this done and over with. I need to get these results so I can stop thinking about the What If’s. Knowing a thing intellectually is easy–it’s the knowing it emotionally that gets me every time.

So, hopefully there will be a PET scan on Monday, and then I’ll see my onc on Tuesday. I’m going to push to get the port taken out this month. I’m ready. I’m done. It needs to go. Oh Port! You were the best frenemy I ever had. I can’t wait to drop your ass to the bottom of the English Channel, all Heart of the Ocean style.

That’s going to be a very good day.  So, you know..there’s bad stuff all over here, but there are also silver linings, and I do try to keep my eyes on those.   I’m better at it some days than others, but aren’t we all?

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I woke up at 5:30 with poetry in my head

Posted by wendy on 2011/03/21

No, really.  I totally did.  I mean, I have been meaning to write that Ode to my port for a while, and this morning, I was inspired enough to try a few different styles of poetry.  I’d considered eeking them out over a period of time, but the chances of me remembering this stuff are pretty small, so we’ll just have a poetry round-up right here, right now.

First up!  The Official Ode to my Port.  I really wish I’d thought ahead and just made that font a bit more flowery.  Just pretend it’s super scrolly and that there are butterflies and unicorns prancing around in the background, ok?

Oh! Port–my port
My left arm
free of bruises
asks me to send you
love

————-

I’ve decided that since this mentions “breeze’, which is nature-related, that this is totally an official haiku.  Please do not call the Poetry Police.

hard tiny round disc
you have made chemo a breeze
yet ruin my neckline

————-

This is a senryu about my port and a bit of an homage to my surgeon.  Aren’t you totally impressed that I know the difference?  Helloooo, I was  privy to the Santa Monica poetry scene for a super long time!  I know things.  Poetic things.

installed by Amish
flash some skin, but just a peek
cleavage is evil

————-

Lastly, I have an offering of free verse for you.  It’s totally angry and aggressive!  I feel like I was channeling my inner 14 year old when I wrote it and frankly, I feel this piece would be much better as a live performance piece than just words on my blog.  I’d wear a black turtle neck carry a clove cigarette that I wouldn’t smoke…I’d just let it sit in my hand and burn, baby, burn.  Then, I’d flick into to floor as I was finished and you could all snap for me when I was finished and IT WOULD BE AWESOME.  Oh yeah.  I’ve thought about that one.  What?

protruder
intruder
alien tech under my skin
hook me up
shoot me up
make me sick to cure me
$#@%!!!!!!

I really need a little pink diary with a tiny padlock so I can furiously scribble my angsty poems into it, don’t I?  Oh wait.  I don’t need that, because I have the internet.  HA!  Speaking of, I totally did decorate my port.  I meant to put a green stem up to my neck, but I’m actually still skeevy about touching that line.

It's CHEMOFLAGED! ahahahaha.

 

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1 down, 7 to go

Posted by wendy on 2011/01/28

I need to write about this or I’ll forget–I’m already hazy on the detail of my treatment yesterday.   I don’t think it’s chemo-brain setting in, because I usually can’t remember what I had for lunch.  The memory has never been stellar.  😉

Dr S. said the treatment would last around two hours–all told, I was in the clinic 3 solid hours.  That’s a fair chunk, but not nearly as much as I was expecting, so yay.

Before I left the house, I used the numbing cream they gave me.   I put a dab on my finger–about half of what I’d use on my toothbrush if it had been toothpaste–then, I smeared it on all around my port (I forgot to get pictures–I’ll do that next time.  Oh future frantic googler, I am trying to get as many pictures here as I can, because fear of the unknown is the pits.).  I did not rub it in–it didn’t seem to want to anyhow.   I thought I was doing it wrong–and seriously,  that’s the one thing I did not want to fail at today, because this was my first port access, and I was nervous enough as it was.  Once it was smeared around, I tore off a piece of cling film and stuck it on my skin over the top of it (it’s to keep it from rubbing off on the way to the clinic–not very fancy,  but very effective).

Clearview Cancer Institute is full of amazing, caring people.  Some are survivors themselves–and getting to know them has been such a pleasure.  So, there’s always greetings and smiles and jokes at the door when I arrive (and everyone loved my new hairdo, so that was fun).  New hair, you say?  Well, honestly, why not at this point, eh? (all credit to M for the color choice–Smart British Boy!)

New 'do!

I had to get my blood pressure taken/weight (down 1lb!  eek.)/etc, but the momentous bit was getting blood drawn because they used my port.  OH MY GOD I LOVE MY PORT.  I LOVE IT.  Once day, I will write a sonnet to my port, and I will call it “Ode to My Port’.  There was no pain–I felt a tiny little…pinch?  sting?  No, not that bad.   A twinge, maybe.   That was it.  No needles in my arm, no tears.  Wanna see my port all ready for use?  OF COURSE YOU DO.  That’s why M took a picture of it.  I really need to paint little hearts and flowers all around it to let it know how much I love it and how sorry I am I ever doubted.  heh.

 

port
chemo port

 

When it’s not being accessed, my chemo port looks like a little disk under my skin.  When it’s being accessed for use, my chemo port looks like a little yellow butterfly on my chest.  A butterfly with a really long tail.  M and I were trying to figure out how to get a picture of me holding the tip up to my mouth so I could make a silly vampire cannibal joke, but before we got the chance, the nurse came in with my meds and tossed a metric assload of information at me about everything that was about to happen.   And, here’s where it gets a bit fuzzy, because there is so much they give you.  The best thing I remember is how non-scary it was.   They’ve got chairs and recliners all over the room for patients to sit in, blankets if you’re cold–and I had the added bonus of listening to M and A banter back and forth, which made both me and the nurse laugh at how silly boys are.

I don’t know what to call the little “tail” bit of my port-a-cath.  Hang on, I’ll go find out–oh hell, no I won’t–I’ll just get a better picture next time, because I like calling it the tail (OF THE BUTTERFLY–what?).  So, the tail has those little fiddly bits on the end for hooking up IV’s or shooting directly from a syringe.  I was surprised that a great deal of my meds were giving to me via a timed injection with the syringe, rather than through an IV.  I was given antibiotics and saline and a steriod and nausea meds and the two biggies, Cytoxan  and Adriamycin (looked like a huge syringe of red kool-aid, heh).  The saline injections were weird, because I immediately smelled and tasted them.  They didn’t smell of salt water, though–it was more medicinal.  No pleasant by any means, but not bad. It was, all in all–pretty pleasant.  Nothing hurt, nothing was overwhelming, I had M next to me holding my hand for the majority of it, A spent his time entertaining pretty much anyone who was there to listen.  I have such amazing men in my life.  I hope they both know how much I appreciate them.

The nurse warned me that Cytoxan can turn your urine red or orange–which is a good thing, because the first time I used the toilet after my injection, there may have been a bit of panic.

All in all, the first treatment is really, really easy.  In a scary way, because now I’m all “ooo..that was okay, I can do this.”, and I know that the effects will eventually catch up with me, and there will be moments in which I think “Oh, hey.  I can’t do this.”–but I will.  And I will hopefully be stronger for the experience.  I know I will be back in the happy little low-risk-of recurrence demographic, and that alone will make all of this worth it.

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