Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's alive!

I have a port.  Above my right breast.  I can't wait to show you some day.  It is a quarter-sized, ~1-cm thick plastic do-hicky perched on a rib just under my skin.  In the center is material analgous to artificial cork, and that is where the majority of my chemo-related needle sticks will take place.  You can put stuff in or take stuff out--how versatile!  From it is a long (10 cm?) skinny irrigation-looking tube that goes into my superior vena cava.  The site of the port is moderately sore, but no need for the vicodin yet. 

My life-saving surgeon put in the port, and I totally sobbed uncontrollably when I saw him this morning.  It was ridiculous.  He gave the anethesiologist a knowing look, at which point anxiety drugs were offered.  I declined, explaining that it wasn't the surgery itself that I was upset about, but rather the whole ball of (cancer) wax.  As promised, I pulled myself together and everything went great.  I didn't feel, see, or hear a thing, which is as it should be in my world. 

In the fog of after-surgery I was giving everyone hugs and making playground playdates.  Nice.

He left the needle in the port and I was wheeled right up to oncology.  I had at least three hours of drips, and it all went through my new port.  I still don't have the names memorized, and I'm not going to look them up, but here's a layman's summary of my drips:  30 minutes of anti-nausea, 30 minutes of benadryl + tylenol + dexamethasone (anti-nausea), 60 minutes of chemo 1, 60 minutes of chemo 2, and 30 minutes of chemo 3.  Then my port needle was removed (yowza, that is some FIRM cork in there) and we blustered home in the appropriately dramatic weather.

What to expect:  bone-crushing fatigue for 4-5 days, then hopefully an upswing until I get this treatment again in three weeks.  Lots of other possible side-effects, but I won't belabor those.  We'll just have to see.  

Time to rest and cuddle the ladies.

Poke tally:
left breast  1
left arm  4
right arm 3
superior vena cava 1
"port"  1


  1. I think the port is going to win the poke contest!

  2. And you are still blogging!
    I am amazed. You are such a champ.
    I can't wait to hug you and make playground playdates.

  3. You are a rock star lady! Poke em back every now and then!!!

  4. My darling Heather, this is another giant science experiment. Fortunately it is like the kind I have done. We know the outcome will be happy, Heather cells and oops...... no more cancer. I LOVE you.

  5. Wow, this is riveting material here. I know I shouldn't be looking forward to the gruesome details, but your way of writing about this has me hooked. You're my new favorite novel to turn to. Except, of course, that this isn't fiction. It's real and happening to you, and therefor I just want to give you a big hug when I see you next! Your being such a champ taking this all and writing about it and even finding humor in it all. You're my hero, Heather! Torey and I love you and are cheering you on every step of the way!

    PS: I looked at knitting how-to books at the library today. They're no replacement for a real life teacher. So I'm holding you to our stitch and bitch dates still :)

  6. I can hear that cancer shakin in its boots girl! GAME ON!!! See you at the finish line and ALL points in between.

  7. Just in case people are looking for real-time updates, this is the offensive coordinator here, reporting that Heather is currently enjoying a chocolate chip cookie.

  8. Heather, you rock! Keep up the fight! And thanks to the offensive coordinator for the real-time update :)

  9. Hi Heather - I am so proud of you. I am proud of myself for braving the dentist twice a year and what you have faced in the last week is crazy deserving to be proud of. The blog is a great thing - it will make things so much easier for you communication wise and hopefully may give you an outlet of some sort. Life can sure whirl you around. I hope that myself and my family can be there the way we need to be. One thing we can do for sure is send over some veggie delights. I am so proud of you. Did I say that already? Oh yeah, let me say it again, I am so proud of you.