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.
left breast 1
left arm 4
right arm 3
superior vena cava 1