Sunday, May 17, 2009

Walking Port

Many months ago, just the thought of getting the port removed sent me to anxiety city for hours. The weeks leading up "the" appointment on Friday, I felt rather calm. I did end up taking two 5 mg Valium - one before driving in and one when I was at the office waiting, and waiting, and waiting. No, I wasn't driving, Vic was.

Before the nurses accessed the port during chemo, they would inject lidocaine into the area around the port. The lidocaine injections stung, but were tolerable. Not sure what happened with the port removal, but each injection of lidocaine hurt like a big dog. The "I've never taken out a port before" resident, did the first round of injections. After the surgeon did the "do you feel this" poking of the skin to see if I was numb - and I wasn't - the surgeon did another round of injection. That was probably the worse for me.

I had my iPod blasting Josh Groban during the procedure and did my best to focus on his beautiful voice. However, the surgeon had other plans . . .she wanted to make sure I could hear her. Wait, I don't WANT to hear you or your knife or you talking to the resident. The main instruction was to hold still and to hold my breath when she told me to do so. I'm not sure why and I didn't ask. I believe I held the breath while the tubing that was in the vein was being removed.

There was a bunch of tugging, which I did not like. Was it enough to say I wish I had twilight anesthesia for the procedure? No, not really; that would have required an IV which we just don't do well. My veins close up as soon as they hear "IV". Trust me, I know this to be true. I wondered, tho, could they give Versed through a very fine needle directly into the vein. . . just a little bit of Versed? I love Versed!

Here is a picture of the port before removal.

I have a picture of the port after it's removal. It does have some red stuff on it, so if you are of a squeamish nature, don't, as in DO NOT, click on this link . The port itself is about an inch long, so I'm estimating that the tubing was about 8 inches.

Having low tolerance for pain, I did take Vic's Oxycodones Friday and Saturday. Sunday was Advil and today nothing. The incision itself doesn't hurt today, just the muscle in my neck. I am just glad that it is out!

Relay for Life was a very moving experience. For the cancer survivors reading this, if you have an opportunity to participate in the Relay or some other type of fundraising event, please do!

Here is a lady that spoke during the opening ceremonies. Please take a moment to read her great story!!

Each survivor wore a purple shirt and words can't begin to describe what it was like to watch this sea of purple walk the first lap. Caregivers walked the second lap and both survivor & caregivers walked the third. Participants and supporters surrounded the track, clapping as we walked by. Yes, I did cry, but I also hooted and hollered back at them. The laps truly symbolized a race, a journey, that we all had been on.

I had just a few minutes to create two luminary bags. My apologies for not getting everyone's name onto one of them. But every one of the Journey Supporters and fellow cancer previvors/survivors were in my thoughts!

One of the volunteers put the luminaries out for us since we were short on time. But! As Vic and I walked around the track, we came upon them! It was so extraordinary that I glanced down at the right moment to see the names.

There are more pictures of the event on my Facebook. If you would like to email me your ID (see "Complete Profile" for the link), I will add you to my friends list on Facebook.




  1. Wow Renee, just wow! Thank you so much for thinking of me.

  2. I, too, love that I had a luminaria with my name on it...we are really incredible women - all of us!! So glad the port is out....breathe deeply and freely my friend...

  3. THANK YOU! I can't thank you enough. This means so much.