Tag Archives: port

Back To Work

Just 72 hours after having his chemo port put in:

  1. Doug got to take his first shower
  2. We changed his bandage for the first time
  3. He’s going back to work

His work involves heavy lifting as he is a receiving manager.  He says he is going to do paperwork.  I have never heard him talk about paperwork before.  He works in retail and it is that awful “Black Friday” thing. He is not supposed to lift any more than 10 lbs.  Fortunately, he will be off of work starting Monday for the next 6 weeks.

The Port Is In!

The port is in.  The nurse told us what seemed like five hundred things.  Doug was on Fentanyl but not unconscious, kind of like Michael Jackson.  He can’t sign any documents or drink any wine, or jump rope for 24 hours.

chemotherapy port
Doug with his brand new chemo port.

It really pisses me off that he keeps talking about going back to work just to do paperwork.  He just had minor surgery to put a tube in a large vein near his heart!  Jeez,  take it easy for a couple of days.  He doesn’t listen…hmmm who used to be stubborn like that….oh yes, his now deceased father Wally.

The nurse just told him to ask questions anytime but he’s so shy and and wants to be so little of a bother for anybody that he usually won’t ask a question or push an issue.  Ugh, so frustrating.  

The Beginning of Treatment – The Port

Cancer is literally a health roller-coaster of procedures, waiting for results hoping for, and being afraid of, results.  Doug and I both know the fight has just begun; but we feel better about going into it with a really good chance of winning.

Kemper Gallery Cafe
Doug at Kemper Gallery, awesome brunch!

As always is the case, the people helping you a check in for your procedures are totally unconcerned with your situation and are there simply to collect information, and money if necessary.  Once in a while, however, you run into an Angel who seems to come out of nowhere to help you.  We wandered into the huge hospital “pavilion” looking around, slightly confused and clueless where to go.  Behind us appeared a smiling, neatly kept, grey-haired lady who kindly asked, “Can I help you find something?”  Not only, did she direct us where to go but also told us where the next stop would be.

Today Doug is having a port put in for his Chemotherapy.  Unlike me, who has had every type of modern day medical torture from being  prepped for surgery and intubated while conscious, breathed on a respirator (hope you never had to do that: when they suction your lungs, which is a replacement for natural coughing, it feels like they are pulling your guts out with with a giant treble hook.). I once was fed from a feeding tube which I pulled out in the middle of the night; the nurse just rammed it back in place like the stick one uses to check the oil on their car. I’ve had a luke warm enema administered by a cute, young 

Doug in full hospital regalia

nurse (nothing is more humbling than having someone administer an enema) with a handy potty chair right next the bed which I had to use several times. “This hurts me more that it hurts you,” she quipped.  I’ll stop here with the short list because this is Doug’s story.  My point being that Doug, before the recent colonoscopy he had experienced little more than, as far as I know, a simple doctor’s visit.  The oncologist seemed shocked when interviewing Doug about his medical history and he said “no” to EVERYTHING.

Doug has witnessed most of the above happening to me so I know he must be at least a little scared to face what is coming.  I’ll be here as much as I can to give him courage.  He also has Xanax, which he hasn’t used so far. Like war, cancer his hell.  I suppose I’ll try to play the role of Patton who fearlessly, and somewhat crazily, led his troops through WWII. 

“Accept the challenges, so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory.”
—George S. Patton
 
If you haven’t seen the movie “Patton” starring George C. Scott please do.
 
One way chemotherapy is administered is through a port (sometimes called by brand names such as Port-a-cath or Mediport) inserted in your chest during a short outpatient surgery. A port is a small disc made of plastic or metal about the size of a quarter that sits just under the skin. A soft thin tube called a catheter connects the port to a large vein. Your chemotherapy medicines are given through a special needle that fits right into the port. You also can have blood drawn through the port. When all your cycles of chemotherapy are done, the port is removed during another short outpatient procedure.