Today I am once again bandaged, in pain, very itchy, and looking extremely unfashionable as evidenced by this photo:
These bandages are covering a fun little device called a port, which was implanted under my skin yesterday during a surgical procedure where I received so many drugs, I was knocked unconscious and now, thankfully, remember nothing. Many people don’t know about ports, or why they’re needed. Well here I am, your friendly cancer patient, to give you the 411.
As mentioned earlier, I have tiny veins. This can make it difficult to get access, and I have the most revolting, grotesque, horrific bruise currently on my arm to illustrate this fun fact. Because of the specific type of cancer I have, I will be receiving chemotherapy, followed by drug infusions, for over a year. That much poking over that much time could cause some serious problems. I wish to avoid these problems. Hence, the port. (I act as if I had any choice in the matter. I had no choice. But I like to pretend that I did.)
The port is a small device that is place near the upper chest under the skin, via an incision. Another incision is made, which is where the tube/catheter is inserted. This tube connects the port to a vein near the neck which ends near the top of the heart. Just typing that out makes me want to vomit. Moving on.
When I receive chemotherapy, drugs, blood draws, etc., they will access the port, which means no more searching for veins in my arms. So technically, this should be a good thing. Today, however, I am not such a fan, as it is causing severe pain all around the surgical site, and into my neck and shoulder. It kind of feels like a gun shot wound, except that I have no idea what that feels like, so I can only assume I must have been some sort of Bonnie and Clyde-type outlaw who was shot, in a former life. Naturally. It is also making it difficult to lift anything with my right arm. I learned today, after attempting to eat spaghetti with my left hand, that ambidexterity is not a skill I will be adding to my resume any time soon.
Because I don’t possess a great deal of fat in my upper body, my port will likely stick out under my skin, and be visible. Since I can’t see it yet, I’m hoping it is not completely hideous. I’d like to think of it like a bio-port from the movie Existenz, which will allow me to enter some exciting virtual reality game. Maybe Jude Law will be there. Maybe we’ll go on thrilling adventures. Maybe it will all have absolutely nothing to do with pumping toxic drugs into my body and making myself ill.
5 thoughts on “My bio-port”
Hi Super “Z”…I knew you were in posession of super powers when you and Christine were “Roomies”.:o) Having joined the big “C” club many years ago…I send you all my powers I obtained through radiation. I’m great on Halloween-since I can glow in the dark.:o) Our lucky day was when you and Christine became friends. Stay the course…and know you have people who love you!XO Mrs. Greene
Personally, I think these are all steps to you becoming a superhero (not completely untrue!)
I hope you get some stellar super-powers, not like, Alex Mack-styles… turning into water – what kind of super-power is that?!
The bruise on my arm is this crazy zig-zag, kind of like a big letter “Z” and when I saw it a couple day ago, I actually thought it looked as if I had been marked with a superhero symbol. That seemed logical. THIS IS WHY WE ARE FRIENDS!
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You are a fantastic writer and I think it’s really amazing that you’re writing all of this down (and managing to keep a sense of humour about it). I look forward to more posts!